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The MYSTERY AMP ! (Read 153890 times)
Steve Deckert
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The MYSTERY AMP !
04/05/13 at 03:55:19
 
I'm working on something new. This is a picture of it. A creative moment captured just before things get serious... kind of like the long ride to the top of a roller coaster. Not entirely sure what will happen during the heat of it, but it's sure to be memorable and who knows, I might learn something! (BTW, I have discovered the reason you never quit learning is because you start forgetting things you already knew.)




What makes this the mystery amp?  Lack of information. Thought you might enjoy speculating on what it might be. The only hint is that it is not replacing anything in the current amplifier line. I know, it's an obvious hint, but that's all I'm giving up.

-Steve  ;)
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« Last Edit: 04/26/13 at 17:30:19 by Steve Deckert »  
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beowulf
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #1 - 04/05/13 at 04:01:20
 
Hi Steve, can you at least tell us if it is an "Integrated" or not? Huh
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Fireblade
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #2 - 04/05/13 at 05:07:16
 
Well, I don't know anything about the technology behind Decware's great amps, but this one seems to me some kind of dual mono design, around only 4 tubes per mono side, with two volume pots and a treble control.

It seems also to show toroidal transformers and what may be a push-pull arrangement, with only two output tubes (in PP) and two drivers, per mono side.

It also seems to show (maybe), two gauges per mono side, one for each of the PP output tubes on each mono side.

Or not!
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« Last Edit: 04/05/13 at 05:08:46 by Fireblade »  

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deucekazoo
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #3 - 04/05/13 at 05:26:38
 
Lets see, four gauges, two caps that look like the ones from the Torii Monos, two stereo volume pots, one master in the center.
My guess would be a 4 channel home theater amp.

John
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Pale Rider
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #4 - 04/05/13 at 05:39:53
 
Quote:
My guess would be a 4 channel home theater amp.

Now, that would be cool.
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #5 - 04/05/13 at 07:40:08
 
Please be a full function preamp with built in phono!
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will
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #6 - 04/05/13 at 13:56:07
 
What a brutal tease! It looks like two channels with four tubes per side, two power and two input? And a volume with maybe a bass and treble pot on either side of it? And four gauges? I am thinking a high wattage integrated.
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Mark
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #7 - 04/05/13 at 17:22:04
 
I would go for the world's first high performance telephone answering machine...
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marky
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #8 - 04/05/13 at 18:54:00
 
There could be a couple of tube sockets lying behind the gauges...phono signal ? Two gains and a master volume dial ? Big smoothing caps...No transformer. Now if you were to build a 2 unit amp with outboard power supply.......
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #9 - 04/06/13 at 05:00:20
 


A view from above with the glow of my Edison lamp capturing the focus of the camera lens... basically a slow drip of karma off the bulb onto the amplifier is one of the ingredients of this fine recipe.

Steve
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will
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #10 - 04/06/13 at 20:54:16
 
Looks like you are close to listening tests! May there be many more drops of creative karma to clarify musical reality!
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« Last Edit: 04/06/13 at 20:54:52 by will »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #11 - 04/09/13 at 05:10:59
 
Anymore clues?
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #12 - 04/09/13 at 17:08:08
 
Well, I'm not where near close to a listening test yet, as I'm doing this in my spare moments of which there are few...  so plan on it taking awhile...

Here is another clue.



-Steve
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will
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #13 - 04/09/13 at 17:32:35
 
With only two caps on the inside power area, I guessed those new round things behind the gauges might be power supply. This pic makes more sense since Steve is into "overdoing" the power supply so that there is well enough....bigass power supplies? I am still hanging with the high power integrated.
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« Last Edit: 04/09/13 at 17:33:42 by will »  

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Rivieraranch
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #14 - 04/09/13 at 22:08:33
 
What about a KT88 integrated?
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #15 - 04/09/13 at 22:37:34
 
a new dual mono preamp?
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #16 - 04/09/13 at 22:43:25
 
a small 15 watt amp (medium torii), something to fit between the mini and zen torii?
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #17 - 04/09/13 at 23:15:57
 
Zen Torii MK IV !
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Fireblade
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #18 - 04/10/13 at 00:07:23
 
Probably a new Zen Torii, with huge caps instead of the traditional input/output tube voltage regulation stages, incorporating what was learned from the recent Zen Torii Mono design process.

I still think this is a dual mono configuration, sort of a lesser powered dual Torii Monos, in a single chassis.

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ski bum
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #19 - 04/10/13 at 00:13:19
 
You could be right, Donnie.  I seem to recall that Steve mentioned moving away from the tube regulation due to uncertain availability of the tubes.
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #20 - 04/10/13 at 00:31:26
 
$3275, 32 WPC.
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #21 - 04/10/13 at 02:08:55
 
I don't know what it is, but I'm glad it's not replacing any current models.
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #22 - 04/10/13 at 16:54:14
 
It's good advertising!
Keep 'em pumped!
(with it's pedigree, it's bound to be interesting!)
Don
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #23 - 04/10/13 at 23:30:34
 
Hi Steve,
Is it an OTL amp of some kind?
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #24 - 04/11/13 at 00:29:44
 
Well I don't have the knowledge to say what it might be but I do know one thing for certain…
I want one. Wink
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Donnie
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #25 - 04/11/13 at 00:42:19
 
More predictions: Wired with wire that has been treated with the tears of a clown: The bases will be made from wood taken from the Vatican's rec room: The knobs will be made from a TiCabon composit made by NASA: 8 speed switches!?: The tubes all will be heat treated, tempered, Cryoed,and then re-heat treated and tempered again: It will be only offered with a red top plate!
I may have gleaned a bit more from the photo's than the rest of you.
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jameskk
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #26 - 04/11/13 at 00:54:10
 
Super tori 60 wpc
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« Last Edit: 04/11/13 at 01:10:09 by jameskk »  
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #27 - 04/11/13 at 03:52:10
 
I would love to see a Decware competitor for the Cary SLI-80.....
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #28 - 04/11/13 at 04:59:18
 
Like Damien,

I want one too.

Actually I want ONE PAIR. Wink
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #29 - 04/11/13 at 21:05:21
 
Well...Those two HUMONGOUS round things in the middle area with the two connectors each are caps...(motor run type?)maybe oil filled? Whatever it is, it sure looks nice! WOW Shocked
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #30 - 04/12/13 at 00:13:28
 
Tube cell phone.
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #31 - 04/12/13 at 00:33:49
 
Quote:
Donnie,
More predictions: Wired with wire that has been treated with the tears of a clown: The bases will be made from wood taken from the Vatican's rec room: The knobs will be made from a TiCabon composit made by NASA: 8 speed switches!?: The tubes all will be heat treated, tempered, Cryoed,and then re-heat treated and tempered again: It will be only offered with a red top plate!
I may have gleaned a bit more from the photo's than the rest of you.


I'm with Donnie on this one, I mean it's so obvious from the pictures isn't it?  I just hope Steve is feeding the clowns locked up in his storage room! Grin
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #32 - 04/14/13 at 00:32:23
 
The process begins....

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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #33 - 04/15/13 at 22:58:22
 
50-1......300B
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #34 - 04/16/13 at 00:04:19
 


Got a few more moments with the mystery amp today...  this is an interesting point in the build of this (or any) amplifier.  For those of you who aren't amp builders, you might not realize that everything you see completed in the photo is just the power supply, chassis and hardware.  The actual amplifier circuit or parts are not yet there.  In fact I could use this to build several different kinds of amplifiers, or at least, several different variations of this one.

The process is the same on every amplifier...

1) Install the hardware onto the chassis
2) Establish your ground path.  In this case - a single straight 10AWG piece of copper about 10 inches long located in the exact center of the amplifier and terminated to the earth ground lug on the IEC connector also located in the exact center of the amplifier.  This sets the stage for a mirror image layout where all wires are equal length from side to side throughout the entire amp.
3) Wire up the transformers to get all those long leads out of the way
4) Install the main power supply caps

Then stand back and begin to plan your next move as I am now.


Some insight into this power supply which as you know came from the development of the Zen TORII Mono's.  It is unique and Zen like in it's simplicity - part of the appeal to me, but it's the performance that really matters.  My wanting to continue exploring it is the motivation for this amplifier.

What makes this different are all the things that are missing.  Typically you have a tube rectifier converting the AC into ragged DC which is smoothed with a capacitor.  That makes it somewhat less ragged, but it takes more.  Either a choke or a large high wattage resistor is needed followed by another capacitor is what it takes to complete the smoothing process enough to work with.  Of course these steps are repeated further down stream to continue reducing the AC ripple to a point where it's nearly gone - the same as battery power.  So the high wattage resistor and additional capacitor are repeated a minimum of once for each additional stage in the amplifier, usually twice.

The result of adding the chokes or high wattage resistors is limited current and reduced voltage.  Any amplifier designer will tell you that where good power supplies are concerned you always want as much current as you can get.  And if you're new to tube electronics, the picture above will have more to do with the sound of the amp than the actual parts used to create the amplifier circuit itself.  The quality of DC power being delivered by the supply determines the quality of the amplifier and the resulting fidelity.  So you can imagine how a preamp stage being 3 to 4 resistors and or chokes away from the power source will greatly rob current flow.  This hampers dynamics.  There is also a delay in time for the current to pass through these filters which can have profound effects on the transparency of your amplifier.

By replacing the current limiting tube rectifier with high current fast recovery diodes we eliminate the current limiting, the voltage sag, and of course a massive amount of heat.  Normally tube rectifiers sound better but that is in the context of using 10 to 100 microfarad capacitors.  When you use a 2000 microfarad capacitor that's the size of a milk bottle the game changes and the tube rectifier becomes the clear looser in this contest.

Using such a large cap stores so much energy that it becomes a black hole for all AC ripple and noise on the line.  It eliminates the need for a choke or a large high wattage resistor with additional capacitors.  That give us zero current limiting and zero voltage loss and zero heat.  It's a win, win, win.

Of course to feed the preamp stage (smaller tubes) we need to drop the voltage and the common way to do that is a high wattage resistor followed by a small capacitor.  That is how the Torii Mono's were done.  In this amp, I am replacing this resistor with a vacuum diode aka voltage regulation tube (OA3) which will give me the same voltage drop as the resistor but with 20 times the ripple reduction and 100% decoupling so that harmonics from dirty power grids in your city do not contaminate the pure DC power feeding your critical preamp stage.  This also means that again 100% of the heat has been eliminated.

This will be the first power supply I've ever done that has zero resistors and zero chokes.  It's so Zen it's scary.




Steve  ;)
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« Last Edit: 04/16/13 at 00:56:48 by Steve Deckert »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #35 - 04/16/13 at 00:13:09
 
300B odds are higher than that I'm afraid.  Actually you don't know now many times I've been tempted but the temptation was purely sales.  The truth is, my original testing back in the 1990's during the development of the Zen Triode amplifier showed me I can get better sound with more neutrality from other tubes that just happen to cost a fraction of the price.  And unlike 2A3 and 300B amps you won't have to wonder how much better your amp would sound if you could afford the really good tubes at $1000 a pair.  

I am asked repeatably to build a 2A3 or 300B amplifier, but unless I find a way to make one justify the cost of the tubes AND sound better, I'm just not interested.  Plus you can buy a lot of nice used 300B amps now days that have been discarded by Decware customers. Wink

-Steve
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Donnie
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #36 - 04/16/13 at 01:51:36
 
What, no clown tears? Are you crazy?
So I've been rounding up clowns for the last few days for nothing?
I've spent over $59.24 in cotton candy alone. That is what I get for speculating in the clown tears market. Nothing but heartbreak and squeeky noses to show for it.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #37 - 04/16/13 at 03:13:48
 
Are you sure it's not clown ears instead of tears?
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #38 - 04/16/13 at 13:22:20
 
Steve explained:
Quote:
Using such a large cap stores so much energy that it becomes a black hole for all AC ripple and noise on the line.  It eliminates the need for a choke or a large high wattage resistor with additional capacitors.  That give us zero current limiting and zero voltage loss and zero heat.  It's a win, win, win.

I thought thsi was a very interesting discussion, especially since I just received in my email one of Paul McGowan's posts about power supplies, in which, during the course of noting how a switching power supply could be designed to achieve some of the same objectives, he noted this:
Quote:
In the past the best sounding option was to go with a linear supply – making sure it was over built for the task.  The problem with these supplies is that they are neither clean nor pretty – and the best results with any form of amplifier come when you have a pretty, clean and DC-like output on your power supply.  Even your classic A or A/B amps benefit greatly from a better supply – and a few traditional amp manufacturers even go so far as to regulate their amp’s power supply.  But the vast majority of amps do not regulate nor do they do anything about the ripple, jaggies and noise associated with this supply type.

These are two radically different approaches to achieving similar results. McGowan is right: the vast majority of amp designers do little or nothing about this problem. We happen to be fortunate that Steve is part of the small minority, and is extremely focused about creating clean power for his amps; and yes, his approach is very Zen. I especially love that elegance.
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #39 - 04/24/13 at 04:02:15
 
No No I think it's a welder, not an amp.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #40 - 04/24/13 at 05:10:35
 


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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #41 - 04/24/13 at 09:29:06
 

This looks like a cross between a Zen Torii Mk3 and the Zen Mono-blocks.

It looks like a really serious (in terms of power o/p)  amp with the transformer/s setup so my guess is that this is like a MINI version of the Zen mono blocks but with VR.
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #42 - 04/24/13 at 13:51:44
 
I think it actually looks like a cross between the Taboo and the Torii monos. It looks like the holes on the back, left and right, look like headphone holes for the XLR plugs and a normal phono jacks.
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Re: The Mystery Amp
Reply #43 - 04/24/13 at 15:35:47
 
Or balanced output connections
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #44 - 05/01/13 at 15:17:08
 
....might be Balanced (XLR) INputs (Line Level RCA IN too of course)... .

I know I want one.  

SuperZen CKC, SE84CS (Stock), Mystery Amplifier & the new Taboo Amp/Headphone Amplifier.....will be the only Amps I need to Own for Reference Two Channel MUSIC.

I bet the new Mystery Amplifier, equals or EXCEEDS the new Audio Research REF75 ($9000.00) at half the price and roughly, half the watts.    -Stone
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« Last Edit: 05/01/13 at 23:33:53 by stone_of_tone »  

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Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
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Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
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Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #45 - 05/02/13 at 23:13:06
 
Hey Steve,

I have no idea what this amp is, but it looks so cool, how about naming it "Zenfinity"?
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Reply #46 - 05/03/13 at 22:34:40
 
How many watts per channel are you shooting for?  What price range are you going for?
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Reply #47 - 05/04/13 at 02:02:24
 
Watts could be more than a TORII Mk III and less than the TORII Mono's.  Price somewhere between the two.
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Reply #48 - 05/04/13 at 02:08:37
 
At the rate I'm going, Zenfinity is the time it's going to take to finish it!  I'm after a very specific signature and character with this amp.. and of course at my age achieving this goal with the least number of rebuilds possible turns out to be the real goal!

 
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Reply #49 - 05/04/13 at 22:56:26
 
Steve,
What ever happened to your OTL amp you were planning on bringing to market?  Did that die a quick death for some reason?  Bob Zeigler told me it was the best sounding amp he's ever heard...
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Reply #50 - 05/05/13 at 00:03:56
 
Is this it?

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Reply #51 - 05/05/13 at 00:11:15
 
It's still here...  seven power supplies feeding upto 500 milliamps per tube makes the power consumption and heat equal to ten Torii Mk III's.  It's enough BTU to heat a good size room in the dead of winter.  It's dangerous, tubes are no longer made, impractical - as most really great stuff is... it would just cost too much to make it safe enough to market... in MY market that is.   If you don't mind spending what other manufacturers are charging for the same 6C33C output tube based OTL amplifiers I could perhaps try to custom build a few.
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Reply #52 - 05/05/13 at 07:43:52
 
That's a shame. It's a beast!!!
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Reply #53 - 05/05/13 at 19:09:52
 
OMFG!!! Wow, what a beaut!  Thanks for posting that centerfold of a shot!  Bob wasn't kidding!  So you get about 60 watts per channel out of that?  Bet that is one of your best sounding amps ever!  How would you characterize the sonic differences between your OTL and your new Tori Monos?  The new Monos put out 60 watts per channel, too so in that regard they are both similar.  
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Reply #54 - 05/05/13 at 19:11:51
 
That skull knob is just too cool!  Never saw one like that before...
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Reply #55 - 05/05/13 at 19:23:38
 
Steve,
What's that bubble of glass around the right rear output tube for?  Does it serve any purpose?  Interesting...
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Reply #56 - 05/10/13 at 05:39:15
 
That's just a plasma globe setting behind it...
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Reply #57 - 05/10/13 at 05:41:02
 
OK, It's now alive!  



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Reply #58 - 05/10/13 at 11:20:26
 
Isn't that a line from "Young Frankenstein?"
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Reply #59 - 05/10/13 at 13:18:31
 
Frau Bleucher's new amp!
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Reply #60 - 05/10/13 at 17:09:07
 
Well, my thoughts behind creating this thread were to give you a real time glimpse into the design process of a new amplifier.  At this stage, I have the design and how it should sound in my head and am trying to make it happen on the bench.

So step one, yes it's alive!  Sadly it sounds like crap... so let the hunt begin!  How many things did I wire wrong?



another mystery...

