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Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp (Read 2837 times)
Valentin
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Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
01/09/14 at 09:59:22
 
Hi Decwareholics.

I use two Torii Mk III amps to drive my Analysis Audio "Epsilon" planar full ribbon speakers (@ 86db), which I purchased back in 2009 - 2010. I drive the ls. via a Marchand XM 44 active crossover. I had the two amps reworked by a specialised workshop in Germany, to ensure "identity" of the amps, since my Torii Mk III where purchased with some time lag and a couple of components inside the amps where different. So far so good.  

Reading thru all the statements about the new Torii Mk IV and the Mystery amp, I feel beeing fooled by Decwares constant superlative marketing lyrics...

I recall:

Torii Mk II: "...the last amp you will ever want..."

Torii Mk III: "...the last amp you will ever want..."

Torii Mk IV comparision to the Mystery, I quote Decware (Steve):

"...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..."

Since Decware talks figures here, what exactly does 20 to 30 % exactly mean? More power (no way), less hum? less distortion, better what?

Please no "subjective" statements here, like: better soundstage, better imaging, better texture, better micro dynamics a.s.f. Steve talks figures here: So what is 20 - 30 % about? Maybe Steve can answer this question - hm?

I do NOT mind, upgrading my Mk III to a IV, or to a V, or VI at a given time, since the Torii Mk series is - in my oppinion a valuable amp concept. But this time I would like to know, why I should spend money, time and efforts to send the amps to Preoria, only to be told three years after purchase, that my stuff is outdated...

Thank you and Happy New Year to all.

Val
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #1 - 01/09/14 at 14:19:57
 
Well, I read the 20 to 30% to mean what Steve said...he increased the volume through the input stage of the new IV. From a couple of owners on the IV thread...they confirmed the claims of tighter more authoritive bass with more clarity/transparency through the highs & mids with the feedback "on" control with the input stage increase...I would surmise.

I had a Torii III for 3+ months. Now that it has the above with the IV....I ordered one a few days ago. So, 10 to 12 weeks out on this one for delivery.

I have a ZMA coming in 10-14 days.

So, yeah Decware uses a few superlative adjectives in their copy...but I could own: Audio Research, BAT, VTL and etc...but Decware makes better music. Cool, you're running a pair of strapped III's on your Epsilon's. I love Gallo's.....recently fell in love.  I will be running a pair of 3.1's with my ZMA & IV. Probably pulling in a pair of Martin Logan's this year too...and a full range driver Audio Nirvana.  I also own a SE84CS & Super Zen CKC.   -Stone

Oh, no subjective statements? Really?  Listening with Tube Amplification is all about the subjective ear to brain connection....not sand amp specs. You own Decware...you should understand this right?

Sounds like you need to get off the Merry Go Round. However, my CKC is better than my CS...by a little. So, I trust what I have read about my new IV coming. I bet I won't be disappointed in my ZMA for the right reasons and application I want it for (Gallo 3.1's). I think the fair price of upgrades Decware charges....like on the 3 to 4 is just that...fair.

However, be careful what you wish for without direct comparison. You might still prefer the lushness of your III's. However, for me, the new IV will be like my SE84CS or CKC, with more balls. For example, I would never part with my SE84CS stock for upgrades...it is a masterpiece in musicality (with my coveted original Svetlana NOS SV83 output Tubes).  So, I bought the CKC separately.  Furthermore, if you have not done so already, invest in room treatments and power.
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« Last Edit: 01/09/14 at 14:56:00 by stone_of_tone »  

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JD
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #2 - 01/09/14 at 16:20:26
 
As a very happy Torii III owner I understand what you mean.  IMHO I feel my money will be better spent on room acoustics/dynamics and am experimenting with absorption and diffusion.  I do not plan on upgrading to newer models because the Torii III is by far the best amp I have ever owned...sure the newer more advanced amps may be better but  I don't have nearly the listening experience/knowledge of others on this forum and at this time don't feel it would be a feasible economic decision. Remember as well that Steve is running a business and needs to bring in cash and new ideas to broaden and strengthen the Decware brand.  I feel Steve would be able to give you the best answers to your question.  
JD
ps. would love to see a picture of your system...the biamping idea with the tori's must sound and look awesome.
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Lon
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #3 - 01/09/14 at 17:11:58
 
I hear you JD, as a happy owner of two Mk III and one Mk II Torii, and a modded C amp as well. Smiley But you're right, Steve has a business to run, and besides that. . . I think Steve can't STOP developing the amp circuits and finding new products. It's just his nature, it's his quest, it's what he does. The zen finds him as much as he finds the zen.

