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DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th (Read 24708 times)
patshrews
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DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
07/24/14 at 23:37:40
 
Hi Everyone,

I plan on attending this year's fest. I will be coming from OC, ca., and will be flying in. I believe the fastest most direct route will be to O'Hare, then drive a rental car to East Peoria. I was thinking of traveling Thursday, and leaving on Sunday. I have looked into staying at the Super 8 Washington on Washington Rd. I just would like something close, clean, and reasonably priced. Please advise if this sounds good, or if I should consider something else.

Thanks,

Pat
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« Last Edit: 08/26/14 at 02:41:06 by Steve Deckert »  

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Re: Decfest 2014
Reply #1 - 07/25/14 at 01:40:11
 

Peoria does have it's own airport, but I bet it's expensive to fly in there.

Not sure about hotels, as I only stay at the Marriott downtown. I'd see about getting us better rates, but it's under new management so I no longer have the pull I might have previously.

Still, if someone reminds of the dates Decfest falls on this year, I can ask and see if I can get any discounts. There is both a Marriott and Courtyard downtown Peoria, which is about 17 minutes from Steve's house.
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Re: Decfest 2014
Reply #2 - 07/25/14 at 03:43:40
 
The Fest is Friday Oct. 3rd through Sunday the 5th. I'll be staying Thursday-Saturday nights
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« Last Edit: 07/25/14 at 07:35:09 by patshrews »  

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Re: Decfest 2014
Reply #3 - 07/27/14 at 18:18:48
 
I've stayed at the Hampton Inn near the casino a couple of times for DeckFest, and been quite pleased. The staff is very nice, the rooms are clean, and the location is about 5 minutes from Steve's place. I plan to stay there again this year as well. Hope to see you there!!!

Auguie

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Re: Decfest 2014
Reply #4 - 07/27/14 at 21:59:51
 
Thanks Augie!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #5 - 08/26/14 at 02:47:49
 
Here's a link to the info and live broadcast page:

http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfestcam.html

And here's a link to this years thread on DECFEST 2014

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1406241460

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #6 - 08/26/14 at 05:04:35
 


Some have asked me what's on this years docket.... you know, what's the new stuff?  

To answer that question, as always there will be some little surprises, but unlike last year when we had a new amplifier and speaker, this year it's not meant to be. That means, if it isn't broke, don't fix it! We're still floating pretty high on all the new stuff from last year.  Remember, it's taken 17 years to create and evolve this product line, and now it's time to enjoy it. 

Actually I am working on a new preamp and a new single ended triode amplifier, but neither will be done by the fest... You can look forward to those in 2015 if I like the way they turn out. Meanwhile, I've decided this year to take advantage of a unique opportunity.

As fun as this annual fest is, during the rest of the year when I listen in the evenings, I feel frustrated that no one ever gets to here this! The reason is because during the fest, nothing is precisely setup and tweaked. Nothing has been hooked up long enough to settle in and many of the recordings are average.

Well for the first time since starting the company, I have left a system set up for an entire year (as pictured) and have listened to it almost every night. After all these years, I desperately needed to do that. The Zen Mystery Amp and last years new speakers (Monoliths) have been set up since, well, last year!

It's been tweaked, and sends me out there every time.  This year I'm going to share that with anyone willing to be here after dark!  Friday night or Saturday night and even Sunday night I will flip the room and play master tapes and broadcast reels on my machines as soon as the sun sets for several hours.  

So if anyone has ever wondered what Steve hears in his own listening room during the year... this will be it.  If you're thinking you can't stay that late, consider a hotel and live a little.  If you've been here during the day and heard it... you haven't heard it.

So we look forward to seeing everyone and meeting new faces!

Steve


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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #7 - 08/26/14 at 05:12:15
 

I'm looking forward to it, Steve! It will also be nice to not have to wrestle people for 15 minutes of listening time, only to have someone else come in and change it on you.  :)  I think this is a great idea. Get it all tweaked out and we'll be there!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #8 - 08/26/14 at 22:43:45
 
OK...I was hemming and hawing on weather I was gonna make the trip.  Now I have to consider if I'm coming up on Sat OR Fri.  

Either way...I'LL BE THERE!!!

Dan
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #9 - 08/31/14 at 03:13:19
 
Dan, that's great news!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #10 - 08/31/14 at 03:21:21
 
Quote:
I'm looking forward to it, Steve! It will also be nice to not have to wrestle people for 15 minutes of listening time, only to have someone else come in and change it on you.  :)  I think this is a great idea. Get it all tweaked out and we'll be there!


