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Anyone there to help? (Read 5181 times)
Lon
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #15 - 08/18/13 at 18:26:13
 
Rose, if you decide on a premp I'd recommend a Decware one, I've tried several others and they don't compare. But if you were to say use the Mini-Torii you shouldn't need a preamp. You can hook up your Oppo for cd/blu-ray/DVD and DVD-A etc. to one input and your Roku to the other (or maybe the Roku can use the Oppo internal DAC? not sure about the Oppo model you have or the Roku). Should give you darned impressive sound.

Again, let us know about what options etc. confuse you and I'm sure you'll get help here.

Hope you can get a Decware amp.
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busterfree
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #16 - 08/18/13 at 18:51:50
 
In my opinion (and everyone has one Grin), I would start with the Super Zen Triode. This has the lowest price and has fewest 'options' to get confused about. It sounds really good. You may even be able to get an earlier version used or borrow/listen to one from someone in your area.

My second choice would be the Zen Triode Integrated. This is only my second choice because of price and factoring in all the choices. (I don't know your budget.) I also don't think you will use the extra power since you listen moderately, but on the other hand you may want the extra power with classical music. I do not know because I have very little classical music.

I have the Super Zen, Mini Torii, and the Zen Triode Integrated. I use the Super Zen the most and that is probably factoring into my statements above. I listen nearfield in a small space.
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busterfree
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #17 - 08/18/13 at 18:56:59
 
Also, I have no experience with the Zen Torii. If it fits you budget wise, there is nothing wrong with getting it and being done with the whole debate. It is a worthy choice as well...
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Rose
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #18 - 08/18/13 at 18:57:53
 
Lon,
There are a lot of options/upgrades on the Zen Triode Integrated. I'm not sure if I need any of them. I'm trying to compare Zen Triode Integrated, Super Zen Triode (not the mono), and Mini Torii. I don't want something that would be overkill for my needs/speakers.

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Rose
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #19 - 08/18/13 at 19:00:44
 
Busterfree,
Do you use a preamp with the Super Zen?
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busterfree
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #20 - 08/18/13 at 19:03:27
 
I do not use a preamp. I do not own a preamp. The volume control on my amps fit my need. I have a rotary switch box in the closet if I want to connect more than two sources.
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Lon
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #21 - 08/18/13 at 19:53:50
 
You are right, there are many options on the Integrated but frankly you don't need any of those. Of the available option the "stepped attenuator" would be a good choice, it will help the sound a bit. What you would most need isn't really listed as an option, that is two inputs not just one. If you went with this integrated amp then you'd need a preamp for additional components, unless your Roku can use the DAC inside the Oppo. That would be true of the Super Zen as well.

As the Mini-Torii has two inputs, no preamp would be needed, which is a savings. That's a consideration. I've never heard that amp, but it's very popular.
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« Last Edit: 08/18/13 at 19:57:32 by Lon »  

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beowulf
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #22 - 08/18/13 at 22:03:19
 
For me, other than the ability to accpet low input devices such as an iPhone/iPad and immense tube rolling choices (which could be fun, but also makes things more complicated) I think I would rather choose one of the S.E.T. amps for the holographic sexiness of the sound they output.

The SETs I would recommend are (no particular order):

1. Super Zen (2 watt SET amplifier). You will need the option for speakers between 6 and 16 ohms for your Tektons.  This is the least expensive way to try out Decware amps.

2. Zen Triode Integrated aka Rachel (6 watt SET amplfier) . I would get option 5, you don't need extra tubes so leave that out and the only other option(s) I would consider would be the (a) stepped attenuator (better volume control) and (b) v-caps (better caps).  However neither of these are necessary as Steve D designs his amps as is, but gives options as that little extra oopmh.

With the Super Zen and Rachel (Rachel option 5 even more so) no Preamps are NOT (sorry I had to edit this post to reflect NOT) needed, so I would buy them first and then see if I might want to add one later on after having them in my setup for a few months.

If you can stretch your budget I think you would have more flexibility with the Rachel and the few extra watts may be better in a bigger room.

And as far as sources ... I would use the Oppo for all my media needs (CD/Blu Ray/Netflix, media streaming, etc.) and the DAC is decent in the Oppo as well so no need to purchase any other sources (such as a separate CD player unless of course if you want to).  Then I would send the Roku signal through the Oppo as well ... although depending on the Oppo model, you may not need the Roku at all because the Oppo may be able to do everything the Roku does PLUS more. Cool
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« Last Edit: 08/18/13 at 22:27:27 by beowulf »  
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Rose
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #23 - 08/18/13 at 23:45:43
 
Beowulf,
After upgrades, the Zen Triode Integrated and the Zen Mini Torii are about the same price. I can't seem to figure out the major differences besides the way they look. Is one better than the other?
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« Last Edit: 08/18/13 at 23:46:13 by Rose »  
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Lon
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #24 - 08/19/13 at 00:22:28
 
I"ll throw my two cents here. . . the main differences are that the Mini Torii has two inputs (right>?) and a higher gain preamp section that will work better with sources such as an iPod, iPad, etc. (Roku?) Technically the Integrated is an SET and the Mini-Torii is an SEP, and the Integrated may sound just a tad more forgiving than the Mini-Torii (emphasis on MAY as I haven't heard it). And the Mini-Torii gives you many more "tube-rolling" options which is important to some.
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seikosha
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #25 - 08/19/13 at 02:37:07
 
Only thing I'd add concerning the Mini Torii vs. the Integrated that hasn't been mentioned is that the Mini is a true dual mono design.
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beowulf
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #26 - 08/19/13 at 03:17:47
 
Quote:
Rose said,
Beowulf,
After upgrades, the Zen Triode Integrated and the Zen Mini Torii are about the same price. I can't seem to figure out the major differences besides the way they look. Is one better than the other?