That said, I realize after digesting all the info, and while waiting to hear from Eric and the next few early adopters, that as much as the Torii is a magnificent beast that suits all my needs. . . the Mystery Amp is a real achievement. And just looking at those huge caps. . . well size matters maybe. Smiley I know that over the next year or two I'll be thinking about a Mystery amp and wondering if I can afford one. Just how I am. I can be totally content for a long spell and then I'll read all the praise and think "bet that sounds amazing."

Selfishly I wish that things would just stop and stay put for a while and not tempt me. I certainly know how Valentin feels. The great thing is that there is such a great line of amps, preamps, speakers and sources available from Decware, and new ones sneak out every now and then. Any one of them can be a draw for someone into the world of sonics we regulars on occasion take for granted.
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« Last Edit: 01/09/14 at 17:12:46 by Lon »  

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RJR
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #4 - 01/09/14 at 18:08:01
 
It is a business, Steve needs to sell and has to market.  Yet I believe he puts everything he has into this very successful family business.  Kudos to him.  I am very happy I bought his product and not another brand.  I considered many but am very happy.  Still miss the Rachel.  Traded it in for the Torii MK3.  Couldn't keep both, not that rich.  Wife, 3 kids and a mortgage.

I did speak to Steve about upgrading my MK3 to MK4, yet he cautioned me against it.  Maybe because I am still learning and gaining experience.  He felt that I may not like the new sound and felt strongly and suggested that the MK3 can carry-its-own-weight.  He mentioned to spend the money on a different source, cabling and tube rolling.

I listen to music digitally and am a bit frustrated with many of the CD's.  Most sound good and some better, yet there are a lot that just sound horrible.  I have a 30 year old inexpensive Technics turntable and many albums just sound great.  So as another source, I am going to upgrade my turntable to a Music Hall 5.1 or Rega RP3.  Probably the Music Hall because explaining why we should spend a bit more on the Rega is like...well you know.  Tough sell with my wife.  Oh well!
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #5 - 01/09/14 at 19:41:33
 

IMHO, when Steve says 30% better, it's a combination of technically better, and subjectively better.

You have to think about it from his point of view, I'm sure that every week, if not every day, someone is saying "so, really, how much better is the XXX vs the YYY?".(I know I have asked him!) After a while, you have to rock back on your heels and voice what your gut says - it's not something 100% quantifiable. It's more like saying, "I like this shade of blue on my car 25% more than I like that shade of blue on the other car" - how exactly can you quantify that without bringing in subjectives?

The nice thing is, Steve's gut is pretty well calibrated; if he shrugs and gives it a "meh", then it's probably not that different or important. But if he starts throwing around big percentages, then Wow, somethings changed. I've said before, I'm a big skeptic, I listen to what Steve says, but I let the gear prove it to me. When I listened to the Mystery amp, Steve was actually trying to talk me down to the Mark IV, reminding me that the Mystery is a big price jump up, and only a few percent better, but with more balls (or something along those lines). But when I gave the two amps a listen, I'm like, yes, you're right, but that extra few percent is absolutely worth the added expense! He grinned at me and said something along the lines of that he knew that was going to happen, and just wanted me to find that out for myself.

So even with Steve trying to direct me to an amp more in my budget, I did still hear that few percent difference, and I still chose what *I* thought was the better amp...the Mystery proved itself to me.

And there is no way in hell I could explain why I picked the Mystery amp, without being Subjective. Sorry, it's just not possible. This shade of blue pleases me *more* than that shade of blue. About 10-15% more I think. LOL

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #6 - 01/10/14 at 12:15:02
 
From a couple of owners on the IV thread...they confirmed the claims of tighter more authoritive bass with more clarity/transparency through the highs & mids with the feedback "on" control with the input stage increase...I would surmise.

I had a Torii III for 3+ months. Now that it has the above with the IV....I ordered one a few days ago. So, 10 to 12 weeks out on this one for delivery.