Nothing like putting myself under pressure.

Smiley

-Steve
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« Last Edit: 08/31/14 at 03:22:16 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #11 - 09/03/14 at 18:53:45
 
I just e-mailed this year's annual Decfest invite to everyone on our customer appreciation list.  If anyone here didn't get it, let me know and we'll get you on the list, and I'll post it here.

Thanks,

Steve
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #12 - 09/03/14 at 20:37:22
 

I got the E-mail! - it's odd that I get these messages, but never any of your responses to my E-mails. We need to figure that out.

Brianne and I are seeing if we can get that Friday off. She really wants to check out the Peoria zoo, then pop over to your place in the evening. I warned her it would probably be some late night listening.

Saturday is still up in the air. I'm also trying to convince some friends to come down with me, as they've only heard my system.

I hope to meet more of the Decware family this year!

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #13 - 09/03/14 at 21:51:27
 
i will be there Friday, Satuday, and Sunday.
I will try to bring some LP's. Steve maybe you can record them to you RTR
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #14 - 09/09/14 at 17:55:10
 
I like the name badges from last year's fest.  It helps to connect your internet name to a face and start conversations.

One other idea would be to have a blank sticker that you could list equipment or topics you are well versed in.  Mine would say Rachael, Mac Mini, room treatment and Chord QuetHD Dac.  Maybe PS Audio power products.

I'd love to talk to people with the same or different interests.  For example, I am interested in the Zen amp now that I've heard one in my setup.  If I spot someone with Zen amp on their sticker, I could approach them and talk about tubes for the Zen or comparing various Zen releases.

Just an idea.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #15 - 09/09/14 at 20:46:52
 

I think I still have my name badge from last year in the glove box of the little Scion. I'm like...what's this...it says Decware on it!

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #16 - 09/09/14 at 22:49:59
 
My Badge hangs alongside of my badge from work.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #17 - 09/15/14 at 23:02:07
 
Just a teaser about some possible new speakers this year...  

We have found a suitable full range driver for the DNA horn and are looking forward to everyone's feedback.  I can tell you that it really makes a Zen Amp (SE84CKC) sing!

Also, Bob has been working on a new speaker to replace the MG944's that were discontinued last year.  As some of you know, the MG944 was an MTM transmission line speaker.  This year we're going to hear an MTM speaker (same driver compliment) done in a DNA style horn enclosure.  I hear it's wicked.  We will again be looking forward to hearing everyones comments about this design.

Smiley

Steve
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #18 - 09/15/14 at 23:30:43
 
Is there a signup page like last year?
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #19 - 09/16/14 at 01:08:03
 

Quote:
Is there a signup page like last year?


LOL - I love it. From...well, I'm not sure if I'm going....to, WHERE DO I SIGN UP!

This sounds pretty exciting! I'm really looking forward to going now!

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #20 - 09/16/14 at 02:10:24
 
We're keeping an eye on this thread rather than having a sign up page this year.  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #21 - 09/16/14 at 02:12:31
 
This year we're going to have a coupon code on the badge you get when you sign in.  It will be good for 10% off your next purchase, and be valid for one year.

Steve Smiley
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #22 - 09/20/14 at 03:37:38
 
I know I am late to the party but NOT too late!  I am now considering coming to the Fest!  I would be coming from San Diego, fly in and stay at a local hotel.

I have the Monoliths, a Select, the Z-Pre, the Sony-Dec CD player with all plugged in to a Furman power source.  Not super fancy but it sounds pretty good!  I would like to hear a state-of-the-art system (during the evenings).   Smiley
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #23 - 09/20/14 at 06:44:02
 

Only a couple weeks away! I'm looking forward to meeting more of the extended Decware "family". I'm looking forward to the late night tape sessions and hearing the speakers Steve has setup for us.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #24 - 09/20/14 at 22:29:20
 
The Acoustats failed a somewhat anal pre-fest test and as a result I will not be demoing them at the fest.