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Reply #61 - 05/14/13 at 02:43:22
 
Well, quite a few.  Of course, having nothing to look at, and no schematic / that alone increases the odds of mistakes.  However in my own defense, doing a mirror image amp, upside-down and backwards can be a real mind game when tube sockets can not be mirrored.  Turns out I had one channel output transformers out of phase and a few other minor blunders which more than explained the sounds like shit experience...

Today I got to the bottom of all that and the next step is going to be defining the bias windows to make them work perfectly and be more or less fool proof like on the monos....  Sadly, none of the work done on the monos will apply, since all the values change and have to be discovered through trial and error with a wide range of different brand output tubes.

Anyway, a few more afternoons messing with that, I'll be able to have a first real listen... then the voicing can begin.



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Reply #62 - 05/14/13 at 23:11:29
 
I love it when you take us behind the curtain and let us see what all goes into the creation of a world-class tube amp. This thing is going to be awesome!  I better start saving my money....
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Reply #63 - 05/15/13 at 01:59:30
 
You mean saving your money....Again!
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Reply #64 - 05/17/13 at 04:34:33
 


After two unexpected / additional sessions with it, I was able to capture the actual moment in time of it's first true playback where I actually listened to it to see where we are... what is the starting point going to be...  thought you would enjoy the pic... in fact, here... I'll let you have the full resolution version here: http://www.decware.com/newsite/images/DSC_0052l.JPG

I believe this picture is worth a thousand words... so I'll keep it short.   What am I hearing... amazing balls, incredibly smooth, perhaps too smooth, incredible potential... the voicing will no doubt be quite a ride - I'm sure.  Can't start the voicing with something that sounds this good out the gate until it has actually broken in....  these giant caps can take some real time.
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Reply #65 - 05/17/13 at 04:53:47
 
Darn it, me want! Looks beautiful.
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Reply #66 - 05/17/13 at 05:07:01
 
3 hours into it, the detail is increasing... it's SO the opposite of solid state... interesting.  When any other amp is having a bad hair day... meaning lots of hash in the power grid causing excessive grain and dryness...  I can already see that with this amplifier that is never going to happen...  It's smooth beyond the ability to screw it up.  Put you power plants in the ground and the decomposing steel will enrich the iron content of the soil which will in turn improve the conductivity of your ground rod that your neutral is tied to... this in turn will create blacker backgrounds and better definition than when you had it in your system.   Just a tip.  I have to say what I'm hearing right now is like battery power.  The speed of the entire amplifier is really going to be effected by the main caps...  I'm going to wait to see where it lands wondering if I'll be bypassing the electrolytic with film caps.  I also have a few other experiments going on, or planned lets say, but tonight marks the starting point, and it doesn't suck.

Fun fun fun....  wait to you hear what it took to get to this point...  I'll save that for my next post.

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Reply #67 - 05/17/13 at 05:28:11
 
Crap, I may as well write it down now, otherwise I might forget it... boy getting old sucks.

Well, when I finished the amplifier and there was nothing left to do but test it, I used a variac to slowly raise the supply voltage and remember getting to the half way point on the dial and only getting a B+ of 63 volts vs. the anticipated 210 volts... so I shut it down before I let any of the smoke out.  The smoke is btw, the most tedious process in the manufacturing of parts...  Getting the smoke in the part is expensive which is why letting smoke out of the part is usually fatal.

I don't even remember what it was, but I found the half short and fixed it.  

Try two, turned into a bias issue...  first of all I spent a day getting the bias voltages to work right... this involved a separate  bias supply for each tube operating though a ganged level control feeding a ganged balance control.   The tedium of this is getting the windows of adjust defined....  For example, if you don't want the tube to bias up beyond 80 mills as the absolute max, you have to find the voltage (26.9 volts) that gets it there.  Then you have to define the window for the balance control.  Ideally at least 10 mills minimum, more is better but dangerous in the hands of the ignorant.  So you add the initial window and the balance window together to determine the max and minimum values...  Sadly it's so touchy that even a half a volt can through everything off.  Then when you get it perfect for one band tube, it's less than perfect for another...  It took me over two weeks to get it right on the Zen Torii Mono's...  over 50 hours of testing.

So, after getting it roughed in I was able to play the amp and found I had the right channel out of phase.  In fixing that I wired the ultra linear tap to the wrong pin and connected it directly the negative bias supply.   Upon slowly raising the voltage on the vairac to the half way point, and my face right down in it to see the meters in the mirror under the amp... fireworks as a resistor exploded into shrapnel...  

After fixing that, I ran into an issue with the bias meters on the right channel not acting right... the same channel I almost blew up...  

So I fixed that, but the wired behavior continued on the right channel bias meters...

I then figured The near melt down had compromised the pots used to adjust the bias voltage and balance.  So I replaced them both.    

I then fought with the imbalance on the right channel which was still there despite being identical to the left channel that worked absolutely perfect...  

So for two more days I refined the bias windows and got them closer to a production spec, which is pretty narrow making it hard to damage the amp.  I then found that with less adjustment in balance the imbalance problem between the current draw of the two outputs tubes on the right channel got so bad I couldn't even fire up the amp without burning out one of the tubes and meter, and having the other not even conduct current....

At this stage I realize it's just the same recipe as always.... more pain and suffering = more fidelity and satisfaction.

Tonight I wasted at least two hours calibrating the finicky side just to see if I could make it work again...  getting so ridiculous... tedious... father murphius...

Determined to hear it, I clipped the carefully installed resistors on the the balance controls so that my window increased 10 fold on the right channel, just so I could listen to it tonight.

So  the answer to all this friken problems is clearly seen in tonight's photograph.  Can anyone tell me why one of the meters is overly sensitive and prone to not balance properly?


I'll continue tomorrow...

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Reply #68 - 05/17/13 at 05:43:05
 
4 hours into it and the power transformers are barely warm.... Impressive.  Starting to really open up too.  Rock and Roll lovers.... this may be your amp.
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Reply #69 - 05/17/13 at 06:24:16
 
You have my attention!
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Reply #70 - 05/17/13 at 12:48:30
 
Will this new family member end up between the Torii and the Mono's?
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Reply #71 - 05/17/13 at 18:09:53
 
I am starting to wonder if Steve ever sleeps???
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Reply #72 - 05/18/13 at 13:54:14
 
Hi Steve,

How much power did you measure with this amp so far?
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Reply #73 - 05/18/13 at 13:55:28
 
Are those KT88's you are using as the output tubes?
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Reply #74 - 05/20/13 at 04:00:11
 
Time for another update...

I have never had so much trouble getting bias meters to work properly!  I've had one meter give me fits since the beginning.  In fact the very first thing I did when I first fired this amp with output tubes installed, is peg one of the meters so hard I had to replace it.  

Please take a look here at how much fun it is to replace a meter in this amp!



Each meter has two green oval stickers on it (to help you locate them)  

Wouldn't have been a problem except I had the idea to make the meters even cooler than they are.  To that effect I spent a night drilling holes in the casing after taking the meters completely apart and installing just the exact right LEDs.  That's all find and dandy until you blow a meter...  

Since all ideas actually come from our higher consciousness, and or other entities in that same dimension, it's not hard to figure out that this particular idea was not from the group of dead audio gurus from ancient times that sit around their mirror pool and watch me work...no this idea was from father murphy.  Notice I won't capitalize his name out of disrespect.   In any case, the idea is.

Time out.... before I continue, can anyone guess why I spent literally 10 hours or more trying to get the action of one of the meters balanced with the rest... not to mention the value it read.   The answer is in the last photograph I posted.  If you look at the original size high res version of the photo, it is unmistakable...



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Reply #75 - 05/20/13 at 04:19:48
 
I guess my question would be; why meters, anyway? They don't do much for me at all, I'm not gong to stand over the amp and stare at them. Smiley

I'm sure it's going to be a great amp, but I'm just not sure Decware amps need meters. They sound so amazing you just sink into the music.
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Reply #76 - 05/20/13 at 04:31:43
 
OK... Where were we... ohh yea, the meters...  First of all setting up the bias windows is a real bitch, but then that 's because I have a particular way I want the biasing of the tubes to take place and it simply takes a lot of work to get it to happen.

Most fixed bias amplifiers have a bias pot for each tube, or at least each pair.  Well if it has one pot for a pair of tubes, it's completely useless... don't buy it.  The commonly seen approach is a separate adjustment pot for each output tube.  You would think this is an ideal solution, making it easy to adjust the bias for each tube perfectly.  Sadly it's almost always done from the same bias supply, so when you adjust the bias for one tube, the bias on the other tube chances slightly from where it was.  So, you adjust that tube, and now the one you previously set exactly where you wanted it, moves.   So, you adjust that one again, and the one you just finished has now moved again.  Depending on how much of a perfectionist you are, this can go back and forth about 6 times, before getting a perfect match between the tubes.

A perfect match between the tubes is the goal.  How many mills each tube is adjusted to is also a factor, but that's the kind of thing that once you decide the value and set it, you shouldn't have to ever worry about it again unless you install different tubes.  Sadly with a bias pot for each tube this is not possible.  Even with independent bias supplies and pots for each tube, you still find yourself grouping together the bias in milliamps with the balance between each tube.   It's just ridiculous.

So what I do, is have an independent bias supply for each tube and a ganged pot to control the bias in mills for the pair.  If you want 70 mills, you turn the knob and both tubes change at the same time.  THEN we add a second ganged pot mirror wired between the top and bottom sections to create a balance control.  This balances the mills between the two tubes.   Remember as tubes and the amp warm up, bias changes.  This is why the tedious ritual I described earlier using a separate bias pot for each tube has to be repeated after an hour or so of listening, because when the output tubes are perfectly matched, something audibly exotic happens to the music.  You can be certain that if an amplifier doesn't have meters, this audibly exotic set of balances will never occur.  That's again, because the bias of the tubes change with warm up.  You need a way to adjust quickly look at the amp and see if the two tubes are drawing the exact same number of mills.  If they are not, you need a simply frikin knob to turn to make them that way... all while listening to music, uninterrupted.

This is why you buy Decware.   (whoops that one slipped, sorry)

Obviously you don't want to change the mills that the pair of tubes is set at, you just want them to match.  Perfectly matched tubes are never perfectly matched except at a particular current and temperature which only happens for a short moment during the warmup cycle of the amplifier. Basically if the place you purchased your tubes matched them at the same exact current your amplifier draws, and waiting 30 minutes before testing them, your amp will have matched tubes at the 30 minute mark.  An hour later, they will be off again.  And since most places that test tubes, do them almost cold (5 minute warm up) your amp only has matched tubes for about two minutes just after the five minute mark.

So you see, the only way to achieve zen is to be able to visually see the current draw as tubes warm up, and have a simple way to adjust the balance.   You might do it two or three times in the first 2 hours.  After that you can leave it alone and it will always arrive at the same place after the same amount of time.  However, neurotic audiophiles will always opt to match the tubes at the 10 minute mark when they start listening, at the 40 minute mark when the amp is starting to get warm, and at the 2 hour mark when the amp is totally at peace.

So now you know why father murphy had the idea to put lights in the meters, because meters are important to me in these types of amplifiers.

Anyway, anyone figured out how father murphy messes with Stevieboy?



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Reply #77 - 05/20/13 at 04:48:19
 
Well, here's the answer...

Any time you explore a new sector in the space of amplifier building that has anything to do with bias voltages, you run the risk of accidents and casualties... hence the first meter and tons of my time.

After pulling the meter I pegged and ruined, I thought to myself, why not save a buck and use this meter sitting here above my bench... it seems to work fine.. and this is the prototype which no one but myself will ever own... so if the meter does fail, it won't be a long embarrassing phone call...

With that I installed it into the old meters casing which I had extensively modified and wired with the LED.

THE SIMPLE THINGS ARE THE HARDEST ONES TO FIND
THE SIMPLE THINGS ARE THE HARDEST ONES TO FIND
THE SIMPLE THINGS ARE THE HARDEST ONES TO FIND
THE SIMPLE THINGS ARE THE HARDEST ONES TO FIND
THE SIMPLE THINGS ARE THE HARDEST ONES TO FIND
THE SIMPLE THINGS ARE THE HARDEST ONES TO FIND
THE SIMPLE THINGS ARE THE HARDEST ONES TO FIND

I was so FOCUSED on the action and reading of the meter's dial that I didn't even notice the face after two weeks of staring right at it while it tormented me!

It wasn't until ALMOST getting it to work 70 percent right, that I realized all the bizarre values and extra parts it took to achieve operation were an obvious sign something is seriously wrong.

Then after countless hours (over a week) I finally noticed the face of the damn meter was different... took it apart and found it was actually wired as a millivolt meter (resistor in series with meter vs. meter across resistor).  



So, this was the second time the meter had to be removed and replaced.  BTW, installing the right meter solved all the problems.  Bias windows came out better than perfect.  A monkey can use it.  And it works across the entire range of tubes that might be used in this amp.

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Reply #78 - 05/20/13 at 05:05:32
 
I thought I would share one simple thing that happens during the design and development process, the meter deal... but that's really only one.  I gave serious consideration of making this a real time accurate design log with every detail logged.  It would be great.  But it's too much information.  I'm just not comfortable with giving that much away.  So I'm going to be leaving most if not all of the voicing details out of this thread.  It probably won't seem that way, but yea... it will be.  The underlying point to all of this is that from pain comes gain.  There are no short cuts.  If it goes well, burry it in the back yard because it's a fluke.  You have to feel some real pain, real stress, and real anxiety to release an amplifier that's as good as everything else you've done because each of those things were the same deal.

This is where I part ways with so many "math guys" as I like to call them.  Impressive as they like to pretend they are, all of them voice an amplifier with a scope.  That's like trying to tune a piano with a toilet plunger...  



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Reply #79 - 05/20/13 at 05:27:59
 
Well, interestingly this week I answered a nagging question that's been in the back of my mind for about the last year or two...  and that is:  Can I still hear as well as before?  Do I still have it?  IT being the ability to decide when I hear it, if it's A) RIGHT or B) Not RIGHT.  There is only A and B.  

Tonight after a serious of events that have been going on all week, I found out I most certainly still got it.  I can hear.  I thought it wasn't right... heard it get right, recognized it, and am now happy with it.

While rich with potential, there were things about the sound that weren't 100%.  I'm looking for things in this amp that I haven't yet experienced in any of our other amps so far.  That means it has to do at least something better than everything we've done so far.  The two targets being the twelve thousand dollar TORII monoblocks, and the amp that inspired them, the Zen TORII Mk III.  

I want to experience some new levels in a kind and competent personality which leans to the big side of scale and power.  It has to be ear candy.  Up until tonight, it's been saccharin (artificial sugar) vs. natural real sugar found in Decware fruit.  What a tease...  certainly did pull off a few tricks that I haven't heard, but they were rather anal to be honest...

Between the two (Torii MK III and the Mystery Amp) I wouldn't have to think about it very long to choose the Torii MK III.

So the past couple days I've been deep into the voicing.  Voicing is simply math.  How many different values and brands of parts can you put in the amp and keep it working properly.  Document every combination.  Three days trying plate resistors, brands and values.  A month later after a 4 day cathode resistor examination, the plate resistor combinations must be revisited.  If any changes are made, the cathode resistor choice must be revisited... every part in the amplifier and repeated for at least three different voltages.  This is how you know what sounds best, because you've tried it all.   The original Zen Triode SE84 2 watt SET amp that started Decware has over 6000 hours of voicing.  Now after 20 years I can accomplish the same results in 60 to 300 hours depending on what mood the audio gods are in during the particular time I choose to do it.

As you can see, developing an amplifier with your own name on it is an emotional experience.  It's like giving birth to another kid... not that I'd know what that's like thank GOD, but indeed the damn amps are like children with a complete set of memories of the 9 months before they were put on the web page for sale Wink





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Reply #80 - 05/20/13 at 06:08:49
 
Ouch! Wrong meter???
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Reply #81 - 05/20/13 at 06:09:15
 
The reason I'm still writing tonight is because this is the second main pivotal moment in the amps development where I finally hear it sound the way I want it to.  Until tonight, I was really wondering.  It was good... but it just wasn't doing it for me.   Finding the need to tube roll to try to find the sound I wanted was red flag number one.  BTW, I found my stash of private stock tubes is getting dangerously low.  It was a blessing though.  I was assuming my dissatisfaction lied in the input/phase inverter stage so I wanted to hear it with a variety of different compatible tubes.  Because I could only find two compatible substitutes I heard what I needed to hear but it wasn't what  I wanted to hear.  Moving to the output while waiting for more input tubes to arrive and bingo, the amp I was hoping for enters the room.  It only took about 15 seconds to know THAT sound.

So that is how the evening started, and then after 3 hours after doing something amazing, I found a problem and fixed it.  One of the output tubes vibrated out of the socket enough to turn off the heater and consequently the tube itself.  So one channel only had a single tube (push no pull) and even with this extreme handicap, it not only kept playing, but still sounded good!  I didn't notice anything happen other than the music changed.  This is a real world test that exceeded anything I've made so far...  Should the same thing have happened in the TORII MKIII I would have noticed instantly because the power of the amp would have dissipated to just a few watts resulting in massive distortion.  Yes, I had it up loud...  This experience is a real confidence booster.



So here is my desk.  This is where I'm sitting now.  Obviously I spend a great deal of time here.  To my right is the ceiling of the listening room, where music is on 24/7/365.  Tonight it's on the corner horns.



