Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
10/21/14 at 03:19:26


Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player (Read 1722 times)
jaco03
Verified Member
**




Posts: 18
waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
04/28/13 at 04:43:50
 
Hi
Much things happening in the last three years, from being made redundant from my job in 2011 to my dad passing away that same year and looking for a job and so on -- that meant music listening took a backseat to everything. shifting out of the country meant getting rid of everything and that included the se84b that i bought from steve in 2001. with the going of the zenamp, that meant i cared even less to seriously listen to music. But in recent months, some stability in my life means i can think about my once-favourite hobby again so i plonked down for the superzen and the tascam CD recently. I can't wait to hear what it can do compared to the "king' i had. I hear my se84 replaced an $8000 buck amp!.
cheers
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
jameskk
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 188
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #1 - 10/13/13 at 12:38:53
 
Hey Jaco to just let you know ,you've made an excellent choice . I have several Decware pieces  including the 2 you've ordered ,and I can tell you ,you won't be disappointed. allow for a lot of  breakin ,however.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Rivieraranch
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 1274
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #2 - 10/13/13 at 12:53:30
 
The Superzen is what its name portends. At the 2013 ZenFest we tried your model side by side with a C+ (2009) and a SuperZen. The Superzen is hands down the winner in transparency, detail and presence. It will surpass all expectations.
Back to top
 
 

DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
  IP Logged
jaco03
Verified Member
**




Posts: 18
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #3 - 01/01/14 at 09:14:41
 
hi river ranch and jamesskk -- compliments of the season.
i finally last month managed to hook up the super zen to the zen cd player -- i didn't have my speakers in the house so hooked some long in the tooth technics speakers up --- and even then i could tell just how good the little amp had become.
-- a bit of background here -- more than a few years ago, my ultimate combination was the little zen amp i bought from steve in 2001, then came a pair of klipsch la scalas and finally a vintage california audio labs aria cd player. that gave me a sound to die for -- pinpoint imaging as tall and wide as the back wall and depth way behind my listening seat with sounds from each track clear as a bell. The aged aria died and that was that. But it had showed some of my disbelieving friend just how good the SE84 is at extracting and delivering information. if good stuff goes in, great stuff comes out!!!
Well, when my current speakers, klipsch klf-20s arrived, I knew i had something -- it is very close to that previous combination -- out of the box. I am now looking at tweaking the klf20s -- i already have bob crites crossover upgrade caps, made a start on the cabinet bracing (which have made some amazing changes in the delivery of the sound) and am awaiting crites' ti tweeter upgrade for the klf20s to arrive. I am truly happy i decided to buy the super zen. and the zen cd player will in time i am sure equal, if not better the aria. Then there is also a bit of tube rolling to do. I guess i will be busy in the new year, back listening to music the Zen way!!! thanks steve.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
jameskk
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 188
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #4 - 01/01/14 at 13:57:02
 
Happy New Year ! Well you are starting it off right , I cant stress enough as you probably already know about the breakin time with these pieces. Takes awhile . What configuration did you get with the Zen cd player....? Enjoy!!!
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
jaco03
Verified Member
**




Posts: 18
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #5 - 01/02/14 at 01:51:51
 
aside from the variable output controls which are now standard, i opted for the tube regulated power supply. I previously built steve's tube output kit for cd players with the tube regulated supply in 2009, so had a good idea what the built in hot-rodded version for the tascam could do. I think the CAL aria had an output of 4 volts or so, instead of the usual 2v for the majority of cd players. I always thought that this was part of the reason for the great sound when the aria's signals  passed through the zenamp. So when i read that the output of steve's CD was adjustable to 5v, it was a no brainer.
Anyway I have had to set up the gear in a little room and was practically nearfield listening. So I found that the less aggressive bias mode from the zenamp was best. I am sure the switch will be flicked the other way once i get it into the lounge. playing around with the CD output, i found that one step from maximum output was best for my environment. Radio gaga by queen has a bit in it that had my wife exclaiming i never heard/felt that bit before! she also reckoned she had never heard guitars acoustic or electric sound so realistic. Eric clapton's river of tears has the kick drum felt out in the room as did parts of aaron neville's warm your heart album which has a suprising amount of tastefully played bass and kick drum rhythms.
I also used the ipod extensively and once i got the hang of playing with its equaliser settings, it was pretty close to CD reproduction.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
DBC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 132
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #6 - 01/02/14 at 14:54:31
 
Jaco03,

Congrats on a very nice system. Mine is similar with Oppo player, Super Zen and Klipsch RF-7's (101 db). In my book it is hard to beat the Super Zen with the right player and high efficiency speakers.