Thank God Decware gear isn't this unreliable.   Smiley

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #25 - 09/21/14 at 13:15:11
 
"anal pre-fest test"...  Sounds rather obscene, Steve.  Just what were you doing?...hehe
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The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #26 - 09/22/14 at 03:57:39
 
Yes, hehe... it sounds pretty bad.  But that's the directive that best describes it.  The success of any fest is proportional to lack of things that go wrong.  So in the pre dawn hours of testing... once you get it working right... what things could be done to perhaps easily tip the scale in the wrong direction.  It's a series of pass/fail scenarios that I've accumulated since our first fest and use to determine if I'm going to set something up a particular way or not.  

For example, right now I'm seriously considering glueing at least one pair of speakers to floor, the Zen Open Baffles.  If you get here and none of the speakers move, you'll know what happened!

Steve Smiley

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #27 - 09/22/14 at 04:15:03
 
Quote:
I'm seriously considering glueing at least one pair of speakers to floor, the Zen Open Baffles.  If you get here and none of the speakers move, you'll know what happened!


LOL

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #28 - 09/22/14 at 05:06:13
 
OK, I have to admit last nights bummer with the Acoustats turns out to be a blessing in disguise after a so far 12 hour wrestling match with my room. You see after a year of use the room needs more than cleaned, it and everything in it, needs ~ well restored. That means made like brand new. It's a karma thing. Like the zen rake in the sand thing to achieve balance in your universe.

I'm excited about flipping the room this year.  Doing so will make it a lot more representative of a real world setup similar to what most people would have at home.

Thanks to some tripped out music "India meets West" from one of my favorite customers, and the success of tonights efforts in the listening room, I have changed the usual pre fest stress into pre fest excitement.

I accomplished this after failing with the Acoustats last night and today thinking about what else equally exotic could take its place!

Tonight I am happy to say that the "digital" side of the room after a complete enema is now competitive with the Acoustats on the analog side of the room. This came to pass when I hooked up my Single Ended Triode OTL amplifier to the FRX drivers in the Zen Open Baffle speakers.  It was a holy crap ~ moment!



Now to put how good this sounds into perspective, I have listened almost exclusively to tape for the past year. In fact for the past 10 hours since I started this morning, I've been floating along on analog radio station tapes all day and simply loving it. Once I got the digital end of the room done and it was time for a test... I have to admit I was kind of dreading it. Especially when you consider the gear I used for the test.

Usually with CD you want things a bit slower, and I went the extreme opposite. I went with the FRX drivers in the Zen Open Baffles driven by my OTL SET amplifier. The two fastest things I own next to the Acoustats. 

Frankly I expected to be mortified when presented with the stark contrast between top drawer analog  and 44 bit digital. But to be fair, this is a pretty exotic setup.  Differential dual mono burr brown DACS feeding Jensen wide bandwidth transformers that in turn are driving the OTL amplifier directly, which is then driving the FRX drivers that incorporate a transformer coupled voice coil technology with a tuning load to absorb ringing and magnet feedback. If you could hear HD 1080p video resolution, this is what it would sound like.

To my complete surprise, the sound of this combination is actually on par with the Acoustats on many levels and better than the acoustics on some levels and fall short only in one category  (scale). The difference is minor enough to be forgotten. The ZOB, picky as it can be, it far more room friendly than the Acoustats. And the Amp is perhaps 3 times better, so the fact that we went from the effective cone area of sixty four eight inch drivers playing questionable sound to  one eight inch driver playing liquid gold makes it an almost even tradeoff.  To my great surprise it's the best I've heard red-book digital sound in this room.

Yes, I am pretty sure I must glue the speakers to the floor tonight so that the gremlins in the night don't move them as they're so fond of doing.

-Steve

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« Last Edit: 09/22/14 at 05:07:35 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #29 - 09/22/14 at 05:16:25
 
I'll be amazed if it sounds half this good tomorrow during the day. I mean it IS 11:00 P.M.  Right now, the sound is 5 feet above the speakers and wall to wall.  It's pretty sick.


Steve
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« Last Edit: 09/22/14 at 05:23:20 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #30 - 09/22/14 at 05:49:21
 
OK,  I exceeded the speed limit there for a minute...  that was pretty exciting!

Smiley
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #31 - 09/22/14 at 13:31:33
 
Steve,
Setup looks real good. Can't wait to hear it!
John
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #32 - 09/22/14 at 16:16:32
 

Wow that looks great! And your description practically has me salivating!

I wish we had time to run the DirectStream through your OTL amp to see if we could take it up a notch. PS Audio is releasing an updated firmware this week that I think addresses some of the issues we heard when we played this DAC at our last listening session.