Reference reply #'s (in New Torii MKIV Thread): #202 Tgarden & #208 Rivieraranch.
For contrast: #200 maddog is keeping his III(s) like Lon.
-S
 
PS-plus I love the fact that tgarden is running his big Legacy Speaks. Like me, another person who knows you don't need 95db to 104db SPL @1watt/1meter Speakers to immensely enjoy Decware Amplifiers!

However, as I stated to Maddog, in the Mystery Amp Thread...I am seriously considering a pair of Audio Nirvana's....including having boxes made/installed and shipped to me. Spend a year with them with my four Decware Amps....and my Zen Styx/silver banana speaker wire....having both world's/and form my own conclusions!
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« Last Edit: 01/10/14 at 13:20:28 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lon
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #7 - 01/10/14 at 13:10:02
 
I would imagine that this would be a similar change to running a CSP2/CSP2+/CSP3 or ZStage into the Torii Mk II or Mk III makes (with each of these adding other benefits such as bias mode, more inputs, input and output gain trimming--which by the way is huge).

Cool. In my shoes, I would miss the flexibiity of the Mk III model I think, and I'm already the proud owner of a CSP2 and three CSP2+ -- these preamps are just as important as the amps in my system (in my opinion). Were I to make a change, it would be towards the Mystery Amp or the Monos, not to a Mk IV. (If I didn't have CSP2+s in the system my target might be different.)
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #8 - 01/10/14 at 16:29:39
 

One other point I'd like to make about the Decware lineup, and I heard this directly from Steve after thinking it myself.

His lineup isn't easy to pick from. He's got all these pieces of hardware that are all of such a high caliber, that it's very small differences that set them apart. Like the grunt and harmonics in the Mystery Amp over the Mk IV.

I liken it to a drag car; It takes $80k to build a drag car to do an 8 second quarter mile. It takes another $80k from that point to get to 7.5 second quarter mile. At the level Steve's amps are, it takes a big change (which unfortunately costs) to get a few percent better. So again, when he starts talking about %-difference in the double digits, he has my attention!


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stone_of_tone
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #9 - 01/10/14 at 17:16:09
 
Eric....it's very small differences that set them apart (the Amps). Agreed.

Having listened to my SE84CS every other day for the last 13 years (and participating on this Forum-for the last 13 years as well) and the addition of my Super Zen CKC, 14 months ago....plus going to Decfest in 2005 & 2008...I know what you mean.

I am still pissed you got the first one  >:(.  But, I will just have to get over it.  

Just kidding!  ;D
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« Last Edit: 01/10/14 at 17:18:25 by stone_of_tone »  

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #10 - 01/10/14 at 17:33:07
 
It is going to be fun for me.

I would not be surprised 18 months or 24 months from now my ZMA ends up in Living Room System, my Torii IV ends up in my bedroom System. I still like my SE84CS in my Listening Room at a mere 76 to 82db SPL with continued great fidelity.

Last but not least, my Super Zen CKC in my garage system with my Klipsch RF-7 II's!  Time will tell.............. .  -S
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #11 - 01/10/14 at 18:58:42
 
Quote:
I am still pissed you got the first one  >:(.  But, I will just have to get over it.  

Just kidding!  ;D


I'd be flustered as well if roles were reversed. But hey, I happen to be there in Peoria and Steve said he needed/wanted to sell the #000 - so it all worked out.

Honestly, unless he's lurking the forums, I've not said anything to him or pestered him in ages. Like I said, no bottle of Scotch needed. LOL
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« Last Edit: 01/10/14 at 21:21:18 by Lonely Raven »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #12 - 01/10/14 at 19:10:47
 
I would have done just the same LR. So, you know for sure I am kidding. It also shows, what a pretty damn cool guy Steve is. Have a great weekend!  -S
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« Last Edit: 01/10/14 at 19:11:38 by stone_of_tone »  

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Lonely Raven
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #13 - 01/10/14 at 21:23:39
 

Well, I guess I shouldn't point out that I saw this sitting forgotten in a corner.....









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stone_of_tone
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Re: Torii Mk III, vs Mk IV and new Mystery amp
Reply #14 - 01/11/14 at 00:00:33
 
Ohhh, sure, open that fresh box of Morton Salt and pour it right into my wound.... . Ha!

The calamity of that lonely half finished Amp.  It could be mine...come to me baby....come to me!  

Nobody loves me but my mother..... Cry.

-S  ;D
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