If you really want to expand & deepen the overall sound stage further, try adding the HSU Mid Bass Module as I describe in the "Adding Weight & Body" thread. Drums, guitar and vocals all become much more focused and you will think you just tripled the power output of your Zen amp.

Before the Mid Bass Module I routinely listened with the Zen volume pot at 12 O'clock to get the bass. Now with the MBM I routinely listen with the volume at 9 O'clock and it sounds more substantial yet the added low end clarity & attack (50 to 150 hz) needs to be heard to be believed.

Good Luck!!!
Back to top
 
 

Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
  IP Logged
jaco03
Verified Member
**




Posts: 18
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #7 - 01/02/14 at 22:42:26
 
Hi dbc
I will go have a read of the hsu thread rite now. It really is hard to describe just how special the little amp is. You listen to music you have heard since your teens and it's like hearing things for the first time. I have also the mark two integrated but always come back to the little legend.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
DBC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 132
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #8 - 01/03/14 at 16:40:03
 
Jaco03,

I purchased my original Zen in 2000 and then the CKC in 2011. I have been to Decware twice in the past few years for extended listening sessions. I've heard most of Steve's amp and speaker combos. Last time I was there I decided to upgrade to the CKC. The higher power Decware amps I auditioned sounded different but to my ear none were better than the CKC unless you are limited by lower efficiency speakers.

The HSU Mid Bass Module addressed the only real weakness the CKC had in my system and that is the lack of power to fully develop the bottom end (some music can come across a bit thin). The MBM with it's 300 watts allows you to dial in the perfect low end authority for your room and taste without having to max out the volume knob on the Zen.

A conventional sub will not do what the MBM does for music playback so spend your money on the MBM first. I have found as well as a few others here that the MBM integrates easily and seamlessly with the main speakers when set up properly.

I have several hundred CD's some of which I rarely listened to because they sounded a bit thin on the low end. My Oppo player and CKC convey all the low end detail and now the MBM has the power,speed and accuracy to convey that to me the listener with realistic authority at moderate volumes.

I used to think a lot of my old Hendricks, Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, etc. recordings had poorly recorded or simply low levels of bass material. Turns out the bass is there it is just lets say more delicate than in a lot of more modern recordings. The MBM lifts and gives delicate bass lines three dimensions which makes entire recordings sound deeper, wider, more spacious and more powerful.
Back to top
 
 

Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 1417
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #9 - 01/03/14 at 17:00:28
 
Quote:
A conventional sub will not do what the MBM does for music playback so spend your money on the MBM first.


Why do you feel a modern sub couldn't pull this off?
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
DBC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 132
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #10 - 01/03/14 at 18:07:14
 
LR, I'm a big fan of live music so for the last 35 years I have worked to reproduce the live leading edge drum attack, guitar decay, etc. that live music presents but is very difficult to reproduce in a living space.

I've had many quality subs, parametric EQ's, receiver EQ's, etc. over the years and nothing sounded anywhere near as realistic as what I have now. In the end I found simpler was better.

Two years ago I purchased a pair of HSU ULS-15 subs, their flagship subs. I have to say these subs are outstanding and having a pair has virtually eliminated troublesome room induced frequency peaks and dips. Bass is very uniform and it did help the low end on music.

When I purchased the subs I was aware of the Mid Bass Module from the HSU website. HSU however really promotes the MBM as an HT item and not so much for music which I think is a mistake on their part. I was able to find only a few obscure user reviews of the MBM online related to music but those few were very positive.

Given the generous HSU return policy I ordered a pair of Mid Bass Modules and got a quantity discount to boot. The difference between MBM's only and subs only is profound. Of course the MBM's and subs together sound wonderful but 85% of the wonderful comes from the MBM reproducing the 50 to 150 Hz range. So if I had to choose between the MBM or sub it would be no contest in a music system.

Dr. Hsu explains on his website that true subs are designed to go low and loud (typically well below 50 hz.) and for this you need a large heavy driver. He also explains that what I call low end whack & attack resides in the 50 to 150 hz. range and for that you need a smaller, much lighter and faster driver. A true sub just can't do it "ALL" right at 20 hz and 150 hz.

After finding this link it was interesting to be able to visualize how music material resides in the 50 to 150 hz range. Hearing the Mid Bass Module makes this even more apparent provided your upstream audio gear is up to the task.

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

So LR I can say that the HSU USL-15 subs are fine if not exceptional subs and they can not "pull off" what the Mid Bass Module can do. Seems like their designer Dr. Hsu believed the same when he created the Mid Bass Module. And I have never enjoyed my music system more.