I'm honestly afraid I'd pop a circuit with the "new" DS on your OTL amp, especially on those speakers as you have them setup now!

Anywho - looking forward to Decfest - when you get excited about sound, good things tend to follow.  :)
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #33 - 09/22/14 at 22:41:25
 
I was going to play the digital rig today, but I got sidetracked with a 15 IPS audiophile grade recording of the Beetles.  The tape was on an old industrial Ampex reel that I purchased for scrap.  No one know what was on the tape.  I have to say that after listening to this tape, whoever mastered the Beetles CD's should be brought up on charges for what they did to them.  Shameful.

Steve
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #34 - 09/22/14 at 22:49:29
 
Oooh! I want to hear that!

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #35 - 09/24/14 at 04:56:21
 
Thanks to the Audio Gods who purposely sabotaged my Acoustats in the final hours of Decfest, I have for the very first time achieved the TRIFECTA of audio rooms.  I have tape, my vinyl rig, and the Digital side of the room sounding as good as the formats will allow on all three fronts.  I can go from Tape to vinyl to CD without vomiting.  In fact with only two beers I can go from tape to digital and get completely lost in the better recordings.

Anyway, keep in mind it's fairly easy to get caught up in an Audio high and spew out of bunch of highly exuberant audio babble designed to seed excitement, and quite another to do it, and then have everyone show up to witness it first hand and find out you weren't making things up.  So on that note I'll forgive my exuberance about this years fest and rest comfortably in the knowledge that it will be the best sound ever, on all three fronts of any Decfest to date.

Getting back to last nights digital side of the room, just for kicks, I duplicated the experience I had last night with Dave tonight after listening to one of the best analog tapes we've ever heard.  Directly afterwards I fired up the OTL and FRX drivers and played a CD that kept him locked to the couch for 34 minutes, a new world record.

No it's not tape. No it's not even LP, but it doesn't suck, and usually in the past it mostly did... well, suck.

Tonight we took the Beetles tape and put it on the serious tape machine with the butterfly heads and listened to a compilation of over a dozen early Beetles pre 1967 songs that were recorded actually in the same league as the Diana Krall LP's we've all grown to love.  Imagine a recording of the Beetles sounding more audiophile and refined than a Diana Krall LP. That's what we witnessed, and that's what we're going to play during the fest among other things that will be memorable to say the least.  

I guarantee that those who plan their fest around 8 o'clock all three nights will achieve audio ruination in the same way it has effected us. You'll never see music the same way again, but on a positive note, you'll realize that it's possible to achieve sound beyond what you realized was possible, It will restore your faith and hope when you hear what it was really like BEFORE it got so waxed.

Now that we've really digested this Beetles tape, like other tapes we've heard, the first impression  or at least the first comment you make to the other guy listening with you is "I had no idea they were actually that good., they're at least twice or three times better than I knew. "I simply changes everything. It changes your perception of reality because it is reality.  

Tonight we had the Beetles unplugged in our listening room sound completely real, and astonishingly good. As though they were really hear. As though it were real. The complete 1000% polar opposite of even their best White album, this was not even comparable. I estimate the value of this tape upwards of a grand.

I couldn't be more excited Decfest coming only a week away!  Usually I'm fairly stressed.  Now I feel armed and ready.  Bring it on, as they say... You visit here will be memorable, and perhaps in more positive and profound ways than it was in the early days... some of you know what I'm talking about. Memerable it was... yes, positive... not completely sure.

Can't wait to see everyone.

Cheers,

Steve Smiley


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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #36 - 09/24/14 at 22:31:06
 
Steve,

OMG!!!  I'm doing my best to be there Fri & Sat, but at least Sat for sure.  Can you PLEASE...PLEASE...PLEASE play the Beatles tape on Sat evening?  PRETTY PLEASE STEVE!!!  I'm working to get the Mono LP set and a mono cart.  It would be nice to have a reference to compare the mono set to.

Hope to hear this tape on Sat evening...Please Please Me (Yea...I know...it's intentional), and other too!

Dan
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #37 - 09/25/14 at 00:13:27
 
no problem!

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #38 - 09/26/14 at 04:20:32
 
Oh, do I wish I could go to the fest. I will be online for it.

Steve, are you considering going OTL with the 6c33c?


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« Last Edit: 09/26/14 at 15:05:15 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #39 - 09/26/14 at 19:03:31
 
I am considering it, yes...  however I don't really want to make an amplifier that people won't buy, so this year at the fest I am going to give my prototype OTL a lot of air time to see peoples reactions and try to gauge the amount of money they would be willing to spend on this kind of sound.  