This is a view as you turn your head right from the desk...



And if you stand up and look down you have this... the listening room...  Corner horns playing.   I can hear them rather well from this vanish point, and enjoy the sound here quit a bit.  It is more revealing of frequency balance than when you down in the listening chair... down there you're too distracted by the imaging to notice anything but obvious frequency balance anomalies.  Up here though, it's like a magnifying glass on frequency balance, timber, decay, speed, and basically everything but the one on one imaging obtainable from the listening chair.

I like to use the Corner Horns for all the rough in on any amp.  They are a great reference speaker which after 25 years can still surprise me like they did tonight!

A song came on that I saved for it's low bass intro that is quite impressive... especially on the corner horns...  I've heard it perhaps 25 times on most of the amps we make driving the corner horns.

While doing all this posting tonight I heard this song come on and well, who would believe me if I told you a pair of 6 inch drivers cracked the concrete and made the entire building shudder?  That's what happened... it was like a butterfly delicately dropped an atom bomb into the space.  It's the new record for what I thought the corner horns were capable of... and if you knew about some of my secret amps you would realize what a HUGE accomplishment that is!

It was so serious, that the amp setting on a bench mounted to the opposite side of the wall from the corner horns, had one of it's tubs vibrate completely out of electrical contact with the socket.

I was sitting here and almost crapped my pants... it was effortless (the bass, not the crap)

That actually started the night, and so far I've just been snuggling into the midrange in one of the most juicy amplifiers I've ever heard...   Think Mini Torii with 10 times the power and 80 times the weight...  it's just in sane...  I really can't believe this design can sound this good...  it certainly didn't with my first choice of tubes and misc settings....

So, if I stopped tonight, it would be a success, I'm certain of it.  I'm just getting started.

-Steve









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Reply #82 - 05/20/13 at 06:17:12
 
Whoops. When I clicked the email for this thread it to me to post 74...did not see the rest and reponded with what turned out to post 80!
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Reply #83 - 05/20/13 at 06:44:57
 
It's just after midnight and appropriately so the sound in the room is simply incredible.  I never get used to it, but with a new life form in the room breathing it's own pattern of perspectives this night is a bit better than normal.

I told Will the other day on the phone that my goal with this amp was to see how far I could take the TORII MKIII platform.  An idea that came from the Zen TORII Mono's.  The sound of those amps is very different than the TORII MK III but equally enjoyable. It's the difference that makes it exciting though.  I had two Monte Carlos.  A 71 and 72.  



This is the 71 big block.

The 72 has a detuned small block from wickedville... the 71 had a 402 big block.  The small block is impressive and has won many times... the big block however is a different feeling...  for example; rather than riding a 18 foot rocket sled with the most insane throttle response ever, we move into riding the Giza Pyramid with so much torque that it pushed 7 million tons of sand out the way as if it weren't even there...  That's the Mystery Amp.  It's sooo juicy!  And that's the beauty of the illusion because don't think it's not fast.... it's every bit as fast as the MK III, perhaps more so, but just so damn big and juicy that I finding myself able to listen to audiophile music and a fair amount of classic rock with brilliant results...  typically not possible without a bi-amp system or sub.

I don't know what the power is yet, not even sure if I'll stay with these tubes, but it is easily over twice the power, twice the current, and twice the damping of the mkIII.  

I'll know when I have success because the following will happen:  I'll walk into my listening room in the evening to do some listening.  The TORII MKIII will be sitting there along side the mystery amp.  I want it to be two completely different experiences... perhaps like two different women and difficult to choose between them them...  There can be no way to predict which amp I will choose on a given night... which is exactly what happened with the Zen TORII Mono's vs. the TORII MKIII.   However at 12 grand, not as many people get to experience their sound when compared to the MK III's very doable 3 grand price.   I wanted a more cost effective way to get the sound and performance of those monos into a ZEN TORII MK III sized package and for about half the price.     I can see now I am going to easily hit that goal.

The bass that is coming out of this amplifier... OMG!!~!!!!  And the meters don't even move.... even the Zen TORII Mono's can't do that without some serious meter action!!!  

So apparently using over twice the microfarads in the power supply does make a difference!!!  Not to mention the red caps... but we'll get to that on another night.

Nearing 1:00 A.M. the sound is getting so sickly good that I can no longer stay here at the desk... Got to go.



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Reply #84 - 05/20/13 at 06:47:07
 
I finished your nights writing....thanks for keeping us in the loop. Congratulations! Tube synergy settling into the rest of the long setup so far...what new doors will this open??? Can't wait to hear!
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« Last Edit: 05/20/13 at 13:41:39 by will »  

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Reply #85 - 05/20/13 at 17:17:49
 
Hi Steve......I worked the graveyard last night and read your message at like 3 am.   What an interesting read!!  While I don't know amp building, I do know cars, and the analogy was perfect....firing on all cylinders so to speak.  

It's sorta like when I had my old '79 Pontiac.  Built like a Sherman tank.  It had a big block with lots of displacement.  The car was fast, not so much off the line...but once it gets going...look out!!

Now I fast forward to my current sports car, a modified 95 Lotus Esprit S4s.  It's 4Cyl. Turbo with high compression and excellent throttle response.  The key is in its lightweight by design, has low drag, and slices through the tarmac. I didn't get a chance to really see its potential until I put it on the Talladega Superspeedway.  The best part is when you lift off the throttle...its shoots fireballs !!  Talk about awesome!!

While both cars are really fast, they are completely different (just like your Monte Carlos).  Which car would I pick to drive...depends on the day, but more than likely the Lotus....it's a purist racecar, and by design it's like a piece of artwork....sorta like all Decware components!!  

This amp sounds amazing...so untame the potential beast that lies within!!  Keep us posted....I am enjoying the read.

Dom
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« Last Edit: 05/21/13 at 04:12:12 by Dom »  
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Reply #86 - 05/21/13 at 23:45:26
 
Beautiful ride Steve.

Jd
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Reply #87 - 05/25/13 at 02:42:30
 
Hi Steve, anything new with the Mystery Amp?
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Reply #88 - 05/25/13 at 03:22:45
 
Careful! Jason of Schiit just threatened to add $50 to the price every time someone asks about their forthcoming amp Wink
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Reply #89 - 05/25/13 at 05:25:43
 
Quote:
AiDee,
Careful! Jason of Schiit just threatened to add $50 to the price every time someone asks about their forthcoming amp


Uh Oh ... better keep my mouth shut Grin
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Reply #90 - 05/31/13 at 17:59:12
 
I hope to read more soon too.  -S
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Reply #91 - 06/23/13 at 04:25:52
 
In the past 30 days I've been working with the amp across a range of speakers and with many different output tubes.   (Maybe I just work too much, but I could swear I wrote this once before, yet I can't seem to find it!) So at the risk of repeating myself...


I've been playing with different output tubes, bias levels, and output transformer ratios.  I've been wrestling with trying to decide what output transformer design I should use, ie. primary impedances and ultra-linear or not.  I feel like I'm making good progress on this front, which was my biggest concern.

I've also learned more about having twice the capacitance of the TORII MONO's combined with lower voltages.  This part of the power supply is like the camshaft in a stroked out high cubic inch motor. Getting the lift and duration and overlap right takes a lot of trial and error unless you're into computer simulations, which I am really not.  The speaker would be the rear end gear against the weight of the car. In a nutshell, we're talking about the speed of the power supply at given frequencies and combinations of frequencies.  The caps were so huge that below 120 Hz when used on the wrong output tap (which will happen in real life) and on worse case speakers, the bass lacked attack and control, although it was incredibly powerful and deeper than I've ever heard it.  I found bypassing it with equal quality electrolytic by F&T fixed the low bass problem but getting the values right is like designing a crossover.  It took two paralleled caps to fix both the low bass and mid bass. I'm now happy with it.

So far my favorite tubes have been the KT66 followed by the KT120's as a close second that I anticipate will actually be determined by the speakers and subjective tastes, so next time I write, I may like the 120's better than the 66's.  That's how this hobby goes!  Point being you can easily use either, or KT88, 6550, EL34, 6CA7.

I also have given up on the negative feedback.  The amp doesn't need it, so it's been wearing a white wedding dress for the past two weeks and never sounded better.

I took an opportunity last night to listen to it on non-decware speakers which the amplifier is largely targeted to... i.e. $7500.00 and up loudspeakers that are the typical 86 / 87dB sensitivity.  To that effect Dave Janszen came over with his latest electrostatic hybrids and we compared the TORII MONO's to the Mystery Amp until 1:30 A.M. and both liked the Mystery Amp a bit more.  It was sweeter, a bit more organic and smoother.  We started with the TORII MKIII but it didn't match well and had some detectible distortion in the low frequencies when turned up.  The Monos made the speakers sing so we used them for most of the evening.  The Mystery amp was tried in the final hours to see what would happen and we could detect no difference in power despite it being probably close to half that of the monos.

The Janszen speakers with the Mystery Amp turned out to be a digit killing combination.  In other words, all 6 digit audio systems should be nervous at risk of being embarrassed.



If you're unfamiliar with JansZen speakers, these are around $7500 and have my full endorsement.
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« Last Edit: 06/25/13 at 00:54:58 by Steve Deckert »  
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Reply #92 - 06/23/13 at 05:54:43
 
Very exciting that you are satisfied with the Mystery Amp at this point, and that it performs so well with less efficient speakers! I look forward to more impressions as you play the amp more. Or could it by chance be complete?!?!?
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« Last Edit: 06/25/13 at 00:53:43 by Steve Deckert »  

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Reply #93 - 06/25/13 at 00:52:04
 
I'm still not sure at this point.  I want to spend several evenings with it on each Decware speaker without having the urge to tweak something.  If it really IS done, that will put us around September.
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Reply #94 - 06/25/13 at 01:10:35
 
Great news! Looking forward to more impressions.
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Reply #95 - 07/07/13 at 04:03:47
 
I am going to start experimenting with the output transformer ratios, wire gauge, core size and see what happens.  Right now, the amp is nearly perfect on all my speakers when on the 4 ohm tap, regardless of the speakers actual impedance.  I want to get it to sound like it does now or better on a higher tap with the same speakers.  That would at minimum give me more voicing possibilities with a given speaker and ensure tight bass without feedback at all times.

That's the update.  Still centering the sound and performance around the KT66.

Steve
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Reply #96 - 07/12/13 at 02:32:52
 
Transformers have the biggest effect on a tube amplifier's sound in my world, so it came as no surprise that this latest intrusion into the amplifiers voicing would be big. (No that's not true... it came as a big surprise!)  And now having just witnesses how different transformers effect the sound again, I still can't help but be amazed at just how much things can change!

After several evenings discussing the output winding topologies we recently tested some classic secondary arrangements with the typical taps against some dual secondary arrangements where windings of different lengths are combined on the same bobbin.  The differences ranged from something that sounded typically real good, to something that sounded magical.  Some interesting stuff since the only main difference is in the pattern of core saturation.  I expected to have to strain to hear the difference, but instead I had to check and see if we were still listening to the same amplifier.

With this rather pleasant discovery I now know this amp is going to be hugely successful.  Optimized for (but not limited to) KT66 output tubes, I'm currently witnessing it sound better than both the Zen Mono's and the TORII MK III.  That doesn't mean it is, because it's still to new and there is some infatuation that will need to wear off before I can actually hear it objectively.

I'll keep you posted as I put the fine polish on it and continue to wrap my head around it.  Right now my comment about the sound would be this:  Generally liquidity and honesty are rarely found in the same amplifier, but this seems to be a reference for both.  Almost too good to be true.  


Steve
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Reply #97 - 07/12/13 at 02:44:30
 
You know, I've built a lot of good amplifiers, but this might be the first time I've ever heard the music become this conscious on great recordings!   Help! It's alive!  



Steve  :)
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Reply #98 - 07/12/13 at 04:21:19
 
Sounds amazing Steve! Thanks for the ongoing story and impressions! If it sounds better than MY Torii is sounding these days, it is truly magical Wink

I hope I can hear it one day!!!
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« Last Edit: 07/12/13 at 04:31:52 by will »  

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Reply #99 - 07/12/13 at 13:32:30
 
So Steve, do you think it will be ready for Zenfest to listen to?
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Reply #100 - 07/12/13 at 23:20:40
 
Steve, I hope you see this question and can clarify a point you made when listening to the Janszen speakers.  We talked just yesterday about my plans to use the Torii MK3 with David's excellent speakers.  When you said above in this thread that the Torii MK3 didn't match well I need to know if you meant in general or when compared to the mystery amp and the mono blocks?

When I got on the list for the Torii MK3 the only other high wattage option was the mono blocks which are not in my spending wheel house.  From listening to the Torii with my speakers I know it won't drive the Janszens to the upper listening levels but I'm not sure I need that.  If you meant that the amp didn't match well because of sonic issues then I am not sure what to do.  It sure sounded like heaven to me.  I may still need to learn more about the mystery amp.  Is it really the amp I should be considering?  I'm probably targeting into September on the waiting list as it is with the Torii MK3.

Please give me an honest assessment if I need to rethink using the Torii MK3 with the Janszen speakers.  This will be my last amp and I'd rather not make a mistake.  The Janszen speakers aren't going anywhere.  They are keepers.  Others with average efficiency speakers may also be interested in your take.

Scott Marsh
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« Last Edit: 07/13/13 at 01:06:59 by jsm71 »  
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Reply #101 - 07/15/13 at 20:24:29
 
"When you use a 2000 microfarad capacitor that's the size of a milk bottle the game changes and the tube rectifier becomes the clear looser in this contest".

NO Negative Feedback (Class A.....because AB sucks)

Your custom Tranny (coveted for good reason)

Glorious with the JansZen 87db 1 watt/1 meter.......

I will overnight a certified Bank check for the first one ready to order....let me know.

Thanks Steve for another masterpiece coming down the pike to put the $6800 to $8800 dollar range of Amps on there EAR!  ....and many at twice that........ .      -Stone of Tone

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« Last Edit: 07/15/13 at 20:55:58 by stone_of_tone »  

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Reply #102 - 07/17/13 at 16:05:18
 
Okay, I know I should not ask...but my curiosity is getting the best of me.

KT66 run in Triode as well as ultra linear Pentode (switch on the fly)?
I have no problem with turning the Amp off to switch between the two-if need be.

XLR (balanced inputs) as well as RCA line level (we got that peek-aboo?)

What is the input driver (preamp) tube? ....it does not look like a 6H30...but, more of a conventional one.... .

Listening to my SE84CS right now sitting in the next room typing this....Larry Carlton Playing sweetly.

So, why the Mystery Amp?  I want low end + a little more headroom without adding a Sub. However, maintaining the Transparency & Timbre Texture of the SE84CS & CKC...or coming damn close.

Candidates Are:

Mystery Amp, Audio Research Reference 75 & BAT VK-55 SE
I will run the AR or BAT direct via NAD M51 Dac, with its Balanced outputs to inputs of the Amp(s) or RCA to XLR adaptors run directly from my Audio Alchemy 3.0 Dac via remote as well.

Hope everyone is having a great summer.  Cheers, Stone of Tone

PS-the SE84CS & CKC will always remain in use...because they will always do what no other Amps can do.........I just want another flavor as layed out in Steve's Car analogy. Steve's Monte Carlo is sweet-the paint and clear coat on it, are 2nd to none (plus under the hood).
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« Last Edit: 07/17/13 at 16:45:51 by stone_of_tone »  

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Reply #103 - 07/17/13 at 18:24:08
 
Quote:
Steve, I hope you see this question and can clarify a point you made when listening to the Janszen speakers.  We talked just yesterday about my plans to use the Torii MK3 with David's excellent speakers.  When you said above in this thread that the Torii MK3 didn't match well I need to know if you meant in general or when compared to the mystery amp and the mono blocks?

When I got on the list for the Torii MK3 the only other high wattage option was the mono blocks which are not in my spending wheel house.  From listening to the Torii with my speakers I know it won't drive the Janszens to the upper listening levels but I'm not sure I need that.  If you meant that the amp didn't match well because of sonic issues then I am not sure what to do.  It sure sounded like heaven to me.  I may still need to learn more about the mystery amp.  Is it really the amp I should be considering?  I'm probably targeting into September on the waiting list as it is with the Torii MK3.

Please give me an honest assessment if I need to rethink using the Torii MK3 with the Janszen speakers.  This will be my last amp and I'd rather not make a mistake.  The Janszen speakers aren't going anywhere.  They are keepers.  Others with average efficiency speakers may also be interested in your take.

Scott Marsh


Hi Scott,

The sound of the Torii MKIII on the Janszen speakers is wonderful.  The catch is that you are limited to a modest volume during playback.  When Dave was here testing the combo, he said he heard distortion in the lower frequencies.  Rather than try different taps or adjust the bass dampening control on the MK III, we just put in a bigger amp because it was clear he wanted the ability to play the speakers loud on demand.

The Mystery Amp had no issues.  It will be available by October, so my advise would be to either get it, or try the TORII MKIII and see for yourself if it is enough power for you.  I know of one other customer who has these speakers and amp combo who loves it and has never complained of lack of power, so really only you can tell this for yourself.

Should the MKIII not be enough power, I would let you keep it until your Mystery Amp is ready to ship.

