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2013 DECFEST THREAD (Read 17972 times)
Auguie
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #60 - 10/12/13 at 20:44:03
 
Quote:
P.S. It's Brianne - she doesn't like when people mess that up  ::)

My apologies to Brianne Embarrassed.  I should have double checked.

Dan
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Rivieraranch
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #61 - 10/12/13 at 22:36:39
 
She was introduced to me as "Brie" I thought. That is why I put my hands in a small circle, to simulate a round cake of brie cheese.
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will
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #62 - 10/12/13 at 23:42:55
 
I am wondering....can anyone comment more on the sonic details of the MkIV. I am hearing a lot of interest in the Mystery...detail, neutrality...sounds like it has speed and brilliant resolution too. Probably something more making the magic as well?

And the MkIV. What are its signature traits? As I look at LRs great pics, I see russian OA3s and Ruby 5U4G-STs in the MkIV. Though they can work nicely, relative to some other tubes, from my experience anyway, they both hobble the sound in a similar ways...perhaps overly bright and open, and especially the Rubys...even a bit tinselly, lacking in body and subtle information...

The Mystery looks like no Rectifier tubes, and I can't tell, is there some kind of ST shaped OA3. I am just imagining that these tubes alone could make a mark on the comparison between the MKIV and Mystery, so asking for more impressions if anyone is up for it.


SteveC.

Can't say for sure how this would relate to hi-Res, but with my Tranquility, room setup, Pure Music settings, and the way I have my Torii MkIII set up and tuned, I am getting really amazing texture and harmonic information from Redbook. That was a Tranquility design priority though, using the theory that 16 bit 44.1K is actually a load of information if you can just access and exploit it musically.

Not that well done Hi-Rez is not better...just that 44.1 is a lot if fully grasped.

This also makes me think of your impressions of the upsampling with the Teac DAC. Where did that better high info come from??? Also, it makes me think of all the messing around I used to do in Pure Music, one being using a 32bit filter, which I really like. This manipulation's success or not seems to have a lot to do with the quality of a circuit, and if manipulation is employed, the soiund quality the designers put in there to do it. But we are talking about Rebook getting better from excellent technological implementation.

I am really not conceptually interested in Hi-Rez, not because I doubt I would like well recorded hi-rez, but what effect might that have on my enjoyment of other lesser recordings...this, price, and the limitations of Hi-Rez and many recordings, is why I have pursued squeezing the most I can out of the ubiquitous Redbook.
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« Last Edit: 10/13/13 at 00:21:26 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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Lon
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #63 - 10/13/13 at 04:18:35
 
Good point there will about the tubes in the machines.

I'd also like to do comparisons between well-seasoned machines whenever possible. One truth I've learned about Decware components is that they sound better and better over time, take a new one and one played hard and put up wet for years and there is quite a gap in sonic nature.

Like you I've been enjoying excellent Redbook sound and I also have had a fear of flying deeply into hi-res and becoming less satisfied with Redbook. Though I've a few hundred SACD discs and they're great, but they haven't caused me to frown on my CDs so. . . . Hi-res material sounds fantastic played through my PWD on DVD-R but I don't have a way to burn to DVD-R at the moment and that's okay. Redbook sounds so darned good.

The truth I've been discovering after a few years with my PS Audio Duo is that everything passing through it sounds really really good. And then there's the vinyl through the ZP3. Oh my. I'm so glad to be where I am system wise, and I'm very grateful and appreciative.
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« Last Edit: 10/13/13 at 14:10:32 by Lon »  

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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marky
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #64 - 10/13/13 at 13:25:06
 
Nice pics!
SteveC`s waited for, honest a-b comparison between the new mk4 and Mystery amp is just what Steve D hinted at when he told us there would be no vinyl at the fest now that the the new sampling rates had reached par and he was building a new amp. It`s not the death knell of anything but Steves nod to the many members here who regularly leave me thinking I`ve opened the NASA operating manual. You`re riding the wave, so Steves said `Here you are, go play`
And of course it`s for, as he says, difficult speakers, so you wont need to approach clipping if thats what you prefer.
Ample.

Then there is the multi talented mk4 which has more options and modes than ever.

The pic of the new ERR`s design looks stunning. I am really tempted.