No, one amp is not better than the other as far as build quality, etc. ... think of it like each one has a different flavor and intent for being in the Decware line up.

The Mini Torii is a Single Ended Pentode (SEP) has a higher gain preamp section - this will allow a person to directly input their iPod/iPad (or other iStuff) into the Mini Torii and use it as a source for playback ... this makes it very convenient for a lot of people who prefer to listen to their music directly from their iStuff (although I don't know who would want to because the DAC on iStuff is just an after thought).  The Mini Torii is also a Tube Roller's paradise, it can accept an immense amount of different tubes which you can try playing with (this is called "Tube Rolling") and different tubes can have an effect on the way the amp sounds.  Another strong selling point about the Mini Torii is its' size and it has a foot print of about the size of a piece of printer paper.  So if this is something that sounds interesting to you then you may want to look at the Mini.

Here's my personal .02 on the Mini Torii, I won't ever be plugging iStuff directly into my amp as the DACs on iStuff sucks, so I would only listen to iStuff through something else that has a better quality DAC (i.e. a stand alone DAC or Oppo type device that can accept USB inputs), so this is a feature that I dont' have a need for.  I also do not care for the immense tube rolling options that are part of the Mini's strong points.  I'm OCD enough as it is and I couldn't sleep at night knowing that I don't have the best combination of tubes in there as possible! Grin ... but seriously there are guys here that get a huge kick out of swaping tubes and if you fall into that category of "an exceptional tinkerer" than I couldn't think of a more better choice than the Mini, but if you're like me and like to set it and forget it and don't listen to iStuff directly, than those options will not be of much use to you.

The Rachel, is more simple being a Single Ended Triode (SET) design and Option 5 has 4 inputs (which is plenty for the equipment you have listed), it also has flexibilty of 2 volume controls (one for each speaker), you can think of this as a fancy balance control that will allow you to adjust each speaker's output volume individually ... this comes in handy if your room is slightly off or open to another room, etc. and you think the sound may benefit by having one speaker slightly louder than the other.

Ok, so that's sort of a ballpark breakdown of the options and what their intents and purposes of those 2 amps are for.  Sound is another story altogether and I've never heard the Mini Torii (which is a SEP), but I have heard Decware's SET designs.  But I imagine being Decware they are both going to sound similar and otherwise great ... but I'm going to give the edge to the SET design.

Here are what I've read and come to understand about the strengths of SET (Rachel) vs. SEP (Mini Torii) and this is a generalization.

SETs are the most linear amplifying device, Triodes produce mainly even order harmonics which are much easier on the ear and thus more attractive for those who don't like the use of any type of feedback.  Their strengths are in the fantastic realism they can impart, especially to the midrange and top end.

A Pentode PP amp by contrast, will have a muscular sound, with a better grip on the bass, Pentodes produce even and odd order harmonics in single ended configuration, feedback can be used to lower over-all distortion though to smooth it out ... but it won't have the magic mids and tops of the triode design. I don't believe anything else does.
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« Last Edit: 08/19/13 at 03:19:00 by beowulf »  
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Rose
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #27 - 08/19/13 at 04:14:45
 
Beowulf,
Thank you for the explanation between the two models. I have a better understanding now. Like you, I don't care to use any digital devices for playback. I also don't care for tube rolling either.

You mentioned sending the Roku signal through the Oppo. How do you do this on an Oppo 105?

I'm so sorry for all the rudimentary questions. As I mentioned before, I'm new to all of this. I would still like to talk to Decware before I make a purchase. I really do appreciate everyone's help here.
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beowulf
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #28 - 08/19/13 at 06:05:57
 
Quote:
You mentioned sending the Roku signal through the Oppo. How do you do this on an Oppo 105?


Well, the Oppo BDP-105 is the Swiss Army Knife of the Audio/Video world.  It is already Roku Ready and you need to attach the Roku Streaming Stick into the MHL HDMI Input on the front of the player.  This is the cleanest way to connect it to the Oppo.

If you don't have the Roku Streaming Stick but another Roku device, use an HDMI cable >from the Roku's HDMI output >into the Oppo's HDMI input.  When you turn on your Oppo I believe you can navigate to the Roku from the Oppo's remote's "Home" button.

Since the Oppo already has a good quality DAC and it upscales all video up to 4K, I belive running the Roku through the Oppo will enhance the playback all around.

Still try to get a hold of Decware ... don't give up it's going to be worth it.  They have had some minor setbacks recently with his daughter (a key team member and usually the first responder to inquiries) just giving birth and another key team member having some health issues.
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ZYGI
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Re: Anyone there to help?
Reply #29 - 08/19/13 at 11:53:36
 
Sarah should be back today....give her time to catch her breath and get back into the grind, I'm sure she will get back in touch soon.

Steve also had a bit of a set back, missing his oldest daughters wedding as he was in the hospital.

Zygi
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