Steve
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #104 - 07/17/13 at 18:37:14
 
Quote:
Okay, I know I should not ask...but my curiosity is getting the best of me.

KT66 run in Triode as well as ultra linear Pentode (switch on the fly)?
I have no problem with turning the Amp off to switch between the two-if need be.


The fundamental characteristics of an amplifier's sound are different enough between Pentode and Triode that a great sounding amplifier would have to be voiced differently for each.  I would rather pick the best sounding one, voice the amp to maximize that, so that's what I'm doing.

Quote:
XLR (balanced inputs) as well as RCA line level (we got that peek-aboo?)


Yes, RCA line level standard, fully transformer balanced XLR will be an option.

Quote:
What is the input driver (preamp) tube? ....it does not look like a 6H30...but, more of a conventional one.... .


6922, 6N1P, 6N23P

Listening to my SE84CS right now sitting in the next room typing this....Larry Carlton Playing sweetly.

So, why the Mystery Amp?  I want low end + a little more headroom without adding a Sub. However, maintaining the Transparency & Timbre Texture of the SE84CS & CKC...or coming damn close.

Candidates Are:

Mystery Amp, Audio Research Reference 75 & BAT VK-55 SE
I will run the AR or BAT direct via NAD M51 Dac, with its Balanced outputs to inputs of the Amp(s) or RCA to XLR adaptors run directly from my Audio Alchemy 3.0 Dac via remote as well.

Hope everyone is having a great summer.  Cheers, Stone of Tone

PS-the SE84CS & CKC will always remain in use...because they will always do what no other Amps can do.........I just want another flavor as layed out in Steve's Car analogy. Steve's Monte Carlo is sweet-the paint and clear coat on it, are 2nd to none (plus under the hood).
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #105 - 07/17/13 at 18:44:08
 
So, just an update that things are going very well.  I have now had the opportunity to spend many evenings with it on a variety of speakers and sources and haven't heard a single thing I didn't like, so it is most likely finished now.  Unless I change my mind, which is doubtful, I will have it ready to sell by October and we will debut it at this years Decfest.

I'll continue updates between now and then.  At this point my mind is shifting to taking notes while I listen, doing direct A/B/C comparisons between the three TORII's and figuring out the copy for the web page and what I'm going to want to say.

Steve
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #106 - 07/17/13 at 23:36:40
 
Thanks Steve for those answers and I look forward to your A/B/C comparisons and the October release with Copy.    

I hope you offer an introductory gig on it (via email release)....and I will pull the trigger on that.  

Have a great rest of your summer and get out in the Boat!  -Larry
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #107 - 07/23/13 at 20:54:53
 
Okay, unless I missed it.....?

Is this a Integrated Amp with Stepped Potentiometer? The front controls are just for Bias adjustment with the meters for each KT66 tube.  So, on the mech drawing on page 3 or 4, I think it was....where is the volume control?

-Stone
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« Last Edit: 07/23/13 at 20:58:29 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #108 - 08/08/13 at 17:10:13
 
Hey Steve... how about some more updates on the Mystery Amp..!!!??

give us some teasers... what will it be named officially?  what will it look like in production - more pics, more pics.. what is the official power rating... etc. etc.  Compare and contrast its sound to the Torii and other Decware amps.  I'm just getting settled into my relationship with my Torii (about 6 months) and now you have to come along and introduce me to her big sister!  Will this cause me to be unfaithful to my first love!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #109 - 08/14/13 at 15:45:55
 
OK... I give - no more info from Steve.

Does anybody know if the new amp will have the treble shunt and bass "Q" controls like the Torii MKIII has?  Those tweak features on the Torii are the cat's meow for dialing in a single, full-range, high-efficiency driver, xoverless type of speaker...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #110 - 08/14/13 at 15:55:46
 
I agree. . . those are killer controls that I love having on the Torii Mk III I have.

But. . .if you have a high efficiency driver. . . one probably wouldn't need the mystery amp, one of the super little guys should do it ALL and then some. . . .
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #111 - 08/14/13 at 16:36:15
 
well... that remains to be seen, agh - "heard" I mean.  regardless of power rating... if the mystery amp "sounds" better to my ears, then I'll think I need to replace my Torii.... that's just the way audio nervosa goes.. you know!!   Grin
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #112 - 08/14/13 at 17:16:27
 
Steve is keeping us in suspense.

This Amp is for less efficient Speakers as Lon eluded too. I hope it has the Stepped Attenuator like the Mono's. I like to augment the sweet spot driving the Amp directly from my DAC attenuation. Of course, it will drive efficient design Speakers too.

......loudspeakers that are the typical 86 / 87dB sensitivity.  To that effect the Janszen 's as listened to and posted by Steve.
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« Last Edit: 08/14/13 at 17:18:39 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #113 - 08/22/13 at 22:31:05
 
While it will drive the less efficient speakers rather well, as demonstrated on the Janszen's, I have been doing the majority of my listening with higher efficiency speakers.  Reason being, the additional detail and dynamics of the higher efficiency speakers are more telling of what an amp really sounds like.  It would be easy to make the amp a bit glassy on the top end without even knowing it if all I used for voicing were Magnepans... or other slow, power hungry speakers.

The reason I haven't updated the thread is because I am listening to the amp daily to see if I change it.  I'm a fidgety person so if the amp is left untouched as the result of not hearing anything I think could be noticeably better, then I know we have a winner. So far I haven't touched it, and doubt I will.

I have not made direct A/B/C comparison with the other amps yet, because that would likely skew my perceptions of the new amp.  I need to first hear it as though I was a customer who had never heard the other two.  Then the test will be, hearing the other two side by side and seeing if I still like it as much.

Steve Wink
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #114 - 08/27/13 at 17:13:34
 
Steve, I'm seriously considering this amp if you feel it will have that attention to detail that I love about my Zen Amp, but with a little more push. I'm not sure I could afford the new Torii IV - but if this fits right in-between (price wise) and gets me closer to that holographic sound with more oomph than my one off Zen amp...I'll get in line!

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #115 - 08/27/13 at 17:31:16
 
Torii Mk III  (25 watts)  about $3K
Mystery Amp (35 watts) about $5K
Torii Mono's (60 watts) about $12K
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Reply #116 - 08/27/13 at 17:37:20
 
Lonely Raven,  I've been following this tread and I think the Mystery Amp will be considerably more expensive than the Torii IV....more in the $5500 ballpark.  The power would probably be around 50 watts per channel....if I'm reading between the lines correctly.  Of course it's all just speculation on my part, until we get more details from "The Man".
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Reply #117 - 08/27/13 at 17:38:46
 
Unbelievable...Steve responded with details while I was typing by last post....thanks Steve!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #118 - 08/28/13 at 16:07:29
 

Ahh, I must have misread. I thought I read somewhere that this was placed between the Zen and Torii. I didn't realize it would be between the Torii and Monos.

Ok, looks like I need to digu p $3k for a Torii III/IV

~Eric~
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #119 - 08/28/13 at 18:38:41
 
I've been using a Torii MK.III for about 6 months now.  I'm really curious to hear the "mystery amp".  The Torii paired with high-efficiency, crossoverless, full range driver type speakers is the best sound I've ever heard, at any price - bar none.  Competing with anything I've ever heard at RMAF or anywhere else.  I'm not sure how much better it can get.  Get a speaker that is compatible with the Torii's 25 watts and just sit back and be amazed and enjoy the music.  I am attending Zenfest in about a month.  To say I'm anxious to hear the Mystery Amp and the Torii IV would be an understatement.  
I heard the mono's last year at Zenfest.. yes they are good - if you need the power.  But to my ears, the sonic differences were subtle - you'd need volume matched A/B comparisons to hear it and/or have listened to both for many, many hours to distinguish the two.  Considering the cost differential, I'd go with the Torii and roll a few tubes to tweak the sound to my liking - and spend the extra $$$ on speakers and music... I'm just saying.
I'll be listening closely to the Torii MKIV .vs. MK.III .vs. the Mystery Amp at the fest this year to see what I hear before I get in the queue for an upgrade.  Will I hear a difference?  Probably - will that "difference" be perceived as "better"?  Will it be worth the extra $$$?  Only our ears can tell us!!!   Grin
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #120 - 08/30/13 at 17:18:14
 
Thanks Steve, for these updates. I hope your back is healing up.

I plan on purchasing the Mystery Amp. I have returned my Primaluna Dialogue Five and PS Audio PWT/PWDII. I have freed up the funds to proceed with this Amp.

I own the SE84CS stock & SuperZen CKC.....never to be sold. I regret letting my Torii MKIII go. Point being, you don't make Amps that sound "just good enough". You sir, pain staking create instruments for the music to get out.

I look forward to its release. Cheers to all, and all have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend.    -Stone of Tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #121 - 08/31/13 at 00:39:52
 
Too bad you didn't love the PS Audio Duo, sorry if I steered you wrong, I just adore mine.

Why the Mystery Amp Tone?  Why not a used Torii Mk III (I bet you'll see some on the market!) or a Mk IV?  I mean, you don't need the power of the Mystery Amp. I can't see myself needing the power of one until I buy a big ass house somewhere if I ever do in the future. And if that happened it would probably be the Mystery Amp Mk XXVI!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #122 - 08/31/13 at 04:42:08
 
Quote:
Lon said,
Too bad you didn't love the PS Audio Duo ...


I bet he just adores the Audio Alchemy stuff ... he's said it on many occasions ... he's runined for anything but Decware and Audio Alchemy Grin
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #123 - 08/31/13 at 14:56:59
 
Lon, you did not stir me wrong. I have always appreciated your input. I am also very pleased with Music Direct not having a restocking fee. I also returned the Primaluna Amp as noted. I took a hit on that one...but I needed to reconfirm to myself how Decware is just plain superior.

I do need the Power. I sold my Torii MKIII because I wanted more Power in my Living Room Rig.....where the Mystery Amp will be.
Steve wrote:
"That actually started the night, and so far I've just been snuggling into the midrange in one of the most juicy amplifiers I've ever heard...   Think Mini Torii with 10 times the power and 80 times the weight...  it's just insane...  I really can't believe this design can sound this good...  it certainly didn't with my first choice of tubes and misc settings....

So, if I stopped tonight, it would be a success, I'm certain of it.  I'm just getting started".
I have heard the Mini-Torii in 2008 with Tube regulation....now add 10 time the Power and 80 times the weight.

The development of the Torii Mono's & the Mystery Amp, I believe has led to the significant development now found in the Torii MKIV***. Steve will need to confirm my speculation on this. That development being the no negative feedback circuit for more Transparency.....bring these push pull Amps with no Negative Feedback closer to the Transparency of the SE84CS which is benchmark for me...and will reign in my Listening Room until it is dethroned. The huge Caps on the Mystery Amp will take for ever to burn in....then I bring it in the Listening Room someday. But, it is for the Power to run my Polk SRS SDA 1.2 Speakers.

*** Steve wrote:
•In place of the adjustable bass dampening control I have created a re-constructive feedback circuit that improves clarity, detail, and definition at all frequencies.  It is on a switch so that you can use it or not use it.  (everyone will likely use it)   This mod replaces the bypass caps that were on the cathode of the input stage.  Those caps eliminated the naturally occurring local negative feedback in that tube.  Instead of a bypass cap, I use the output transformer in series with a couple networks that float the output stage above ground slightly.  The result is less phase angle distortion resulting in better transparency.  This was an accident, that turned into another discovery.  It's one of the cooler things that's happened in the past couple years and it will be fun to here peoples impressions of it as they get their MK III's updated.
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« Last Edit: 08/31/13 at 15:02:10 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #124 - 08/31/13 at 15:03:35
 
Okay cool. I'm not at all tempted by the Mystery Amp or the Mk IV. I don't need more power, and I think the Mk III is more "flexible" than the Mk IV will be, and a well seasoned Mk III is just butter for me, just what I want. More transparency does not mean more musicality for me, I have more bad recordings than good to listen to and with the flexibility of the Mk IIIs I have I can make things listenable, and I listen.

I have a Vaughn-modified C amp in my Dad's system and while my original Mk III was back in Peoria for upgrading I had it in my main system. I really do see the super transparency and magic in those amps, but I can honestly say I missed my Mk III insanely and really prefer its mellow drive and ability to be made more forgiving. That I need most. It has gobs of weight too with the HR-1s or ERRs. I can't ask for more and won't.

But I'm excited for you! Keep us posted! (I know you will).
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« Last Edit: 08/31/13 at 15:05:59 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #125 - 09/04/13 at 22:44:37
 
I hear you Lon. I am very interested in the HR 1 as well. I am going to Decfest! I will hear them till the wee hours of the morning before retreating to my Hotel Room.

I have these Polk SRS SDA 1.2 Speakers I have become so enamored with (outside the Listening Room) in my Living Room. They can be run with as little as 21 watts per channel in Triode and 42 in push pull as I witnessed from the Primaluna Dialogue Five I had briefly. Briefly, is correct....Upscale Audio only had a 14 day trial period on the Prima and a 10% restocking fee. I spent a lot of time with them....and the short trial period was just as lame as the Primaluna Amp was! But, I digress..... .

I know the Mystery Amp can Power them (Polk SRS SDA 1.2) first hand and by the late Julian Hirsch measurements of these fun Powerhouse Speakers.
I am also interested in running the new KT120 Tubes in it. I want this different animal in the Living Room vs. what I have in my Listening room.

http://www.polksda.com/srsreview.shtml      -Stone

PS-Beowulf, YES.....I am fortunate to have Audio Alchemy since 1995 and it takes a back seat to nothing when decoding the Redbook Stnd. Peter Madnick was paid to go away I think (he never has really gone away/just stopped making 2k Dac combo's that kick the sh_ _ out of other under 10k DACS)....he should design for McGowan IMHO. The PMD 100 & 200 Chips from Pacific Microsonics/Prof Johnson of Referecne Recordings....dual 20 bit Ladder DACS (one per channel)...analog output stage....Peter's design.....and the Volume Attenuator with adjustable voltage output....I rest my case.  Party on Wayne-Party on Garth.

If I hit the Powerball....I will call Peter Madnick on the phone and have his Constellation System(s) installed!  hehe

http://constellationaudio.com/ca/index.php

http://www.theaudiobeat.com/ces2011/ces2011_ss_peter_madnick.htm

.... including Peter Madnick, Audio Alchemy's co-founder. Audio Alchemy's little back boxes, long discontinued (the brand sadly disappeared after it was acquired from the original partners) (uhmmm), are still highly coveted by studios and audiophiles around the world.

Telarc used the Pro 32 & 3.0 DAC in Studio...to name one.
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« Last Edit: 09/04/13 at 23:42:09 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #126 - 09/05/13 at 05:05:31
 
Stone, from the way you talk about those Polks I gotta hear them sometime!  Just checking, but is this the setup you have with the Audio Alchemy stuff?  If so, not a bad price ...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #127 - 09/06/13 at 06:03:37
 


Another Update:  In the final hours with only 29 days to the opening curtain (DECFEST 2013) I'm pleased to report things are going well despite a few attempts to upset the applecart by the powers that be.

One attempt was the accidental improvement I made in the TORII MK IV.  Obviously if the audio Gods were going to pick a time to enlighten, it would be an attempt to humble, so they made the MK IV almost twice as good just to test my resolve on the Mystery amp.  I still like it.  No, Love it.  The two will no doubt be compared over and over again but it will always be apples and oranges making the comparisons futile.

Another attempt was disguised as Father Murphy when the amp developed a hum that it never had before... and with only a month left till curtain time... go figure.  Turns out it was the audio Gods helping me do some final tweaking by using Father Murphy to steer me to the idea.  I had a ground at the input jacks which are supposed to be isolated. It developed with expansion and cooling of the chassis over time compromising the insulator. I couldn't figure out what happened for days. Last night I told my friend Dave that the amp could be fixed without adding any parts at his insistence that it would need another pie filter and more segregated supplies... even though I had no idea what the solution was I knew it wasn't what everything was pointing to.  Today I worked all day on tracing the eddy currents in the chassis chasing what I call inter-dimensional ground loops trying to make the hum stop.  I discovered that with this insulator compromised a ground loop had developed through the input cables and volume pot, but not until AFTER discovering a better way to ground it which corrected the problem in the first place... so now when UPS vibrates the thing to death in the back of their trucks and an input jack grounds itself at the chassis, the amplifier will still remain hum free and work perfectly.

This is how you know you're being guided by a higher power, because it is assumed these spirits transcend time and can therefor see into the future.  Saw one of these amps start humming and disappoint the hell out of a special customer which caused an unpleasant chain of events.  Decided to tell me about it.

Anyway, the fact that Father Murphy and the Audio Gods are active in these final weeks is good news, and gives me great confidence in what I'm hearing.

Speaking of that, I have been listening to my newest speakers with it and the sound quality and refinement is amazing.  They actually made my corner horns sound like sand paper in the top end... first time ever.  

So I will keep you posted as things continue, meanwhile I'm still listening to it, and tomorrow without the hum and stress of not knowing how to make it go away.


-Steve
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« Last Edit: 09/06/13 at 06:05:04 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #128 - 09/06/13 at 15:46:26
 

Newest Speakers? Which ones?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #129 - 09/06/13 at 16:26:53
 
The DM945's with the bass trap.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #130 - 09/07/13 at 13:20:09
 
Nope, Beowulf....the thread post you put up is for the cheapy Alchemy stuff.

