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CSP3 as a Pre-amp (Read 8207 times)
Lord Soth
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CSP3 as a Pre-amp
12/07/13 at 06:19:13
 
I want to share my experience of the Preamp function of the CSP3.

In audio, system synergy is very important.
The following will probably sound like a "Good Cop, Bad Cop" routine. Wink

1. Yarland FV34A-MK4
This a a nifty little tube amp which was awarded a realization award by Sixmoons.

It is a SE EL34 based tube amp.
It can operate as either an integrated amp or as a power amp.

As an integrated amp, it is sonically very clear.

When I paired my CSP3 with this amp, it took my Yarland amp to another sonic level with increased vocal presence.
The overall sound was more seductive.
There was no sonic veil introduced into the audio chain and my Yarland amp had the same sonic clarity as before.

This sonically seductive pre-amp and amp combo was actually on par with my 100hrs+ Torii Mk4!
(More details below)

2. Torii MK4
When I paired up the CSP3 with the Torii MK4, I could hear a slight sonic veil introduced in my audio chain.

I therefore prefer to run the Torii MK4 directly from the source.

3. Epilogue
With more burn-in (150 hrs), the Torii MK4 is slowly and inexorably surpassing the above-mentioned audio combo.
The vocals now have even more seductive "presence".
The phantom center channel is also more centered.

As usual, YMMV.


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pann56
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #1 - 12/12/13 at 16:12:58
 
how about First Watt M2 or F3  with CSP3  and Omega super 6 Alnico monitors  (93db).  Can anyone comment ?  looking for an amp .  currently using a TBI Millenia. its a bit noisy.  i think there is too much gain in the amp?   not too good at this technical stuff.  i am on a budget.
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Lin
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #2 - 12/13/13 at 01:17:25
 
pann56,

Most of the First Watt amps should work extremely well with the CSP3 and Omegas.
There is a first generation Taboo for sale here ($400) that should make the Super 6s sing. Smiley
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pann56
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #3 - 12/13/13 at 14:38:01
 
is there any info on this amp ? i can't seem to find it on the website
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Lon
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #4 - 12/13/13 at 14:56:20
 
The CSP3 is a preamplifier/headphone amplifier and its page can be accessed form the page "Amplifiers"

http://www.decware.com/newsite/CSP3.html
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pann56
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #5 - 12/13/13 at 17:20:27
 
yep.  Thats the preamp i have.  i was wondering about the Taboo that Lin said was available fo sale.  I can't find anything on it.  Is that another model ?  i was just looking into amp alternatives for my TBI MIllenia with the CSP2 as i mentioned above,    thx!
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Lon
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #6 - 12/13/13 at 17:42:17
 
I'm not sure which version of the Taboo Linn has for sale, there have been three different releases. Here is the current page for the current version of the Taboo amp.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/TABOO.htm
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Lin
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #7 - 12/14/13 at 05:11:17
 
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marz
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #8 - 03/08/14 at 22:44:01
 
Any idea what the impedance output is for the csp2+. Am trying to see if it will work with a First Watt F3 that requires a 10k ohm impedance input. Thanks.
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Lin
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #9 - 03/09/14 at 02:02:40
 
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marz
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #10 - 03/09/14 at 11:26:49
 
Thank you Lin. I was warned that most tube preamps have a much higher output impedance.
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clowkoy
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #11 - 03/10/14 at 08:10:13
 
The CSP2+ won't be happy with the load. It only has a 0.33uf output cap.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #12 - 10/10/14 at 19:50:16
 
I can't say enough good things about the CSP3 with Jupiter Caps running my ZMA.

I have not had my Polk LS90's in my Listening Room for quite some time. I bring them in, an with proper adjustment from rear walls an of course I have bass treatment for my corners behind the Speakers an a nicely treated Room overall. Yet, being the Rear Bass Reflex loaded Speaker the LS90's are; they are a little heavy but wonderful in the Low End.

To take care of the "little heavy" ....I adjusted the front voltage inputs/headphone, against the other voltage inputs.  TOTAL lock in of Focus an Tonal Balance with maintaining transparency/musicality!  

I love my CSP3!  Freakin' genius Steve....genius.


Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60 (.5 meter)
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC ---~or~
Audio Alchemy front-end/Prophecy Cryo i2s
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.75 meter)
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.5 meter)
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers (in Stereo) ~or~ Polk LS90
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
All four units plugged into Adcom AC-Enhancer 515
....being replaced/will receive next week: PS Audio P3 Power Plant
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« Last Edit: 10/10/14 at 20:03:17 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #13 - 10/10/14 at 21:42:57
 
Yes, I can imagine, as I love my CSP2+ with Jupiter caps (two of them, actually) and what they bring to my amps. Especially since I now have 7308s in all positions. Great preamps. . . .no doubt, no shit.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #14 - 10/11/14 at 17:39:37
 
No shit is right Lon.

I never needed Steve's Pre with my SE84CS or CKC. I run them direct with any of my three DACs. When I got the ZMA...it is just incredible with the CSP3 (after 150 hours). Just some adjustment an it locked in the Speaker's.
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« Last Edit: 10/11/14 at 20:35:37 by stone_of_tone »  

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franchetti1
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #15 - 11/10/14 at 11:11:33
 
Can someone provide me guidance on how to connect a Raytheoon RK60 rectifier to a CSP3. I believe an adaptor is required as it does not connect with the existing mount. Thanks.
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stoutblock
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #16 - 11/13/14 at 00:19:19
 
Just got my CSP3 today.  I already own a CSP2 of which I am very fond of so I had some concern I may not like the sound of the CSP3 as well.  I am happy to say this is not the case and the CSP3 sounds mighty fine.  It will take some time for me to appreciate the differences between the two but so far the CSP3 is tending to have a soft detail delicacy to it in comparison. The CSP2 is standard but the CSP3 is fully upgraded with jupiter caps and stepped attenuator.  My favorite tubes for the CSP2 were a Amperex Orange Globe 6DJ8 (Mullard Blackburn) in the input and Mullard CV2493 tubes in the output spots.  I use a Phillips 5R4GY rectifier. All these tubes sound just as good in the CSP3.  Now I need to figure out how to use the adjustable output voltage knobs?  The CSP2 does not have these (just adjustable input).  Steve says to turn the master volume at half and then turn them up to normal listening level.  Well, that is how I adjust the inputs so I can't do that on both?  Anyone figure this out?  I use 3 different amplifiers in my system (Yamaha B-2, Nakamichi PA-7AII & Custom Morrison Micro 2A3 SET) which probably each need optimized input voltage?
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« Last Edit: 11/13/14 at 01:10:57 by stoutblock »  
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Archie
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #17 - 11/13/14 at 01:34:19
 
I asked Steve this awhile back and if you refer to the CSP3 diagram in the manual, this is what he recommended I do:

"I would turn the ZMA all the way up, the input controls on the CSP3 all the way up, and then follow the instructions in C) above."

So, I have my amp maxed and the "headphone" controls (B) at 100%.  I use the Output Controls (C) and the Master Volume (H) on the CSP3 only, when using the speakers.  I generally keep the Master Volume at 1/2 + and adjust the Output ontrols accordingly.  I bought a bunch of 1/2 inch diameter aluminum knobs that have an index line on them and put them on the CSP3 Input and Output posts so I can easily make adjustments.
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stoutblock
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #18 - 11/13/14 at 02:16:00
 
I am still getting used to this preamp but turning the outputs to full (10th click) seems to cause some negative effect.  Sounds just a little harsh. This is with the master at half and the input at a comfortable level (5 clicks).  It seems to sound better with the output at 8 clicks and the input at 7 clicks.  I may play with this more but I would think the ideal setting for the output voltage would be based on the input voltage expectations of the amp it's connected to?
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stoutblock
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #19 - 11/13/14 at 15:15:35
 
I found some input from Steve on the CSP2 thread.  For line stage use the inputs should be at max setting.  They are typically used for headphone use only.  Easy now to set master volume at 50% and then adjust output to comfortable volume.   Sounds good!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #20 - 11/17/14 at 16:11:25
 
I have mine at input 7 clicks an output at 9 clicks. This is the ideal setting I've found to drive my ZMA that is at full volume turned.

I got rid of the stock Valve Art 274B too. The cheap Ruby 5U4G-C is much better! The ease an flow of the music is just more present (better current I suppose). It must be the C though/better than just the G.