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Cosmos
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #65 - 10/13/13 at 13:42:48
 
I don't know what I listened to through the mystery amp, but it sounded very good. The mystery amp paired up with the corner horns or the HR-1 really, really well. Was it the best sounding amp I ever heard? I don't know but it was really good and I think anyone could be happy with it. In my mind, it flexed its muscles with better speakers more than disappointed with lesser files. If I were buying a new amp, I wouldn't hesitate buying it. There is a synergy that happens between components in a system, some call it magic.. But a certain amp will sound better with certain speakers than it does with others. It's a fact, in my mind and it's hard to predict, but it happens. Remember, the joy we look for is about the music. If certain gear inhibits our enjoyment of the music, it should be a big consideration.

There's a saying I use: "Paradise is a wonderful place, but if one keeps looking for it, they will never find it"  :)
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« Last Edit: 10/13/13 at 13:54:34 by Cosmos »  

Audio - The hobby of spending insane amounts to make a little improvement.
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tgarden
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #66 - 10/13/13 at 18:07:39
 
Will,  My Mark III/Mark IV conversion will be arriving this Thursday,  so I'll gladly relay my sonic impressions to you, once I get a couple hundred hours on the new caps/wiring.

And believe me, I won't be using those stock Ruby rectifiers for my listening sessions!  They are ok for burn-in, but to say that they hobble the sound...in my experience with the Mark I, II, and III, that's somwhat of an understatement.  I have found Tungsol, Sylvania, National Union, Ken Rad, GE, and of course ANY RCA to be superior.  To my ears, anyway.  ...Also, Torii's rEally benefit from replacing the other stock tubes, especially the two inputs.  Most of you Decwarians already know that.

Lon,  I am fully in agreement with your comment about a well-seasoned Decware amp being much better sonically, than a fresh machine. Day and night difference.   I'm pretty excited about my Mark IV conversion. Although it'll need several hundred hours to fully break in the Jupiter's and other new caps, I already have 5000+ hours on the big iron (transformers).

Will, I owe you a PM or two. Coming later today!


Mike in Seattle area

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will
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #67 - 10/13/13 at 18:44:41
 
Tgarden, I look forward to hearing your impressions. I agree on the rectifiers and inputs...and all the tubes for that matter. I change the big VRs often for tuning.

For rectifiers, in my MkIII, I keep putting back in Chatham 5R4WGYs. I seem to go back and forth between them and some 50's RCAs these days. The RCAs have heavy black plates and top/side, wide D getters. Thanks for the reminder on the Sylvanias. I will pull them out and try them. Mine are I think 40's (with the wires between the plates). Has any particular Rectifier panned as your favorite?

That each tube makes so much difference, this is why I wondered about the amp's tubes and how this effects their sound. I mean, if the MkIV is rich and luscious with those rectifiers and VRs...hmmm, hard to guess. I think the warm 6N1P workhorses must balance them a bit. But at the same time, these three tubes leave out some finesse and micro detail that is important to me.

And I too agree with Lon. The burn in is kind of a big deal on the Torii. I wonder...sounds like Steve changed your coupling caps...and other caps...I assume power supply caps??? but not transformers or chokes? Even with new power tubes though, it would seem you will be hearing where the amp is going in 200-300 hours as you suggest. I recall everything refining over several hundred, but particularly the bass and mid bass seem more obviously slow.

I wonder how many hours are on those amps and their tubes the Decfest folks got to hear?
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« Last Edit: 10/13/13 at 18:48:46 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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tgarden
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #68 - 10/13/13 at 19:43:01
 
Will, I'll have to try out the Chatham 5R4WGY's, I have no experience with those. Ebay or dealer?

 1940's Sylvanias with the wires between the plates and bottom getters, are nice tubes, they should compare very well to the 50's and even the '40s RCA's.  Are they VT-244's or civilian production?  Should be about the same soundwise.

Favorite 5U4's...In the RCA's the 40's bottom getters are great, I sold Lon a NOS matched pair of those. I think he likes them. I've got a pair of 40's KenRads in my Decware ZSM's, they have good bass with nice highs. Soundstage was a bit unfocused in my Torii Mark III, though

Overall, I go back and forth between "older the better" RCA 5U4's, and Tung Sol 5U4's. 1950's and even the 60's Tung Sol's had great quality control, and sound good top to bottom with pretty decent bass.
I like them with both the Torii and the ZSMs.  I'm using Amperex 7308's for inputs in both systems, so that certainly affects the synergy. I used the Amperex 7308's in the Torii I, II, III.  The trick with the Tung Sols is finding a matched pair. Course, it's not so easy with the RCA's, either.

On my Mark IV conversion, the transformers and chokes are not changed (they are the same as the III) but the coupling caps (and from what I see in Steve's undercarriage photos)  the power supply caps are new.  Jupiter coupling caps and ??? power supply caps, along with the new wiring, will need the burn-in.