Steve, very cool how this shook down on solving the hum and a better way to ground it.....for the Mystery Amp!

I look forward to hearing it with the DM945's.  I can't wait till the Fest...I sold Medtronic stock...and I'm jonesin' for some Decware Products.   -Stone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #131 - 09/07/13 at 15:20:30
 
I might have to reduce or liquidate some positions myself, if this continues.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #132 - 09/09/13 at 17:05:03
 
10-Roger all that.  Just when I thought I was about to get the system settled for a bit... then along comes all this stuff.  There is no cure for audiophile nervosa.  And there is only one semi-effective treatment: constant infusion of new & improved !!!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #133 - 09/09/13 at 17:15:35
 
Not to much audiophile nervousa for me. If the piece does not cut it after appropriate set up and burn in...it gets returned or sold...like some of my recent endeavors. I just know what I like when I hear it....then buy/enjoy and keep it.    3 weeks & 4 days until the FEST!

I have had my AA Front End for 18.5 years and counting.
I have had my SE84CS for 12 yrs & 3 months.
I have had my SuperZen CKC for 10 months....never to be sold.
I have had my Kimber Select 1030 IC & 3033 Speaker cable for 13.5 yrs.
I have had my Parker Crusader's for 8 years.
I have had my Polk LS90 for 20 yrs & 6 months.
My Vintage Polk SDA 1's for 2 years next month.
(*these musical SDA 1's stay in the Listening RM with LS90 switch outs...my behemoth SRS SDA 1.2 Speakers are out in the Living Room*)

I am in my 3rd house with my best Acoustically Treated Room yet!
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« Last Edit: 09/09/13 at 17:21:08 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #134 - 09/09/13 at 18:34:03
 
Stone, I'd love to know more about your acoustically treated room! Do you happen to have a thread here? Photos?
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Reply #135 - 09/09/13 at 20:07:24
 
LR, I have never posted pic's before. I will though, eventually.

I have four Systems with my latest creation being my Klipsch Reference RF-7 II's out in my Garage. I'm not a big Klipsch fan by any means. But, these are fun out there. My neighbor friends don't understand Tone/Texture or want to have Stan Getz, Coleman Hawkins or Ben Webster in the room. Or, bare notice to and the enjoyment of whom a particular saxophonist is and the different TONE, each of these Saxophonists has. So, the Listening Room is beyond their scope. However, the Garage with the RF-7 II's and my Living Room Rig with my Polk SRS SDA 1.2 Speakers.....they can wrap their brains around.

Anyway, my Acoustically treated room is done frugally (I'm not cheap-just Frugal).
I used Natural-Aire air cleaning filters for diffusion, without any cardboard grid enclosure around them/just raw of course (18 of them 20 x 30"...they are green/I like green). I also have Michael Greene Room Tunes Triangles in the upper four corners of the room for high frequencies.  It is quite tasteful looking (really). I used clear push pins (6 per panel).  -Stone
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« Last Edit: 09/09/13 at 20:46:11 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #136 - 09/09/13 at 21:27:41
 
Stone -

had a pair of sda srs 2.3TL's many moons ago.  Interesting speaker - they were a ton of fun.  Crossover's in them are beyond complex for the full blown SDA part.  Good luck figuring out what it does when the caps go bad and drift out of spec. over the years.  I have heard you can still get replacement 6.5" drivers from Polk for them - not sure about the tweeters.  I wouldn't mind having a pair of them to play with again someday - as long as I can get parts.  I have two other speaker projects in the works right now though.  And just completed my first DIY crossoverless, high efficiency, full range project - a true revelation in detail resolution and realism - bettering anything I have ever owned and about as good as anything I've ever heard - at any price.

I'm preparing to go down the Decware diffusor path shortly, though my current room is dead as a door nail.  A little too dead actually.  However, with an impending remodel though, I'm afraid I'm going to have a much more "live" room to deal with.  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #137 - 09/09/13 at 22:05:40
 
I am no solder slinger....so I envy you maddog.

However, I have a good guy just down the road at:
http://www.midwestspeaker.com/

He refurbed my SDA 1 (just the Spiders needed some work)...I use in Stereo only in my Listening Room. No SDA needed at 76 - 82db SPL on these with my SE84CS. Xover...everything else is fine on them.

My big guys SRS SDA 1.2 Polks are still in spec/and I do run them in SDA all the time (Living Room System). Great thing is you can update/upgrade these to 1.2TL's with parts from Polk shipped to my guy at Midwest Speaker. So, if they start to go wonky on me...I'll have the work done and they will come back to me even better.

The Polk Forum tends to have Zealots and Facists on it...but I don't let it detract from these great Speakers. The Polk Forum is where I learned that SDA's can be upgraded, yes TL Tweeter's and the ISOPhase Xover- better than ever compared to the original parts-to live forever. 

I prefer the two pair of conventional Speakers I have found, out of 13 I have had and still own 10 pair.....my LS90 & SDA 1 gives up the most musical texture in my treated Listening Room with my SE84CS (Zen Select)...between 76-82db SPL.  Not a fan of single driver efficiency just for the sake of playing louder and they get away from the Natural Timbre of the Instruments for me. I have my SRS SDA 1.2 for playing louder-which with SDA are pretty damn good....just no where near the SE84CS in my Listening Room....where I do have weight and dynamics....but also have that ultimate Timbre/Tone I like over single driver Xoverless.  

However, I look forward to hearing the HR 1's and Listen to everything Steve has to offer at the Fest...it has been awhile (5 years).  ....and of course the Mystery Amp that can drive anything....up my ally for the big guys in my Living Room! Or, it might end up in my Listening Room too. But..........the SE84CS is a pretty tough NUT to Crack.
  -Stone

PS-my SuperZen CKC continues to Burn in.....in my bedroom system with my Zen Styx. It will make its way back into the Listening Room for a full evaluation again with my AA Front End, Kimber Select 1030 IC & Kimber Select 3033 Speaker Cable.  She is getting there..... .
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« Last Edit: 09/09/13 at 22:43:42 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #138 - 09/10/13 at 18:59:24
 
Loved the sda's for their "party" ability.  Do you have the "bass brace" also?

I have owned over 30 pairs of speakers across my audiofool years - and counting.  I have 4 completely different types on hand right now - soon to have a fifth.  I have never heard any speaker, at any price(including several ribbon and electrostat models), that contains a pile of passive crossover parts that can compete with the speed, detail resolution, micro dynamics, transient snap and most realistic and natural "tone" of the high-efficiency, full range single driver DIY speaker project I just completed a few months ago - this "opinion" only applies when they are driven by my Torii MK.3.  Stringed acoustic instruments, piano and the human voice are simply "in the room" spooky real, emotion invoking, hair on the back of the neck raising, good.  I got started on this "quest" after several years of trips to the RMAF, where every speaker I heard of this type, just kept drawing me back to their room - they sounded so real, so detailed without being forward or fatiguing.  This was back when I was a pure solid-state guy.  I had to convert to "tubes" to embark on this recent leg of my audio journey.  Still a tube noob... but I'm getting there.

I've hauled my Torii around to several other local audiophile friends houses to hook it to their speakers - all types that have crossovers.  At this point in time, so far, I can only conclude that the real magic is coming from the "lack of a crossover".  While the Torii exhibits its characteristic sonic personality to some degree on every speaker I've hooked it to so far, the real magic has only occurred "so far" on speakers with no resistors, capacitors, inductors futzing around with the signal.
I would speculate, that perhaps it is possible to get to this level of rez and realism in speakers with passive xovers using ubber expensive, super sonic, space modulated caps, coils and resistors... but why bother going to the hassle and expense?
while the 12" full rangers I am using get more than loud enough in what is basically a 2400 sq.ft. room with a 9ft ceiling.  If I want even more weight and volume... I can double or triple up on drivers.  There are some DIY'ers out there, that have done just that.  And I am kind of doing that on the soon to be 5th pair of speakers I mentioned above, which are Hawthorne Audio Trio's - being customized to my desire by Hawthorne.

I think one of the greatest things about our hobby, is that the level of satisfaction any of us can attain with our audio systems can be achieved via so many different methods, combinations and paths.  This keeps us all "on the hunt" for that next great thing that will get our MoJo's workin'.  
I'd love to hear your setup with the sda's.  Last Polks I owned were 10B's.. a very musical speaker.  had them in our first HT as main front L/R's.  This was after I had the 2.3's in the man-cave system.  A friend of mine still has this pair of 10B's.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #139 - 09/11/13 at 15:14:47
 
I know their is one thing we can all certainly agree on; the common denominator for our Listening preferences and pleasure is a DECWARE Amplifier.

I agree Maddog...that the level of our satisfaction can be attained through so many different methods and paths.

You mentioned "Mojo".....I still visit my LISTENER Magazine's and visit Harvey Gizmo's site......to fire up my Mojo. I miss that dude and I think he would have loved Steve's Amps.

If he didn't?! I would argue with him at a show about it with his Celt and Tube Head Dress on! "Pentodes run in Triode are the best Harvey....proof is in the Listening...so take your 300B Tube and........." .
...(and Tubes run in Push-Pull with no negative feedback are awesome too...if the rest of the Topology is up to the task...as it is in Steve's Amps...Primaluna need not apply).

http://www.meta-gizmo.net/Tri/intro-tri.html
I took my "Stone of Tone" moniker from Harvey (title of one of his papers/writings...to be found in his archives at the site).
http://www.meta-gizmo.net/Tri/index-1.html

As enticed as I am about the new Torii IV.....I want what is closest to the Mono's for my Living Room 2 channel CD & Vinyl Listening pleasure. That being the Mystery Amplifier with common ground for my SRS SDA 1.2 Polk Speakers. If I don't like it with these Speakers? I have at least 3 other candidates in the house....or I'll just have to get the HR 1 to mate with them. Even though the HR 1 does not need the Mystery Amp grip/power....but will be interesting to hear at the FEST with the MysA. The JanZen's Steve had in-house intrigue me too.

Steve's email-sent this morning:
"This year I am particularly looking forward to revealing the Mystery Amp, as I believe under the context of being designed for the absolute most serious audiophiles, it is my best sounding amplifier to date".

He put a full/small teaser picture too.

It might take a year to two years to fully break it in....but I believe it will be worth it. My CKC continues to improve at 10.5 months......I am digin' the Jupiter Caps. The Mystery Amp, SE84CS & CKC should complete my Stable.  

Then on to the HR 1's........before the Snow melts!
(Yea, I did not forget about the 12 weeks to have them made....the Amp too).

PS-if you do read "The Stone of Tone" Paper by Harvey....realize, I appreciate its content in the context of the metaphor. I do not do the Chronic for Listening Smiley. However, I do enjoy a good cup of coffee with my morning Listening or sometimes, a couple of Summit Extra Pale Ales with evening Listening.    



"TUBES SOUND BETTER THAN SOLID STATE. Something didn't seem right about this at first because tubes were the old fashioned gear that we just chucked in favor of PERFECT solid state.

Who can we trust? Yet, every rock and roll guitarist used a tube amp. It only took one taste…under the influence to hear the big gaping gap between tubes and transistors. After we heard this big sound gap, and we weren't stoned, we could still hear the big sound gap, and we were confused….but our ears were telling us a profound truth".
http://www.meta-gizmo.net/Tri/adv/STONEO_TONE.html

From Harvey...and I quote:
"I am not suggesting marijuana smoking is the strategy to determine what audio electronics are best for you, because it is a waste of money, and could get you arrested. There is a better path to take you the high place you aspire to…just listen to music with tube electronics because it will affect your mind exactly the same way…because only tube circuits can create natural tone. Only tube electronics can alter your mind in the right way.

Now let me give you the world's quickest pedagogic insight about why tonal quality is so critical, and it is purely pragmatic and empirical: Tone is the most important musical attribute because tone it is the elixir, the stimulant of musical ecstasy. It is well documented that the right combination of even and odd order harmonics, which determine tonal quality, stimulates our brain to secrete endorphins, dopamine, and other exotic brain juices, which induces a very pleasureful "high" out of body experiences. Harmonics are an exogenous neural excitant: harmonics are an external stimulant that excites the nerve endings of our brain..like sex, the smell of barbecued steak, or the vibrations of a V-8 motor…and makes the brain juices of ecstasy flow".

IMHO...I rest my case..... .  Stone of Tone

PS-Maddog...I do not have the Bass Brace....also was used so Toddlers and Pets would not parish if they knocked these behemoths over on themselves...yikes! My kids are older now and live with their mother. Talking of further augmenting bass....I do have a HSU MBM 12" just behind the couch.  I do enjoy this piece out in the Living Room. Not necessary in the Listening Room.
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« Last Edit: 09/11/13 at 17:11:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #140 - 09/11/13 at 18:26:16
 
Update:

The amp is now 100% complete and ready for battle.



It's a meaty bugger...  takes one man to lift it, but takes two men to set it down carefully... it's just insanely heavy.  

After hearing what this amp does with 24 bit 384kHz PCM files as well as SACD 2.8mhZ and 5.6Mhz files I am spoiled for life. My entire CD collection is now officially garbage and will never pollute these ears again. Thank God I lived long enough to see digital playback finally sound good enough to compete with vinyl... it gives me great hope for the future of audio.

Steve



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« Last Edit: 09/11/13 at 18:30:04 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #141 - 09/11/13 at 18:39:39
 
Amazing! Congratulations Steve (and all of us who get to hear it)!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #142 - 09/11/13 at 22:33:34
 
Look at that beautiful beast!

Steve, how heavy is it?

Awesome....can't wait.....ROAD TRIP!   -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #143 - 09/12/13 at 03:01:48
 
Congrats Steve!

Thanks for taking all of us along for the ride.

BTW, can't wait for the MKII version of the Mystery amp to be released. Wink
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #144 - 09/12/13 at 03:37:16
 
Steve, I just read your output tube biasing info again & the OA3 keeping things clean (power) for the preamp stage. Very nice..... .

Soth, I just send it back for MKII updates....quick turnaround by Steve. No problem....forgetta about it.
If you can afford to buy the car....you need to be able to have new after market rims an Pirelli's put on it right?

:-)  -Stone
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« Last Edit: 09/12/13 at 03:41:10 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #145 - 09/12/13 at 14:30:16
 
Think about it? This Amp is within reach....and can run Speakers I am most interested in. You might say: "You have not heard it yet"....well, I know I loathe solid state enough...I just tolerate it for my other Systems.
So, I am not worried about the Mystery Amp not being "Involving"....it will be......with the POWER to run these candidates with the M51 running Balanced IC to the Mystery Amp -or-unbalanced via my Audio Alchemy front End.

http://nadelectronics.com/products/masters-series/M51-Direct-Digital-DAC
http://vonschweikertaudio.com/vr-33/
http://www.vienna-acoustics.com/products/beethoven_baby/beethoven_baby.php
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Magnepan+1.7+for+Sale&id=9C9E6797891B7480003...
HR 1.....in the running too
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« Last Edit: 09/12/13 at 14:37:36 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #146 - 09/12/13 at 16:17:41
 

I'm looking forward to hearing it Steve!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #147 - 09/12/13 at 19:06:10
 
Sooner or later someone is going to ask which amp sounds better, the new TORII MK IV or the Mystery Amp so I'm going to do my best to answer this question...

The MK IV has gotten 20 to 30% better than the Mk III, which put it in danger of being better than the Mystery Amp. Of course this is a good thing... unless you're the Mystery Amp. So to find out where everything stands the two amps were compared side by side the other night, first on 16bit 44kHz digital files and then later on high resolution files. Both were driven directly from a DAC with no preamp to keep things simple for the comparison.

Speakers used were 94dB 1 watt so that power did not enter into the comparison. Although the Mystery amp has more power than the Torii, the difference is only a few dB. It's enough to drive some of the harder to drive speakers that the Torii had trouble with, but I'm not going to use a low efficiency hard to drive speaker for the comparison. If you have speakers below the 90dB range, and have the budget for it, get the Mystery Amp.  

So with a level playing field and on speakers that can reveal the finest nuances the comparison turned up the following findings:

Sound stage and imaging is equal between the two amps.

The MK IV, like it's predecessors, has a very complex signature on multiple levels.  As a result it is endlessly seductive and fascinating to listen to.  On the standard digital format (16/44) that most people still use, I found it made the recordings more enjoyable to listen to, while the Mystery Amp on the same files was less inspiring.

The Mystery Amp's signature - well, it doesn't have one. It's as honest as any high dollar solid state amplifier, but without the "92dB of Global Negative Feedback often seen in solid state designs", it's transparency is incomparable. This is where the term "LIQUID HONESTY" comes from. Liquidity and absolute honesty are two things in amp amplifier that rarely come together.  

When comparing the two amplifiers on hi-resolution files and vinyl, the Mystery Amp has the ability to take things to a level slightly beyond the abilities of the MK IV, and if it didn't, the Mystery Amp would be considered a failure.

On vinyl, I found using my 450.00 Grado cartridge, both amps were keepers. I could happily live with either one. Using my Fidelity Research cartridge with the van den Hul tip, which has considerably more resolution, I found the Mystery Amp to once again come out on top.

SO, if someone asks me which amp they should get, I'm going to first ask what kind of speakers they have to determine if both amps are even candidates. If both amps ARE candidates, then I'm gong to ask what kind of source is being used... and what formats are being played.  If they tell me they have an NAD CD player, we aren't going to talk about the Mystery Amp. If they tell me they have bit perfect output to a high resolution DAC and only listen to 24 bit files, we probably aren't going to talk about the MK IV unless there is a budget involved.