I will admit I was a skeptic but as they say "Hearing Is Believing".


Back to top
 
 

Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 1417
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #11 - 01/03/14 at 20:47:10
 
Yeah, looking at the specs on both units (the 15 and the 12 midbass) I can see how they fill in that upper bass frequency up to 250.

I have a 21" dual coil sub with about 2000 watts running through it, and its measured down to 10hz pretty flat, so I typically cross it over from 80hz on down to fill in the bottom end. Well, I was playing with the crossover on the Oppo 105, and decided to see what setting up the sub at 250Hz would do, and I got that powerful mid-bass thump that a live electric bass player would have (I had just seen Mannheim Steamroller and thought their bass player sounded fantastic and used that as my yard stick).

I'm betting a good, modern subwoofer could get me where you are with fewer drivers, but I see how unloading that 50-150 or 50-250 frequency to dedicated drivers could help the subs to their Ultra-low and the mains do everything above.
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
DBC
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 132
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #12 - 01/03/14 at 22:05:04
 
LR: In the past when I just had a sub I found the higher I set the sub crossover the more likely I was to encounter a room induced peak somewhere within the expanded frequency range. With the MBM my sub crossover is set at 50 hz and this has made sub placement a lot less critical.

With the MBM handling everything else above 50 hz room induced peaks above 50 have not been an issue since I keep the MBM a good distance from any corners. So I do find it an advantage to be able to position the sub for best reproduction of everything below 50 hz and position the MBM elsewhere for best reproduction of 50 hz and up.

The front face of my mains are approx 4 feet in front of the wall that sits behind them (well out into my room). This provides the best imaging, sound-stage depth and width but not the best mid bass. The MBM allows me to place the mains where they image the best and then I simply dial in the mid bass separately from the MBM.

Sounds complicated but it's really pretty easy to dial in. Just put the mains where they image the best. Place the MBM somewhere between the mains, set the MBM crossover to 150 hz (the max) and dial in the correct volume. This will add heft and expand the sound-stage substantially. Then if you do have a sub integrate that into the system last by setting the sub crossover at or below 50hz and adjust for proper volume.

Back to top
 
 

Oppo BDP-83SE, SE84CKC amp, Klipsch RF-7 mains, HSU MBM-12 MK2 mid bass module, HSU ULS-15 sub
  IP Logged
jaco03
Verified Member
**




Posts: 18
Re: waiting for the superzen and tascam cd player
Reply #13 - 01/03/14 at 23:18:30
 
Hi dbc
The mbm looks very interesting. And sounds like you have a very good setup. You are in a privileged position to have visited Steve. I aim to do that one day and check out his treasure cave.
There are no hsu dealers in New Zealand so it is unlikely I will hav the opportunity to hear what it can do. For the moment I will content my self with tweaking the klf20 s. When I first got the la scalas, like you, I thought there was not enough bass but I had a mid and upper range to die for. And you are right. Some of the recordings of the 60s so undead thin on CDs Hendrix, Joplin, Dylan. Then a second hand hi fi dealer who knew my taste and gear handed me the aria. It's got the best bass he said. And boy he was right. And not just the best bass. Imaging, depth, instrument tone, rhythm and swing, detail, the interplay between the musicians, the improvisation in their phrasing, I could even hear if a piano player was hitting the sustain pedal on a live recording. And to top it off, no hint of sibilance . I could have Eva Cassidy right in my living room. I could tell if joe zawinul was playing electric piano with his right hand and non electric with his left. I could hear where peter earskine  was hitting the crown on the cymbal. First thought was who says la scalas have no bass. Because it was an unsettled time in my life the la scalas were sold some years ago and I truly regret letting them go. The klf20 s have buried potential though and as an inveterate tinkerer I am trying out the mods reccomnded by James moray. So far he has not been wrong.
This is not to say I won't try subs out. I know the zen amp has everything inside it. I think this current combination has the potential to reach what I had before so I will stay on this track. I still have tube rolling to do, cable rolling and so on. Then there,s also the legendary breakin period of the zen amp and the CD player. Lol. At the moment for instance with supertramp   I get a great soundstage. Bass and kickdrum are excellent. I can feel them. What i am not getting is separation of instruments and at the very top, cymbals are still too sizzling. Some of it can be solved with the right cabling and so on, isolation from vibration and the fact I haven't spiked the speakers yet! So still a lot of set up to go!
As an aside, you r so right. The bass players of the 60s and 70 s, they could really swing, improvise, provide the foundation, innovate and be melodic. The more modern ones,  sound too by the dots .  If u don't have it yet, the Clarke, did meola, ponty album is good. Cheers
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print