The Jupiter coupling caps that Steve put in my ZSM's, were 90% there, at 300 hours.  As per your intuition, with the III/IV conversion, I should hear where it's going at 200-300 hours.   Fully burned in at 500+??  Maybe. Already have 5000 hours+ on the transFormer/chokes.

Concerning the demo amps and tubes at Decfest, well..figuring 50-100 hours per week of play time(I'll be getting 110-115 hrs. wk. during my burn-in), they probably have no more than 500 hours on them.  Maybe less for the Mark IV.  

Always nice talking to you, Will.

Mike
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« Last Edit: 10/13/13 at 19:47:18 by tgarden »  
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Lin
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #69 - 10/13/13 at 19:50:15
 
Did your blue Torii have tube rectification Mike? Huh
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tgarden
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #70 - 10/13/13 at 20:03:44
 
Hi Lin,  You are right!  It did not.  I've had too many Torii's.

I just saw my old Mark I yesterday, it now lives at a nearby friend's home.  I sold it to him for a grand about 8 years ago (with Amperex 7308's).  Sure wish I had it now.  Maybe the best amp Decware ever made.  

It actually drove my Legacy Audio Signature III speaker's with three 10" woofer's, rather well.  Not like the Mark III does, but still, it drove them nicely.  And what is the output on it? Something like 12 watts per channel?  A very sublime 12 watts.

it would be interesting to put some Jupiter coupling caps in a Mark I, and see if it was an improvement or not.

Mike
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« Last Edit: 10/13/13 at 20:05:42 by tgarden »  
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will
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #71 - 10/14/13 at 05:43:16
 
Mike,

My tube knowledge and buying is I am afraid a little more rough and tumble than yours. In it though, my luck has actually been notably better via Ebay as compared with the regular sellers.... and notably less cost too as long as I am patient, so all good.

I have been doing some listening with a pair of Chatham 5R4WGY and my recovered-from-the-back-of-the-cabinet Sylvania/Raytheon 40's 5U4G-ST. I can't remember how I got the latter. They were supposed to be matched, and they sound quite balanced switching channels. One is labelled Sylvania 5U4G VT-244 and the other Raytheon 5U4G. Construction looks just alike, except the bottom getter on the Sylvania is square, and on the Raytheon it is sort of a D shaped parasol looking getter (sort of) with a bigger flash. I recall these as being perhaps my most open and airy NOS 5U4G-STs, but still with good bass.

The Chathams I bought on ebay very inexpensively, asking for a matched pair. The other tubes are Amperex 7308, raytheon OC2, Westinghouse labeled (I think raytheon) OB2s, and cryo'd Mullard reissue EL34s. With this set, the Chathams are warmer and more plain in a 'real' sort of way...punchier and bigger, more powerful bass, and with more focus and edge definition throughout. The edges feather out nicely, just not as much as these 5U4s. Really good ambience local to the instruments and decent ambient decay, but less broad ambient info than these 5U4G-ST...

The 5U4Gs are more delicate with wider edges, leaner, more sense of fine detail, and thus more ambient spread. Maybe a bit more 'romantic' sounding...perhaps from less emphasis on the mid mids, and with a very nice upper mid and low high area, they have a more ethereal spacious sound. Not that the Chathams don't have a good spacious quality...they are just more big and focused. The 5U4G bass is real sounding. They are really nice tubes, ones I used to choose to balance slightly darker and denser tubes.

The Chathams might be too intense for me with more pushy OA3s in combination with these powerful Amperex 7308s. These slightly warm, less pushy, more open, and nicely textured OB3s blend well in this system/room. I have a tendency toward some lesser known 7DJ8s for similar reasons with these tubes...more spacious, textural, and less focused than the 7308s, but I go both ways. The Amperex 7308 has a great, fully developed tube sound.

In the end, I like both rectifiers quite a lot. Pretty similar in some ways, and pretty different tendencies also, but they both do their own things very well, and I can get used to either!

Of course...this could be all my funny sense of reality in this particular system! And though I used the Chathams a lot before the CSP3, now I am really out there as I adjust to it...The CSP3 is a powerful tool, with THREE more tube positions to blend with the MKIIIs 5 tube types! I love it though!

I will keep an eye open for some Tungsol 5U4G-STs! The thing I love about having a lot of different tubes, all the ones with good basic qualities can be well used by synergistic mixing and matching, each set opening fresh musical experiences!