Hope this helps!

Steve



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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #148 - 09/12/13 at 22:48:26
 
Thanks for the overview Steve. This is helpful. I envy you folks that will be able to AB the two new amps at Decfest!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #149 - 09/15/13 at 05:17:28
 
Stereo with separate subwoofer amp
Re:the mystery amp.
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The MYSTERY AMP  - PRE ORDERS
Reply #150 - 09/24/13 at 03:37:49
 


I've been asked by quite a few people if they can place a pre-order for the Mystery Amp in an effort to be the firsts ones in line for it... or put another way, get one as soon as humanly possible.

The base price on the amp is $4695 and here is a non-published pre-order link:

http://secure.ultracart.com/cgi-bin/UCEditor?merchantId=DIY&ADD=MYSTERY-AMP

Keep in mind this will position you in the list against other Mystery Amp Orders only.  The 8 to 12 weeks production time will start once we have the amp published on the web site in the next month or two.





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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #151 - 09/24/13 at 06:08:44
 
That amp is stunning! absolutely beautiful. Just knowing who made it... you know it sounds as good as it looks. I have to quit looking at it before I do something that will wind me up in divorce court!
 
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #152 - 09/24/13 at 06:36:53
 
I tried out the link, a fully upgraded Mystery Amp would cost about US$6 grand, that's about 2x the cost of the Torii MK4 with all options included.

Dear Steve,

Could you please elaborate on the NOS Red Mallory power caps option?

That's really new to me.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #153 - 10/07/13 at 22:20:13
 

Well, while waiting for DM945/Passive Sub & Mystery Amp to make it onto the Website.....I went and pre-ordered the Mystery AMP!

I'm assuming you guys listened to it at the Fest with a Stepped Attenuator and the Black KEMET Power Supply Caps?! Also, short run RCA connection....XLR only needed for long runs of cable....if you're not using a Reference Single Ended RCA cable (ie - Kimber Select 1030 RCA). -S  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #154 - 10/07/13 at 22:33:19
 
the Mystery amp "seemed" to have the Std. Decware input attenuator... smooth rotation.  At least I didn't feel any "steps" in it, like the stepped attenuator in my Torii III has.  The MA on display also did not have the XLR input option.  The std. Decware silver ribbon, single-ended RCA IC's were in use.  And the big power supply caps on the M Amp were "black"... I don't know brand/model.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #155 - 10/07/13 at 22:40:04
 
I remember seeing a big pile of those old Mallory PS caps up high on a shelf there. They caught my attention. I don't recall the amp we listened to having them though.

It also had the smooth volume I thought, not the stepped. I didn't fiddle with volume much on the Mystery, it was easy to get going.

The setup, as I recall, was Apple Laptop, to TEAC DAC (sorry, I don't know the model), Decware Silver reference (1 Meter I believe), Mystery Amp powered by Decware DHC-1 power cord, plugged into a little Trip Lite power isolation transformer. 10' Zen Styx into whatever speakers were on hand. The Mystery amp sounded excellent with every speaker plugged in.


Oh, and thanks for reminding me about this Pre-Oder link...I just put my order in!!!!!!!!!11!1!!   Cheesy
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #156 - 10/07/13 at 22:51:31
 
DAC was this one I believe
--> http://audio.teac.com/product/ud-501/
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #157 - 10/07/13 at 23:13:13
 
I guess I was typing too slow (or doing too many things at once) and didn't see your post before mine. Yes, that's the DAC in question.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #158 - 10/07/13 at 23:13:55
 
I would like to know more about the Red Mallory NOS caps as well ...

I was playing around with the cart as well and this is what I chose:

  • Dark Walnut Base.
  • Stepped Attenuator.
  • Cream Chicken Heads.
  • 4-8 Ohms Output Transformers.
  • Single-Ended RCA Inputs.
  • Red Mallory NOS Caps.


Total = $5345 - 10% Coupon = $4810.50 (there was a 10% Coupon for you lucky guys who attended Decfest right?)

Well, this old sailor can dream can't he? Grin
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #159 - 10/07/13 at 23:15:35
 
Quote:
Lonely Raven said,
Yes, that's the DAC in question.


That can do DSD I believe ... Never heard it, but it is reasonably priced DSD DAC.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #160 - 10/10/13 at 19:29:21
 
Is mine done yet.   Tongue
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #161 - 10/10/13 at 19:53:45
 
Beowulf....I got:

Walnut Base.
•Stepped Attenuator.
•Walnut Knobs
•4-8 Ohms Output Transformers.
•Single-Ended RCA Inputs.
•Black Kemet Caps...is what he had burned in at the Fest?

I would like to know more about the NOS Mallory too.
I should just get them like you did....will see if Steve chimes in. I have seen both in the pictures of the Amp. They were the Kemets at the Fest per Maddog I think mentioned.

Lone Raven...you mean is mine done yet?!   Roll Eyes
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« Last Edit: 10/10/13 at 19:56:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #162 - 10/11/13 at 01:37:56
 
Quote:
Stone said,
I should just get them like you did...


LOL, the difference is that I was only playing with the shopping cart ... you actually bought one!  Lucky dog! Grin
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« Last Edit: 10/11/13 at 05:29:01 by beowulf »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #163 - 10/11/13 at 05:02:56
 
beowulf, living the life of Walter Mitty?  

It's all good!

I hope you know their is a difference?  Decware & this Forum exists because their is a difference.

As the late great Harvey Gizmo ALWAYS SAID: Gifted Listeners Unite!

Oh, please tell me you're not a TROLL....are you nit pic reincarnated!!!????  ....oh, he was fun! Grin

The 12 years of this Forum.....we can smell um'.

-Stone of Tone
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« Last Edit: 10/11/13 at 05:41:44 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #164 - 10/11/13 at 06:49:23
 
Quote:
Stone said.
beowulf, living the life of Walter Mitty?  

It's all good!

I hope you know their is a difference?  Decware & this Forum exists because their is a difference


I'll have to stick to my little Decware Taboo MkII for now (and live vicariously through you and your revolving door of electronic goodies Cheesy) ... because, I'd have to pull a bank heist to afford the Mystery Amp any time soon. Cry

I do find myself adding stuff in the shopping cart all the time though .. hmmm maybe my realities are getting skewed ... Walter Mitty huh? hmmm Huh ... Grin
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« Last Edit: 10/11/13 at 08:35:34 by beowulf »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #165 - 10/11/13 at 15:02:44
 
I am just messin' with you Beowulf. Your Taboo is everything the bigger Amp is. I just want more power. However, a single output tube per channel via your Taboo or my CS or CKC...will always have a level of fidelity....that quite frankly, does beat push pull.

....if you want more power though....and because I had a Torii III for 4 months...the tinnie weeny weeny bit you give up IMHO....is worth it....to get the POWER (Steve's gifted IMHO).

I need to get into hi-rez too....which you are already enjoying. Thanks for the offer on the other thread to send me some hi-rez. I will get there.

Let me also tell you....I had some good fortune in selling some things...so I could come up with the sheckles to swing the purchase of the Mystery Amp....I don't take it for granted.    

Cheers, Stone of Tone
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« Last Edit: 10/11/13 at 21:52:13 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #166 - 10/14/13 at 23:03:36
 

I didn't want to pester Steve with a call or a knock on the door saying "is it done yet", so I sent an E-mail asking if he could chime in here in the forums about the Red Mallory Caps on the Mystery amp, and why it's a $500 upgrade.

Hopefully we hear from him soon...because, you know, I've probably got another 10 weeks to decide if I want them or not. LOL

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #167 - 10/15/13 at 04:54:23
 
Yes, ....and I have another 9 weeks & 6 days to decide if I want them (when they pull the parts).  LOL

Nice LR, hopefully Steve will chime in about them (RED Mallory Caps NOS). The Red looks cool too. The stealthy black Caps as well.

Being NOS and he has a couple MA's burning in with each set of Caps(?) Unless for the Fest he switched out the Mallory's we saw and burned in the black Kemets...with one MA up and running/broke in.

I picked the Walnut Base with Walnut knobs. I had a Torii MkIII and liked it with that base.
I also chose the Stepped Attenuator, 4-8ohm, RCA Inputs and the black caps.  -S
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« Last Edit: 10/15/13 at 05:01:11 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #168 - 10/15/13 at 05:07:54
 
Ditto -

Walnut, Walnut, RCA,4-8 Ohm, Black Caps. I didn't go with the stepped. Unless there is a good reason for it that I'm not aware of?

I wouldn't mind a figured cherry base - but I didn't feel like it was worth $100 upcharge for plane cherry. I could make my own base pretty easily. In fact, I have a decent stash of various woods in good thicknesses. Once I know the base dimensions I might churn out something in a nice exotic figured hardwood.
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« Last Edit: 10/15/13 at 05:08:32 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #169 - 10/15/13 at 05:17:44
 
The stepped attenuator is really not necessary....I just like the action of them.

Nice, you have the talent for woodwork DIY.

I ordered/have an Oak Base for my SE84CS a few years after I had it and now want one for my CKC.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #170 - 10/15/13 at 06:16:26
 
I might end up prefering the Tung-Sol KT66. However, Steve has the topology set up to handle the KT120.  So, I have to do it with four 6N1P's for pre. I also have a nice stock of NOS Sovtek 6922's.    -S

Tung-Sol KT120 Power Vacuum Tube

This is the most powerful audio power tube in production today. With a plate dissipation rating of 60W (compare that with the 35W of the 6550, the 42W of the KT88, and the 50W of the KT90), a pair of these KT120 tubes in push-pull configuration can deliver 150 watts or more of audio power. And when used in a vintage circuit designed for 6550 or KT88, the KT120 will deliver unbelievable amounts of clean headroom, low end rumble and dynamic punch all without overloading. The glass of this tube is a full 1/2" taller with the internal plate structure 3/8" longer than its nearest KT88 cousin. The internal control grid cooling fins are twice as large as the KT88 adding to the amazing performance of this tube. This particular tube draws between 100mA (.1A) and 300mA (.3A) more filament current than a standard KT88, so check with your amp manufacturer to insure you have the additional filament headroom to power these tubes. This new KT120 is the steamroller of audio tubes, prepare to be flattened.




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« Last Edit: 10/15/13 at 06:20:41 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #171 - 10/15/13 at 13:02:34
 

I don't think I'm going to be able to afford any tube rolling on these. A quad of NOS KT66 is like $900. KT120 sound neat, but I didn't feel the Mystery was lacking in power with the Decware speakers since I kept turning it down during our demos. Unless the KT120 have some harmonic or textural difference that's really interesting, I probably don't need them.  

I'll probably just get some of those Herbie's Tube Dampers for all the tubes and call it a day.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #172 - 10/15/13 at 14:52:19
 
I do not do ridiculous NOS... .

Steve voiced the Amp to be great as you have heard with Tong-Sol KT 66's that can be had for $140. a quad & Tong-Sol KT120's at $190. per quad.  The 6N1P's for 10 bucks each and the OA3 lasts for just about forever.  End of BS NOS for me.  ::)   -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #173 - 10/15/13 at 15:32:18
 

Some OA3 and 6N1P rolling could be done relatively inexpensively. River Ranch mentioned an inexpensive alternative to the 6N1P in the Super Zen thread. I saw sleeves of 5 (forgot the tube model) for $40. I saw 60's vintage OA3 for $40.

I've played with the Tung-Sol KT-66 in guitar amps and I know they are good. I probably won't look further there, unless some NOS something falls into my lap. None of my guitar amps use KT-66, so it's not one I happen to have handy like KT-77 or EL34.

I spoke with Steve during Decfest about building a cherry base for my "vintage" Zen Amp - it runs really, really hot as it is...so I'm concerned about adding a heavy wood insulator to the metal casing. He said it shouldn't matter...but I noticed running tubes other than 6N1P, it runs noticeably cooler. It's still on my winter To-Do woodworking projects.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #174 - 10/15/13 at 15:35:25
 
I have a C amp with a beautiful beautiful maple stand. The amp runs hotter than anything else I've ever known (it's modded by Eddie Vaughn if that makes a difference) and I thought I'd see how it did without the case.

To be honest, it sounds about 10 percent better without the case. And it should be ventilating better.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #175 - 10/15/13 at 15:36:33
 
Yes LR! Herbie's Halo's are excellent.

I use a pair of Herbie's on my coveted Svetlana SV83 Tubes on my SE84CS.
I also, have a 5 pound brass weight on the Transformer. System is configured on floor (finished basement) as is my Pro-ject Debut Carbon Turntable out in the Living Room He-Man rig (slightly elevated on top of two old Denon CD Changers).
...Back to the Listening Room, my Digital resides on Townsend Seismic Sink Pneumatic. Isolation is Key.    -S
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« Last Edit: 10/15/13 at 15:41:09 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #176 - 10/15/13 at 15:42:33
 
I love the case my SE84CS is in...with a character knot from Zigy right in the front.....I can't take it out of it.  

The 6N1P does run hotter....I have it in my CKC...so no case on that Amp...for the better.  I sometimes run a 6N1P, EL84 with GZ34 Rectifier...you want to talk about hot in my SE84CS!
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« Last Edit: 10/15/13 at 15:44:41 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #177 - 10/15/13 at 15:49:20
 
I'd be curious if you thought the amp sounds better without the case. My case is beautiful too, really, but It's very clear differnce to me, the sound is more open and dynamic and even my Mom noticed it. "What did you do?" she said shortly after I removed it.
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« Last Edit: 10/15/13 at 15:55:17 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #178 - 10/15/13 at 16:00:20
 
I will try it Lon and hear what happens.

Oh, I should add, because I have over 900 CD's...I take their playback seriously.  
Vinyl?........I love it....but I can enjoy my old records (approx 400 and counting) out in the Living Room Rig.....via my Polk SDA SRS 1.2 Speakers.....= a lot of fun.

Real Jazz & Contemporary Jazz in the Listening Room & Classic Rock in the Living Room on Vinyl. Of course I use an affordable Record Washer/Spin Clean MKII - Deluxe.
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« Last Edit: 10/15/13 at 16:02:51 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #179 - 10/15/13 at 16:03:41
 
I've about 20 times that many cds, and take its playback very seriously as well! I'm so very happy with my PS Audio Duo (s) -- they do Redbook better than anything I've heard and no need for me to try something else.

I can enjoy vinyl in both of my systems, but the ZP3 in the main system makes me want to listen to it more there. At times the vinyl playback exceeds the digital, man there's just something about records.

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #180 - 10/15/13 at 16:09:38
 
Oh, I am aware of your awesome collection Lon. We have been conversing on this forum with each other for 12+ years. Imagine if they kept the original post count when Steve switched over the Forum to new?.........you would be in the stratosphere!  

I agree, I might upgrade my Vinyl. However, it does make me turn my head sometimes with my current Rig....James Taylor's....Daddy Loves his Work...straight through...both sides.....this morning....wonderful.

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« Last Edit: 10/15/13 at 16:10:21 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #181 - 10/15/13 at 16:16:14
 
Yes, it's been that long. I deleted my whole profile one time (not sure if it was on purpose or by accident) and I would have thousands more even if I hadn't.

I post too much. Wish I could stop. Smiley
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #182 - 10/15/13 at 18:40:32
 
Nope, never stop Lon. I appreciate your insights.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #183 - 10/15/13 at 19:39:27
 
Quote:
Yes LR! Herbie's Halo's are excellent.

I use a pair of Herbie's on my coveted Svetlana SV83 Tubes on my SE84CS.
I also, have a 5 pound brass weight on the Transformer. System is configured on floor (finished basement) as is my Pro-ject Debut Carbon Turntable out in the Living Room He-Man rig (slightly elevated on top of two old Denon CD Changers).
...Back to the Listening Room, my Digital resides on Townsend Seismic Sink Pneumatic. Isolation is Key.    -S



I do indeed need to work on isolation. I just hear so much BS about what works. I'd really like to setup some sort of micro seismometer on my amp and/or Oppo Disc player and *document* what's really happening. But I see all this stuff I'm skeptical of, like putting crystals and  maple wood blocks and brass weights (vs lead or something else) and supposedly these things *enhance* only the positive aspects of the music... color me super skeptical. So for starters, I just want to do real isolation with good stands/bases etc. I'm just having trouble finding something DIY or reasonably priced.

Stone, what Halo's do you recommend I try? The expensive Titanium ones don't seem like they'd work well. The guitar ones are priced well, but it has me curious if the other models would make a difference. I may have to get a set of the titanium ones, try them out, then send them back if I don't feel they make a noticeable or positive difference.

Tube damping makes sense, but again, too much snake oil out there muddying the waters.
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Reply #184 - 10/15/13 at 21:28:58
 
Quote:
Stone said,
Nope, never stop Lon. I appreciate your insights.


+1 - it wouldn't be the same here without your insights!
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Reply #185 - 10/15/13 at 22:24:26
 
Thanks Gents. Probably couldn't stop if I tried. Smiley

Listening to the new Garcia release, Live Volume 3, "Legion of Mary 1974," great stuff.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #186 - 10/18/13 at 02:12:51
 

So...who else it checking the web page and forums a couple times a day hoping Steve has chimed in on the Mallories and/or updated the Amps pages?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #187 - 10/18/13 at 03:23:36
 
The red caps are N.O.S. caps made in the USA.  They give the amp more bass weight and a slightly better "hit".   These are obsolete caps.  The closest thing available is this:



http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Cornell-Dubilier/CGH272T500X4C/?qs=sGAEpiMZZ...