I also use the 5U4G-C in my Super Zen CKC an in my SE84CS always (13 years an counting). The Super Zen CKC benefited greatly from the ...5U4G-C over the 274B. I am glad I got a bunch of them for cheap...back in the day.
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Lon
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #21 - 11/17/14 at 17:03:27
 
Weird! I hated those Ruby rectifiers with a passion, strident and tizzy sounding. I'll never use them again. Smiley

We're all different.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #22 - 11/17/14 at 17:04:01
 
stoutblock, I just put it at full 10 on the input...master volume at 50%...an then turned up from 1 to 4 on the outputs....I like! I had initially burned in the CSP3 this way running into my ZMA. Then, I went to the click 7 on inputs an click 9 on outputs...an volume at 30%. I am glad to have read this today an gone back! I think I like it better than my 7 an 9 positions.

What a great Preamp, right? I love this thing with Jupiter Caps/I have as well. I will try both settings a bunch more. As intended though by Steve, ...I think the full 10 input/50% volume/dial up output channels is winning.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #23 - 11/17/14 at 17:09:17
 
I know Lon. The Ruby Rec's are kinda cheesy tubes. I am doing some respectable tube rolling in my ZMA...starting with some National Pre tubes in the CSP3 an ZMA (not yet though). However, for the Rectifier's in the CSP3, CKC an my CS...the cheap Ruby G-C flows. I have never had any tizzy with them.
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« Last Edit: 11/17/14 at 17:10:39 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #24 - 11/17/14 at 17:13:31
 
I sure did, boatloads of tizzy and thinness.

We may hear treble differently. I remember you saying that you didn't get enough out of the PWD Mk 2. I got scads, had to turn my treble cut circuit way down. I'm VERY sensitive to treble grain, which is what led me to Decware in the first place, 'nineties digital and Solid State was killing me (and my wife, who had tremendous high frequency hearing) and the vintage EICO amp I was using was too thick and dead sounding. Almost every other rectifier I've used in Decware amps has sounded better than those Rubys!

But I can imagine that if one used them as an anchor to roll tubes around darker input and output tubes might make it all work wonderfully. I was never inclined to work with the Rubys.

Vive la difference. I contend it doesn't matter how we get to our audio bliss, just that we get there, and the journey and the enjoyment are what we all have in common.
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« Last Edit: 11/17/14 at 17:28:08 by Lon »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #25 - 11/17/14 at 19:30:33
 
Yeah, I have just been really okay with them (Ruby 5U4G-C) in the:

SE84CS with original NOS SV83 Svetlana's an NOS Sovtek 6922
Super Zen CKC with Cryo EV's (group Cryo buy back in 2005/this Forum of this SV84 Russian tube)  an 6N1P-EV
...an now have a G-C in place of the 274B in my CSP3.

Of course, the ZMA does not need tube rectifier's an the 0A3's need not be touched with other regulator types (no others are to be used).

Well, I like 8 clicks for the inputs an 8 clicks for the outputs on the CSP3 @ volumes of 15, 20, 25, 30 an 35%. It will be interesting if this stays the same when I have my Acoustic Zen Adagio's back in the Listening Room after 14 hours per day of burn in (bedroom System on Solid State)....they need to hit 250 hours.

For tube rolling in the ZMA...I'm sticking with the Tung-Sol KT-66's for now. But, rolling 6 different scenario's of Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8's....in the CSP3 an ZMA, after getting my Adagio's back in for awhile. The Adagio's are that good and a bag of chips. But, yeah, they need some time to cook in first.
I also have a quad of Cryoset 23P's in the wings. Cheers!

Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60 (.5 meter)
Chord Chordette QuteHD DAC ---~or~
Audio Alchemy front-end/Remote Volume Wand/Revelation Audio Prophecy Cryo-Silver i2s
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.75 meter)
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA (.5 meter)
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
Kimber Select KS3035 Speaker Cable
Acoustic Zen Adagio Speakers
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 & ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Front End an CSP3 Regenerated/116, 118 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (w/NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) & Decware Super Zen CKC...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!
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« Last Edit: 11/17/14 at 20:10:19 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #26 - 11/18/14 at 16:56:39
 
I put the National's in my ZMA Pre slots an have the CSP3 dialed in at 10 for the inputs an 7 on the outputs. ZMA all the way up. Very happy camper.
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franchetti1
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #27 - 11/18/14 at 22:47:53
 
Headphone question-In using a CSP3 with Beyer DT880 headphones, will there be difference in sound quality between the 250 and 600 ohm versions?
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stoutblock
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #28 - 11/21/14 at 04:02:14
 
^^^ personally I like the sound of the 600ohm beyerdynamic DT880 with my CSP2.  I have not spent time yet with phones and the CSP3.  It spends all its time in my main system.
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stoutblock
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #29 - 11/21/14 at 04:21:51
 
OK I have spent some time now with the CSP3 driving my main system.  It is an awesome preamplifier!  Although I preferred the Mullard CV2493 tubes in the outputs of my CSP2 when listening to headphones, I have found the original 61NP-EB tubes are much better in a linestage application with the CSP3.  They simply drive the bass deeper and tighter than any other tube I tried.  They don't seem to have any ill effects in the output slots so this is a simple choice for me.  