Thanks Mike. Always a pleasure to hear your impressions and I really look forward to the MKIV settling in for you!
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« Last Edit: 10/14/13 at 05:45:59 by will »  

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SteveC
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #72 - 10/16/13 at 22:52:20
 
Since my post, I've been reading a lot about hi res stuff and digital audio in general.

I'm a computer guy, so I understand bits and bytes.  I just don't know very much beyond the basics of 16bit PCM when it comes to audio.

Another thing I want to say is that I don't have a "refined ear", the way Steve and Bob can hear flaws... I can't judge well any single piece of equipment.  But it's very easy to tell when one thing is different/better than another when comparing between them.  (which is why I go to Peoria)

I too was a firm believer in "44.1khz is plenty.  96db dynamic range is plenty, and more than any master tape has". etc.   But hearing was believing at decfest. There was a difference when the sampling rate was tweaked.

I found a couple things that shed some light onto what I might have heard.  The difference was definitely on the treble end.  A high frequency roll off for 44.1 vs. 384khz playback.

These two pages have great info:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/415361/24bit-vs-16bit-the-myth-exploded
This one basically says: 24bits is unnecessary.  16bits has more dynamic range than we even use.  Especially with the compression (loudness wars) of cd's in the past decade or so).  (neat site: see Dynamic Range Database. http://www.dr.loudness-war.info )
The thread also says that sampling frequency does make a difference.  smaller and smaller time slices (more frequent sampling) allows for more accuracy, less error, less distortion.)
take away for me: Bit depth=blah.  sampling rate=yay.


http://archimago.blogspot.com/2013/05/measurements-teac-ud-501-pcm-performance.h...
This post measures the TEAC dac, shows how good it is, etc., yeah, yeah. But it also points out a mode where Digital Interpolation is turned off (putting it in a Non Oversampling mode).  The frequency plot of this mode shows a substantial treble freq roll off compared to when interpolation is turned on.  (sine wave is jagged vs. interpolated to be smooth)
take away for me: The Teac has a mode that can lose lots of treble (maybe this was what we were hearing when playing with the sampling rate).

So, again, I can't judge a thing by itself well, but I hear the diff between the Mystery and Torii.  At first I didn't think the differences where that big. They were clearly audible differences, but they didn't seem worth it to me. (I know the price/performance plot is not linear. we all pay a lot more to get just a fraction better performance).  But after hearing how clear things could be on the very accurate Mystery, then by comparison, the looser, lusher Torii, was less preferable to me. (At the cost of making my poorly recorded favorite songs sound worse.)

I also want to make a point about a mistake we all make.  Psychologically, we all believe if A is better than B, then B must suck. Well, those of us with more than one decware amp know that they all do different things well, and overall, any of them are extremely fine amps on their own.  So when discussing torii3 vs. torii4 vs. Mystery... none of this means there's a bad amp in the bunch.  I know we all know this, but it's difficult for us sometimes to not make that judgment.  know what I mean?

So,
a) maybe there's some basis for the high freq roll off I heard.
b) high sampling rate, interpolated music can sound better than 16x44.1khz
c) all the decware amps are great and compare well to other brands.  we're splitting hairs. Smiley



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Lonely Raven
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #73 - 10/17/13 at 01:02:08
 

Awesome post!

I appreciate the time you took to voice all that. I think this is what makes this (small) forum great, is being able to express our thoughts and theories. I've had several crazy theories over the years myself...and I don't think Steve and Bob would be where they are now if they didn't say "what if" or , "I wanna try this and see what happens"

And honestly, if you could hear the difference between the Torii MK IV and Mystery amp, then your hearing is as good as anyone's. I know my fiance for example, no matter how closely she listened she couldn't hear a difference. It all sounded really good to her - she just couldn't split those hairs!  ;D
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Steve Deckert
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Re: 2013 DECFEST THREAD
Reply #74 - 10/17/13 at 03:20:13
 


Thanks to everyone who attended this years fest!  Besides the 80 people who made the trip, we logged  188 people who watched the live feed!

I tried to post this years videos on demand but ran into technical issues and had to regroup.  Instead of putting them on the video server, I split them up into individual segments for each speaker/amp combination.  

So, these videos can be found here: http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfest2013.html

And we also have this years killer pictures that can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/105633305@N07/

I'll be working on the web pages relating to the speaker changes, followed by the web pages dealing with the new Torii MK IV and Mystery Amp as time allows.

Thanks and don't forget we do listening appointments all year long including on weekends during the winter so you don't have to wait until DECFEST to visit.

-Steve



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