The red ones I have weigh over a pound more despite being the same physical size...

Anyway I plan to make my stash of red caps an option until my supply is gone.  I think I have enough for 25 amps.  The first five Mystery Amps built will come with these caps as my gift for being the first five people to own one.



Steve
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Reply #188 - 10/18/13 at 03:28:48
 

Quote:
The first five Mystery Amps built will come with these caps as my gift for being the first five people to own one.



Oh please let me have been smart enough/soon enough to be in that first five!!   Cheesy
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Reply #189 - 10/18/13 at 03:42:07
 
I'm new here and just read the whole thread. Gotta say very impressive.

Mark

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Reply #190 - 10/18/13 at 14:49:00
 

Welcome Mark!

Quote:
After hearing what this amp does with 24 bit 384kHz PCM files as well as SACD 2.8mhZ and 5.6Mhz files I am spoiled for life. My entire CD collection is now officially garbage and will never pollute these ears again. Thank God I lived long enough to see digital playback finally sound good enough to compete with vinyl... it gives me great hope for the future of audio.


I keep coming back to this quote from Steve - the technology is here, my concern is that I'm seeing many recordings put out that are upsampled crap, or compressed to death. I really hope they start going back to those original master recordings and pulling every bit of detail out of them at no compromise sample rates. I don't mind if I'm listening to Hendrix and I hear the limitations of a 1960's 4 track tape...I want to hear it as Hendrix heard it! (and I'm not about to jump into Vinyl at this stage).

Part of the reason I put in my order for the Mystery amp, besides the fact that I truly felt it was superior to the MK IV - even on CD, is that I plan on having this amp for a long, long time - well into the era of high bitrate, high samplerate HD music. I've had my Zen amp for 15 years, and I play the snot out of it. Just about every day I fire it up, something special happens with the music - I'm looking forward to that with the Mystery amp for a another 15-20 years.  ;)

Steve, technical question on the caps. Coming from the guitar amp world, I've had to replace many, many electrolytic caps over the years in my amps. What's the expected lifespan of these big Mallory cans you're putting into the amps? I know with guitar amps they recommend replacing the caps every 10 years because they dry out and start allowing noise to come through. So I'm concerned about not having replacement caps of this quality in the future.
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Reply #191 - 10/18/13 at 15:12:01
 
Welcome as well Mark.

LR, I have been checking for Steve's reply too! I hope I made the cut as well for the Red Mallory's.

Sarah called me yesterday and left a message about the DM945 with the new passive bass stands.  I then went and Listened to them and all the other Speakers last night via the Thread from the Fest Steve sent out.  Thanks for those great comprehensive Threads Steve-wow. Now, I want the NEW ERR instead. First things first. I look forward to my Mystery Amp and what it can do with my Stable of Speakers. Then, the new ERR's need to come in. I might augment them with my HSU MBM 12. I purposely, underutilize this device in my Living Room....where it is sublime. I think the ERR Omni's would thrive out here in the Living Room with it via MA or CKC!

LR, I am with you.....the MA stays for life...and I will work my alchemy to squeeze every last drop out of it for years to come.  My SE84CS & CKC will never leave me either.  Hi-rez, redbook CD.....and Vinyl improvements I will make....will be worth the efforts with these three fine maker's of music I will own.  -S

PS LR, ditto on your Zen Amp. I have owned my SE84CS new, for 12.5 years.  I listen to it, nearly every day. It is so Special...I will not change a thing in it!  I needed/wanted the CKC on its own...for its magic. No one touches my CSelect from 2001.  
Good question from your tech background about the Caps.

PS-I loved hearing the DM945 with the new passive bass stands. But, I think I am falling for the Radial Sound. Plus, I have all front firing in my Stable...time for way less room dependence...with the Omni's.  
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« Last Edit: 10/18/13 at 16:01:46 by stone_of_tone »  

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Reply #192 - 10/18/13 at 15:17:06
 
Oh boy.  I just pulled the trigger as well.  has that been 5 amps yet?

I just heard and felt this big sucking sound from behind me.  oh, that was my wallet.  But I'm smiling.
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Reply #193 - 10/18/13 at 15:20:21
 
hehe SteveC, this will be 3 for me. ....might turn into 4 next fall with the Mk IV.   I blame Lon for all this  ;D.  -S
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« Last Edit: 10/18/13 at 15:26:24 by stone_of_tone »  

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Reply #194 - 10/18/13 at 15:35:12
 
LR, about your skepticism for tweaks.  You should have these concerns.

You are creating a dedicated room for one of your Systems with Acoustic Room Treatments....so that is the place to start.

Me? Powercord, Herbie's Halo's for size of tube, digital isolation, system configured on carpet-on Wood shelves-flat to floor/concrete floor. TripLite equivalent for power isolation, weight on Power Transformer (read: Isolation)....and of course Room Treatment....all make a difference to hear the SE84CS's full potential.
I also use a product from XLO....called TPC...it is a cleaner for all connections...it comes in a sealed package in the form of a wipe...that makes The Perfect Connection.  Also, check your driver's/tighten the screws...they loosen up over the years.
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« Last Edit: 10/18/13 at 15:59:11 by stone_of_tone »  

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Reply #195 - 10/18/13 at 16:54:57
 
Quote:
I just heard and felt this big sucking sound from behind me.  oh, that was my wallet.  But I'm smiling.


Yeah, and mine is making the sound of a straw at the bottom of an empty milkshake.  ;D


Ok, I really need to seriously look at isolation and such. I'd like to see what I can DIY between now and Mystery Amp arrival.

I listened to almost all the video's Steve posted, and I too kept coming back to the ERR - so it's looking like I might want a set of those as well...maybe my birthday 2014 - the Mystery amp is tapping me out for a long while.
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Reply #196 - 10/23/13 at 03:45:06
 
ERRx, I want a pair (love the Thread(s) Steve sent out).....need to bring the MA in first.

The wait is going to be hard to bare, for this Amplifier LR!

I posted these words below in the Anedio D2 Thread as well. I have driven my Polk SRS SDA 1.2 Speakers quite well with a PrimaLuna Dialogue Five.....so, no worries with Steve's Topology & 10 times more Musicality coming in with the Mystery Amplifier...to drive them.  

The Anedio D2 continues to impress me. I moved the D2 to the Living Room System. Dynamic, with superb Tonal balance.

I am Listening to it right now with:
Sony DVP-NS57P as Transport (over priced TPorts can stick it-I've tried just about all of them that matter-this little sh_t delivers)
Illuminati D-60 RCA for Digital IC (Redbook)
Anedio D2 DAC
Kimber Hero IC RCA
.....driving my XPA-2 Emotiva Amplifier/Kimber PK10 Palladian Power Kord & Kimber 8TC Speaker Cable.....direct with the D2 preamp....to my Polk SRS SDA 1.2 Speakers.

Very musical for Solid State (where I can actually enjoy it).

I need to order a separate Amp Stand for my pending Mystery Amplifier & 1 meter Kimber 1026 (meaning: pull the XPA-2 out and the Hero out)...replaced by the Mystery Amp with 1026 IC.....with the 8TC to the SDA 1.2's.  I have a feeling it is going to be a winning combination with KT66 Or KT120's!   -S
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« Last Edit: 10/23/13 at 03:47:48 by stone_of_tone »  

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Reply #197 - 10/23/13 at 13:12:42
 
I made the cut!

My Invoice was updated to include the Red Mallory NOS Caps N/C!

Thank you Steve.....and all at Decware.    -Stone of Tone
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Reply #198 - 10/23/13 at 13:45:31
 
I'm happy for ya!

As TP says, the waiting is the hardest part.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #199 - 10/23/13 at 14:18:00
 
Quote:
I made the cut!

My Invoice was updated to include the Red Mallory NOS Caps N/C!


Oh wow! I didn't catch that, my Invoice says the same!!

High Five  brother Stone!
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Reply #200 - 10/23/13 at 19:38:19
 
I believe I'm #4  (4th MA on the waiting list at least).. and the invoice says Red caps. Smiley
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Reply #201 - 10/23/13 at 20:07:24
 
Is there a visible waiting list somewhere?

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Reply #202 - 10/23/13 at 20:28:53
 
Go to this page: http://www.decware.com/newsite/contacts.html

Select the link Amplifier Real Time Build Sheet  It will launch a pdf.
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Reply #203 - 10/23/13 at 20:54:34
 
Thanks Lon!

Color me not surprised that you know exactly where to find this!  ;D
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Reply #204 - 10/23/13 at 20:59:26
 
At least i don't have anything on there to wait for. Smiley

My waiting now is for items to be seasoned enough in my second system to move into my main system (Torii Mk III and a CSP2+ with beeswax caps).
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Reply #205 - 10/23/13 at 21:06:47
 

I'm practically bouncing in my seat right now. Really looking forward to seeing and hearing my Mystery amp!
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Reply #206 - 10/23/13 at 21:19:46
 
I know. It's exciting.

I'm very excited by my system these days. I get to spend so little time with it that I don't take it for granted. The audio from the DVR and the Blu-ray just blows me away, as does my vinyl and cd listening. Every second seems stolen from the boring morass of spending most of my time at my parents' (though that boredom is peppered with some really stressy times). My trusty Mk III upgraded to beeswax caps sounds so so good that I don't want to try the new one out yet. . . just don't want to unplug this amazing machine, want it available for the next stolen moments!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #207 - 10/23/13 at 21:32:06
 
Lon said: Quote:
so good that I don't want to try the new one out yet


I caught that "yet"  

Wink
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« Last Edit: 10/23/13 at 21:33:45 by will »  

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Reply #208 - 10/23/13 at 21:42:36
 
Oh I intend to try the newest (received late July) Mk III in the main system eventually. Maybe in another few weeks or a month. I want to play with the bass controls in that machine; my original Torii couldn't be upgraded to bass controls per Steve.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #209 - 10/23/13 at 22:17:07
 
Thanks for the build sheet reminder Lon!  

Sweet!    -S
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Reply #210 - 10/24/13 at 00:58:08
 
Lon,

Sorry, I misinterpreted "the new one" as the MkIV. Whoops...

Smiley
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« Last Edit: 10/24/13 at 00:59:02 by will »  

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Reply #211 - 10/24/13 at 01:36:09
 
Thought that was the case. No, I'm not tempted by the IV. I think my original III has the right balance of tone and the right features for me. The new III has a bit of a cleaner, clearer sound, and I sense Steve keeps moving in this direction sound wise, and it moves away from what works best for me. I'm so happy with my original III with the beeswax caps, it has a great balance of detail and swing and depth, it's really saddening to me that bass controls can't be added and I bought the new one and yet still feel so loyal to the original one! In time the new one may ensnare me, want to get more hours on it before I try.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #212 - 10/28/13 at 15:48:18
 
Well, it looks like it's time to say goodbye to an old friend. '74 Porsche 914 - the 3rd "budget" Porsche I've owned. I put her up for sale on Saturday, and had 3 serious offers by Sunday afternoon. I just need to fix a title issue when the DMV is open (and I'm back in town), and I'll have the last bit of mulah I need for my Mystery amp!

Honestly, it's probably for the better...I just don't have the skill to fix her up and get her back on the road myself, and I don't have the funds to pay someone else to do it. It's been sitting in storage at a friends for many, many years. It's best she help fun my audio project, and open up the space at my friends house...so the Mystery amp has been good motivation to move stuff of some value I've been sitting on way too long...

Now the long wait for my amp to be built...




Is it done yet?
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« Last Edit: 10/28/13 at 15:48:40 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #213 - 10/28/13 at 16:09:39
 
LR.. I suffer from the same disease - one or two too many hobbies/interest - that take more time & money than I have to spread around.  However, I, like you have found that this "condition" forces me to clean house and balance out things from time-to-time.  And that can only be a good thing!  If I had more time and more $$ than I do now, I would probably be up to my eye balls in unfinished "projects" and our house and property would look like "Sanford & Son's" place!... LOL

Smiley
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #214 - 10/28/13 at 16:16:09
 
Brianne already complains to her parents that I collect/hoard too many projects for my hobbies. Between the guitars and amps, guns and reloading, archery, home theater, computers and networking, two-channel audio, camping/hiking, motorcycling, woodworking, photogrpahy...I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting...yeah, she rolls her eyes and complains when I bring home a new project. LOL

So yeah, moving some stuff out is a good thing. I have piles of computers I need to get out, and I need to get the garage woodworking shop back in order so I can actually focus on house projects. I have a feeling the Mystery amp might derail me from getting anything done late at night though.   Grin
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« Last Edit: 10/28/13 at 16:16:33 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #215 - 10/28/13 at 17:03:41
 
Nice! It has two too many wheels though so I can see why you're selling it.

Hope the wait isn't too unbearable!
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #216 - 10/29/13 at 17:18:34
 
I purchased two pair of OA3's.

It is nice to hold/see the old boxes with RADIOTRON, RCA Logo's, RADIO CORPORATION of AMERICA, Harrison, N.J. ...Made in U.S.A.
ELECTRON TUBE   -S

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #217 - 10/29/13 at 18:03:04
 
Nice 914 your selling. Wish I had it. I've had over 100 auto projects. Mostly chevy with some mopar and vw's thrown in.

Selling off from one hobby to support another. I can understand.

Mark
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #218 - 10/29/13 at 18:45:59
 
Quote:
I purchased two pair of OA3's.

It is nice to hold/see the old boxes with RADIOTRON, RCA Logo's, RADIO CORPORATION of AMERICA, Harrison, N.J. ...Made in U.S.A.
ELECTRON TUBE   -S


Yeah, I'm holding off on any tube purchases for the Mystery amp till I talk to Steve more. He and I seem to like/hear the same thing, so I'll see what he says would be premium tubes to track down.

Quote:
Nice 914 your selling. Wish I had it. I've had over 100 auto projects. Mostly chevy with some mopar and vw's thrown in.

Selling off from one hobby to support another. I can understand.


I really wish I knew more about auto mechanics. I'm mechanically inclined, just never had the opportunity to really work on cars, or someone to teach me how unfortunately.

Brianne (my fiance) keeps giving me grief about not having an emergency fund...I tell her I sorta do...except I can play with my emergency fund(s) until I need to liquidate them for something else.   Grin
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #219 - 10/29/13 at 23:52:26
 
where are u guys gettin' these NOS, made in the US of A , RCA 0A3's and 0C2's?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #220 - 10/30/13 at 00:32:25
 
For my Torii MK4, I got such NOS RCA tubes from Vacuumtubes.net

Their tubes are really NOS and tested.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #221 - 10/30/13 at 01:50:49
 
I found cheap NOS OA3 and OC2 show up on flea bay quite often, sometimes in big lots too.  Keep looking, there are a few deals on there still.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #222 - 10/31/13 at 05:25:45
 
maddog, I got these RCA OA3 from Tube Depot/Memphis. Actually, I was not expecting them. They list what they have as "assorted lot". So, I was pleasantly surprised to get these. I am a good customer of 12 years with them.  I like them even more now and have always had great service and great Tubes from Tube Depot.  

I will purchase my backup Quad of Tong Sol KT66 & Quad of 6N1P's from Tube Depot, when my Mystery Amp Ships (so if any failure occurs with the Tubes shipped...I have backup). I will also order a Quad of Tong Sol KT120's too. After a week of burn in on the Tubes shipped & the MAmp.....I will Tube Test these KT66's, KT120's, 6N1P's & RCA OA3's in the MAmp....then shelve them. Unless the KT120's talk to me and say: "keep me in".   Cool   -S
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« Last Edit: 10/31/13 at 05:32:31 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #223 - 10/31/13 at 12:47:24
 

That sounds like a good plan. I'm holding off on extra tubes and tube rolling for a bit, till I see what Steve says about the Mystery amp.

Well, I have two more guys looking at the old Porsche, so I might have my Mystery Amp funding by the weekend!


Is it done yet?  ;D
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Reply #224 - 10/31/13 at 15:07:21
 
Genelex for KT66 are on the docket too. Let us know Steve's Input.

Good news, hope you sell it this weekend. I should sell my Truck...but I would miss it! Especially, 4 wheel drive hi on the fly for the Winter Months. 2006 mint Ford F150 White/Crew Cab V8 Triton, PVD all weather American Racing Rims, Fiberglass Lid, Chrome in between door windows, Chrome Step ups......Grill change. 14.2 miles around town...but damn do I look good doing it!  Plus, who is going to pull the Dodge & Chevy's out of the ditch...or off the beach when they get stuck pulling their Boat Docks in? Yeah, you got it...me.

I digress. Anyway, I have had quite a few things in the last 24 months...and returned.  ...this has fortified the credit on CCard to get the Mystery Amp and another pair of Speakers.

Demoed rigorously in the last 24 months/Returned:

Torii MkIII (I should have kept...I would already have it back with the IV upgrade done!....I sold it after 4.5 months)

PrimaLuna Dialogue Five (can't compete with Decware on ANY Level-good luck with that Kevin Deal)

PWT/PWDII PS Audio (overrated-you don't need to kill a Fly with a Sledge Hammer)

Zu Audio Unions (came to me with 500 hrs on them....very shouty and not refined with tone/timbre. Just a garage rock speaker to me).