The Russian 6922 input tube that came with the pre is quite noisy so it was not even an option.  In the end I like my typical Blackburn Mullard or Holland Amperex 6DJ8 tube in this input slot (depending on what music I am listening to).  I also have a Phillips 7DJ8 tube that sounds respectable as an input.

All of this is with the Phillips 5R4GYS rectifier as I have found this tube to be a long life and solid performer in every application I have tried.  

My Soliloquy 6.5 speakers seem to perform at their best with a good SS amp and right now I'm using a rebuilt Yamaha B-2 VFET amp (I love the VFET sound!). I have to say this combination is the best my system has ever sounded.  There is a clear synergy in this setup with scary imaging and soundstage.  

Other preamps I have tried don't come close to the magic of the CSP2 and CSP3.  The runner up is a First Sound Presence Deluxe which is 4x the cost just to give you some perspective....

Real happy camper now I can't wait for Steve to build my ZP3  8-)
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Lord Soth
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #30 - 11/21/14 at 04:55:08
 
Hi Franchetti1,

I recall having come across an online comparison made of the different impedance speced BEYER Dt880.

One of the things I remember is that the 600 0hms has better "damping" ( whatever that means !!) and so it has better performance with a lower noise floor.
On the 600ohmd version, silent passages have a blacker audio background .
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stone_of_tone
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #31 - 11/25/14 at 13:44:01
 
Thanks for your input stoutblock. The CSP3 is that good-I know an don't take it for granted. I am going to try rolling some tubes through it. Even though, I bet you're correct-the original 6N1P's are just fine for linestage application. I'm currently only, rolling a pair in the pre spots of my ZMA an liking the results.
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« Last Edit: 11/25/14 at 13:45:40 by stone_of_tone »  

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franchetti1
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #32 - 11/27/14 at 15:08:32
 
can  someone provide me guidance on how to connect a Raytheoon RK60 rectifier to a CSP3. I believe an adaptor is required as it does not connect with the existing mount. I think it needs a rk60 to 5u4 adaptor but i have no clue on where to obtain one of those..
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Lon
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #33 - 11/27/14 at 15:43:41
 
Hi Franchetti,

Are you certain that even with a suitable adaptor this tube is compatible with the preamp? When researching it this does not show as a 5U4/5V4/5Y3 substitute, which makes be believe it may not be a suitable rectifier for the CSP3.
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Lord Soth
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #34 - 11/29/14 at 02:11:34
 
I suggest getting either a RCA 5Y3GT or Tung Sol 5Y3GT rectifier for US$30.

It would probably cost less than the special adapter you require.

Both sound fabulous in the CSP3.
They are also readily available from EBay or from Brent Jesse.
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electric
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #35 - 06/05/17 at 01:22:28
 
I'm looking to buy a CSP3 but only if it would be an upgrade to my ModWright SWL9.0SE preamp (with rectifier tube). Anyone know?  :-/

Thanks!
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Steve Deckert
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #36 - 06/05/17 at 04:43:12
 
From a design standpoint, the ideologies are a little different. We don't use circuit boards in the CSP3 and we don't use solid state regulation. We don't use circuit boards because we feel point to point sounds better, and doesn't vibrate or crack. We don't use solid state regulation because while it does improve performance, it usually creates artifacts that effect the signature in a clinical way.  

That said, the Modright products are generally at the top of that camp with a very talented designer behind the voicing so it's obvious by trying to choose between these two that you have good taste Smiley

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electric
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Re: CSP3 as a Pre-amp
Reply #37 - 06/05/17 at 05:43:20
 
Thanks for the compliment, Steve. Sounds like what you're saying is that both preamps are great, just in different ways. You're no help whatsoever.  ;)
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« Last Edit: 06/05/17 at 05:44:20 by electric »  
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