Klipsch RF something (returned...but I kept the 2nd pair I had in, of RF 7 II's for my Garage Rock System).

NAD M51 DAC (after many hours...was not tactile or musical....always had a veil....the Anedio D2 destroyed it...as it did the PWT/PWDII=more expensive does not mean better....those that Build a Sledge hammer to kill the FLY are exposed).

Sim Audio MOON W5.3 SE Amplifier w/PS Audio AC-10 (good solid Amplifier...but I can't sit and actively Listen to 2 channel Music through Solid State anymore.....Decware has ruined me)!  -S
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« Last Edit: 10/31/13 at 21:15:34 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #225 - 10/31/13 at 15:22:41
 
I disagree with you about the PWD and PWT, I think we like different things and I would probably prefer these to the ones you prefer, that's the way of the world and I welcome it!

Hope your Mystery Amp and next speakers fill the bill! I want you to be as happy as I am! Cheesy
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #226 - 10/31/13 at 16:29:42
 

I really enjoy listening to you guys talk about what you do and don't like about audio, and how we have different wants/needs and there is no one perfect answer.

For example, when I first met Steve, his setup was very clinical (anal as he likes to call it), and Fast Forwarding to today I see his gear has gotten even more musical, without losing detail. Listening to you guys makes me  more aware of what I'm listening too, as I feel I was getting a bit too much on the clinical side; I had a couple friends over and they were like, "this sounds awesome, but yuck".  [smiley=10.gif]
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #227 - 10/31/13 at 18:24:08
 
I a/b'd my Torii MK.III to the IV, to the MA and the mono's at the fest... for my tastes and at least one particular pair of speakers I have, the Torii mk.III is the cat's meow... keeper for life I think.  
I can make my III sound much like the IV by changing the input tubes, but I just really like the fluid resolution of the III and the treble shunt and bass dampening control of the III - flexibility is priceless and the controls on the mk.IV don't do much that my ears can detect - very, very subtle at best.  I don't think I will ever part with my Torii MK.III... however... the Mystery Amp is another story.  To my ears, and this goes for all Decware amps when mated to the appropriate speakers(they are all great), the Mystery Amp is not so much "better" as it is different to my ears.  It paints the soundstage and images differently than my Torii.  I might have to acquire a Mystery Amp in 2014... as an "addition to", not a replacement of my Torii mk.III.  
After talking to Steve, I did get the Jupiter upgrade to my III though - just got it back this week.  Not much time on it yet at all.  Though I do perceive it has changed.  However, I'm not yet able to fully "quantify" & "qualify" what I'm hearing.  But it has changed enough, that when I set the bass & treble controls "by ear".... I have them in different positions than I had them in before the Jupiters.  First impressions say that things have improved at both ends of the frequency extremes..

Stone... I'm afraid I have fallen prey to the same fate as you - Decware has ruined me from ever listening to sand-amps in my man-cave 2-ch system for life.  Even the best ss amps I've heard, sound gray, thin, bleached, "dry" to me now as compared to Decware.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #228 - 10/31/13 at 21:29:54
 
You are absolutely right Lon. I hope I did not come off as a dink with my assessment of my last 24 months.

LR, you are so right. I feel it is not cliché at all to say.....Decware Amps are our common denominator and we all learn from each other for sure. Me, probably more so from you guys.

maddog, ruined is right!  

Well, time to go buy some Candy at Target!  I have at least 80 kids coming to the door soon (6 till 9:30 pm)!    -Stone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #229 - 11/02/13 at 02:04:31
 

Ad the Porsche sold tonight!

So I now have all the funding for my mystery amp!

Is it done yet??  ;D
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #230 - 11/02/13 at 15:53:19
 
Awesome LR...SOLD!

I know....is it done yet?

I keep looking at the build sheet...as if it is going to go faster or something?!  All those IV's ahead of us!  The pain....the pain!  :'( Grin
-S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #231 - 11/04/13 at 17:48:44
 
I look forward to finding out how much the MA weighs? I can wait until the official web page posting.

I brought my Emotiva XPA-2 at 83.5 pounds boxed & 72.6 out of box...inside and downstairs all by my lonesome. ....pays to stay in shape.....but damn heavy.

I look forward to carrying the MA into the Listening Room.....it will sound so not like Solid State....even while it waxes & wanes through burn-in.    -S
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #232 - 11/04/13 at 18:39:01
 
Quote:
I look forward to finding out how much the MA weighs? I can wait until the official web page posting.



I was thinking the same thing...but I was wondering because I want to get some Tenderfeet or Iso-Cups or the like for it.

But now you have me wondering if my glass and steel rack is going to be sturdy enough to hold it up. I've already had the big dog knock into one of the glass shelves, shearing the mount and dumping my Onkyo Home Theater receiver out the front of the rack as the shelf tilted. I have several HDMI ports that no longer work since that incident.  >:(   I'd hate to have that happen with the Mystery amp...I may just use this as an excuse to replace the racks with something DIY.

For some reason 60# is coming to mind...either Steve said that in the build thread, or someone through out that rough number as an example.
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« Last Edit: 11/04/13 at 18:40:44 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #233 - 11/05/13 at 16:32:08
 
My MA will be firmly planted on the floor on 1/2 inch wood....in the Listening Room or in the Living Room (both rooms in basement/finished-no vibration from poured concrete underneath carpet).

Do you realize how awesome this Amplifier is? Read post #76 again about biasing. I so look forward to dialing the MA in and driving it to its threshold when desired and always at optimum.

After initial bias setup.....
Steve wrote:
......"because the bias of the tubes change with warm up.  You need a way to adjust quickly look at the amp and see if the two tubes are drawing the exact same number of mills.  If they are not, you need a simply frikin knob to turn to make them that way... all while listening to music, uninterrupted".
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« Last Edit: 11/05/13 at 16:41:07 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #234 - 11/05/13 at 17:21:02
 
I'm getting to where I don't want to fiddle with my gear as much as I used to. I also like the fact that after the amp and tubes are seasoned and warmed up, I *don't* have to muck with the bias once it's dialed in.

I've stopped reading this thread over and over...it's driving me slightly mad. http://youtu.be/vkT5dVJsnYk

I'm researching other improvements I can do to my setup to prep for the Mystery amps arrival. I'm seriously looking at one of those Power Plant that the guys are always talking about...

In the mean time, I'm mentally sending good vibes to the audio gods in hope they whisper in Steve's ear that it's time to assemble the first five Mystery amps....I have a birthday coming up after all (Nov 12th) and this is the biggest and *best* birthday present I've ever gotten myself.   Grin
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« Last Edit: 11/05/13 at 17:22:59 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #235 - 11/05/13 at 19:46:13
 
Yes LR, I like the fact as well...once dialed in...you don't have to mess with the Quad that is in there until you replace that Quad.

I am with Steve on the Power regen stuff. Take what he is using the OA3 for in the Mystery Amp....for power cleaning/preamp....and he mentioned you can bury your Power regen's in the ground....to enrich the iron in the earth. I agree with him. I just use a Adcom 515 AC Enhancer to clean up the hash...like a TripLite does.

Now, what I have found to lower noise floor and get out of the way of the music....is my Kimber Select 1030 RCA IC & Kimber Select 3033 Speaker Cable. To revealing to use with high-efficiency Speakers.....but the Kimber Select is excellent with 86 to 92db types/1watt/1 meter (and with a great DAC front end & Amp of course).   -S

PS-that Queen Link is awesome.  I just recorded via DVR off of Serius Sat Radio (Dish Network)...."Tie Your Mother Down"....with my HSU MBM12 & Polk SRS SDA 1.2's in the Living Room....cranked Up FUN!  

I also recorded that LORDE song....from Serius....considering it is not resolution from Redbook/per good DAC....the low end from the Synth...is sweet..... . Kids..... Cool

It would be nice to see our MA's by mid December....were #1 & #2 on the List!   Cheers, Stone
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« Last Edit: 11/05/13 at 20:00:10 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #236 - 11/05/13 at 20:10:35
 
Well, believe Steve if you want, but I've used my Decware amps with and without a power regenerator and whether they have his OA3 circuit or not, they're BETTER with a regenerator and not as good without one. I'll not be without one if I can help it.

And I'm not sure I've ever heard Steve say that about power regenerators.
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« Last Edit: 11/05/13 at 20:17:22 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #237 - 11/05/13 at 20:39:18
 
Reply #66 in this thread. Each to his own...nothing to get worked up about. -S Cool

Reply #34...about the OA3...in conjunction with reply #66.

"Of course to feed the preamp stage (smaller tubes) we need to drop the voltage and the common way to do that is a high wattage resistor followed by a small capacitor.  That is how the Torii Mono's were done.  In this amp, I am replacing this resistor with a vacuum diode aka voltage regulation tube (OA3) which will give me the same voltage drop as the resistor but with 20 times the ripple reduction and 100% decoupling so that harmonics from dirty power grids in your city do not contaminate the pure DC power feeding your critical preamp stage.  This also means that again 100% of the heat has been eliminated.

This will be the first power supply I've ever done that has zero resistors and zero chokes.  It's so Zen it's scary".

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« Last Edit: 11/05/13 at 20:49:56 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #238 - 11/05/13 at 20:51:30
 
I'm not worked up. It's just my own personal experience makes this sound like sales hype.

Sorry, I'm just very skeptical, and just wanted to point out that my personal experience with all other amps goes counter to that. Maybe this one is some miraculous new thing. Steve puffs so much that I am skeptical a lot these days. I love him and his work, I just could use leaner prose and milder posturing The way he writes about that amp actually steers me away from it.

Hope you get it soon and it's all you want it to be. But I bet if you put a P10 in front of it you would hear an improvement. But then again, do you need the improvement? That's the apt question I think these days.
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« Last Edit: 11/05/13 at 21:09:27 by Lon »  

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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #239 - 11/05/13 at 21:38:20
 

I think there is more than just cleaning out the hash and bad harmonics to the Power Plant - having that perfectly regulated power makes everything work better, including the source (or maybe especially my digital source and all it's clocks). My power is regularly 125v to 127v. I've got a Monster Signature HTS-5100 that's signed by Mr Lee (adds more db! LOL). I've also got a lab grade Trip Lite line conditioner I picked up from an AT&T fiber optics lab (not an Isolation Transformer like Steve suggests). So I've got plenty of filter options...but I can see where the perfect sine-wave and sag-free regulation surpass simply isolating the Mystery amp and my Oppo.

Hell, at Decfest Steve had the Mystery and MKIV hooked up to the Trip Lite IS1000  for whatever that's worth.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #240 - 11/05/13 at 21:53:31
 
Quote:
Steve said,
... you can bury your Power regen's in the ground....to enrich the iron in the earth.


Sorry for the dumb question, but surely he's not talking about burrying a PS Audio Power Plant in the dirt in your backyard Grin

Can somebody explain what exactly he means by that statement?
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #241 - 11/06/13 at 00:47:15
 
Well, I only have one 0a3 amp, the ZP3. I suppose I could plug into the mains for an a-b comparison. Thats the thing, you may have the ZP3, Torii mk 3/4, but the CSP doesn`t have the 0a3 to filter mains. So a power plant is always going to be on your wish list if you dont have one.
PS regen, ok, but lets not get too carried away. If by divine intervention you swopped one out  and used my unit you wouldn`t hear anything but clean music. And there isn`t much difference in price, and the company that made mine make power plants much more expensive.
Thats the first time Ive seen that quote from Steve. I can have a slight chuckle. Gotta be a tongue in cheek little poke to pull the legs of the PS users.
Now.....plug the ZP3 into the mains......maybe another day.
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #242 - 11/06/13 at 01:49:14
 
I think it is tongue n' cheek.

Maybe I should try one?   -Stone

(Seriously, I am not being tongue in cheek).
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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 01:50:33 by stone_of_tone »  

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beowulf
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #243 - 11/06/13 at 01:54:28
 
Quote:
marky said,
Gotta be a tongue in cheek little poke to pull the legs of the PS users.


OK, I'm officially a dork (like everybody didn't know that already Grin) haha ... I didn't actually think he meant to stick a PS Audio P10 in the ground and bury it, but was thinking more along the lines of using some type of device for earth grounding. Tongue

Quote:
marky said,
... the company that made mine make power plants much more expensive.


What brand are you using by the way?
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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 02:10:47 by beowulf »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #244 - 11/06/13 at 12:46:01
 
It`s an Iso-teK power sub. Now discontinued but they pop up on bay at good prices. New they were around £1k. They do cater for the US and having a quick look found one of their giant models retailing at $13k. I imagine they have most models on sale in the US.
The power sub is large, very heavy and as far as I know excellent, and with 6 outlets I can get my 4 Decware amps + tt and cassette all sorted. The PS does intrigue, and the debate/info has gone up a notch on the `regeneration` thread. So maybe we can give Steve some credit for that quote which is bringing more light to the regen topic.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Isotek-Substation-Audiophile-Flag-Ship-High-End-Mains-...

http://www.kosmic.us/isotek-power-filters.html

Congrats to the MA owners.

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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 13:44:42 by marky »  

Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, CSP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s. Roksan Radius/Nima/high def cabl & M.Benz LP s , M/L aeon i`s, Townshend Isolda sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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stone_of_tone
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #245 - 11/06/13 at 13:26:25
 
No, I won't be trying one. Steve uses a Trip Lite. I use an Adcom 515 etc.... .

Read all of reply #34 & #66.....hope it offers clarity. It does for me.

"Steve Puffs so much"
"The way he writes about that Amp steers you away from it"
REALLY LON?!

-Stone.....I rest my case your Honor.  ;)
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Lon
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #246 - 11/06/13 at 13:34:36
 
That was a completely honest answer Stone. I'm sorry, I'm not into his ramped up writing.

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

So REALLY Stone. I've even been downplaying how much I dislike it, and it HAS made me less interested in the amp than I would otherwise.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #247 - 11/06/13 at 15:02:58
 
I'm sure my jumping up and down about the Mystery amp doesn't help Lon's position.  ;D

At least I'm not silly enough to go in a head-to-head debate with Lon about Decware gear (even though I think he's completely wrong - LOL). I appreciate that we all like different things, and I trust what I heard with my own ears. I'm a po'boy selling off other hobbies to scramble to afford the Mystery Amp, it's that good to me - and I'm a skeptic at heart; *everything* has to prove it's worth to me before I sign off on it. But Lon has a specific sonic aesthetic in mind, and I think he's got it, and I'm reaching for a bit more clinical sound, with super detail and a touch of harmonics - and that's what I heard with the Mystery amp...so I may have found my "sonic aesthetic" as well (I like that term!)

So the Power Plant will have to prove itself to me against the few other toys I have to put it up against. Hell, I'm so dedicated to making this work, I've seriously considered running the same MILspec wire that Steve uses for the Zen Styx as the power wire for the dedicated 20 amp circuit!

On a similar note, I just stumbled into an IS1000HS (Hospital Grade) Trip Lite Isolation Transformer for under $200! So I snapped it up to give it a spin. If I don't like it, it should be easy to flip - but if I like it, it will give me that couple percent improvement in my current system and future system till I can swing a Power Plant.
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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 15:04:59 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #248 - 11/06/13 at 15:10:18
 
As for Steve's hype...I  love hearing it - it cracks me up! I trust the man, and I've told him that many times before, but I being the skeptic I am I take everything he says with a grain of salt - and the gear still has to prove itself to me. The problem is, he's more often right on the money than not. It doesn't help that he said at the last meet that he and I "hear things a lot a like".

So while he suggests the Mystery amp puts the need for a Power Plant out to pasture ( for better grounding! LOL) - I'd have to hear that to believe it. It would be awesome if all I needed was the Isolation transformer for surge protection...would certainly save me a lot of money, but I have my doubts.

I hate to admit, his comment did make me wonder if improving my grounding scheme at the house would improve my sound any. Hey, if I'm nutty enough to wire an outlet with 10 AWG Zen Styx, why not improve the grounding scheme?  ;D
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« Last Edit: 11/06/13 at 15:11:53 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #249 - 11/06/13 at 15:36:09
 
Hey, I'm glad you're excited about the amp and if his writing helped that's fine and dandy.

Have to say though I've gotten messages and feedback from people who have looked into Decware because of my use and talk of it who are turned off by the web pages and the way Steve presents his products. They buy Marantz or Jolida or Manley instead. Wasting their money in my opinion, but presentation and first impressions are important.

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

The truth of the matter is that I'm set with my systems now and I'll play around with cabling and isolation etc. for fine-tuning but I don't need to read what comes off to me as hype about new amps.  I really don't even need to appear here and post every day over and over. Part of me wants to stop, and I may taper off.

The waiting for these Mystery Amps is going to be hard! I hope they come in a month or so and I'm looking forward to reading the impressions I know you two won't be able to keep to yourselves when they arrive.
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PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #250 - 11/06/13 at 18:03:57
 
Quote:
Have to say though I've gotten messages and feedback from people who have looked into Decware because of my use and talk of it who are turned off by the web pages and the way Steve presents his products. They buy Marantz or Jolida or Manley instead. Wasting their money in my opinion, but presentation and first impressions are important.


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PSAudio P5 and Shunyata Defender, PI Audio and DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab isocups and tube dampers...
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Re: The MYSTERY AMP !
Reply #252 - 11/06/13 at 18:26:20