Amplifiers using tubes like this AND built the old school way are far from practical and anything but cheep. For example, this OTL SET amp requires 7 power supplies, the largest being a high voltage supply rated at 4000 mA. A Torii or Mystery Amp by comparison uses only 300 ~ 340 mA. An amplifier like this OTL creates enough heat to keep a room warm in the dead of winter, so using it during the summer in a small room would be difficult without central air. Does it sound better than a Torii or ZMA, yes it does. Does that make it a better sounding amp, not nessesarily. We'll just see what people think about it and without knowing how much it would cost to make a pair of monoblocks we'll just say 10 grand.  If we don't throw out a number like this, literally everyone will want a Decware OTL SET amplifier until they find out what it costs and then they'll be disappointed. This is in fact why I've always kept it either hidden or off limits during past Decfests.



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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #40 - 09/26/14 at 21:23:15
 
Cool Steve, I'm certainly interested in their reactions an interested.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #41 - 09/26/14 at 23:59:04
 
Is the OTL different than the other S.E.T. in devlopment that was spoken about in the previous thread?
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #42 - 09/27/14 at 00:46:46
 
A bit late with my response, but I'm hoping to come by for all three days.  I can't wait to see you all again and hear some phenomenal amplifiers and speakers!!!  Glad to hear the turntable will be spinning.     Smiley
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #43 - 09/27/14 at 01:00:28
 
Is it different remains to be seen.  My first thought was to make a classic SET amp with this tube, but the output transformer is simply massive which gives me real pause when thinking ahead to trying to ship the amps. I'm going to build a pair anyway - since I have the custom made transformers here, and I expect the process will just convince me to make the OTL version.  Time will tell.

Steve
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #44 - 09/27/14 at 01:04:55
 
The vinyl will be spinning as part of the analog demonstration each night starting around 8:00 and you're welcome to bring your own vinyl if there is something specific you want to hear.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #45 - 09/27/14 at 01:35:54
 
Count me in for Saturday!  Always great fun to meet people and have an opportunity to listen to world class equipment.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #46 - 09/27/14 at 03:35:52
 

Looks like I'm going to have to start sweeping floors at Decware for a couple years to afford the OTL amp.

This is the one amp that would make me set aside the ZMA. But it is a different sound that takes some time to handle.

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #47 - 09/27/14 at 04:17:19
 
I've been to the last 2 fests. And I really wish I could come to this one.   Unfortunately life and situations have been upturned so that it's just not prudent for me to make the trip this year.  When back on my feet, I'll shoot for next year.  Will miss seeing everyone and all the cool new toys. very likely will be watching live feeds and stuff.   Have fun everyone.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #48 - 09/27/14 at 14:57:02
 
Despite the heat an the potential cost, I'm still interested. Keeping it in one chassis as seen would be great too. I would need to hear it (stating the obvious).

Steve, I would like to hear the OTL an the classic SET with the massive output transformers. I would have no objection to paying freight/insured, both ways, for the OTL/6c33c an SET/6c33c. To hear them in my Listening Room would be the deciding factor.

Steve wrote:
"I expect the process will just convince me to make the OTL version".

Having the OTL in alone would be fine too. From what I'm understanding it is Special. If I love it....I would like one.  


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« Last Edit: 09/27/14 at 15:04:14 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #49 - 09/27/14 at 18:17:22
 
Some of you probably think I'm nuts when I say stuff like this, but I describe it as I see/feel/hear it, and oftentimes the builder (in this case Steve) usually agrees with me.

Back before I had the ZMA, Steve gave me a taste of his one-off OTL amp - not 10 seconds into the session, I almost yelled out for him to stop playing music, as the sound was a bit overwhelming; it was a bit of sensory overload honestly. The sound was so dense (being played from his Teac DAC mind you) and visceral, that for a second my brain said "reach out and see if you can touch it as it goes by"

Two times in my life that sound reproduction has pretty much popped the circuit of my brain, both times were with Steve.

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #50 - 09/27/14 at 20:56:15
 
Raven - considering all the things that could pop our brain in this day and age (or things we have done in the past…) I would think that getting popped on Decware gear to be the biggest, best high of my life. High on music (and a little vino once in a while) Chris
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #51 - 09/27/14 at 21:54:54
 
I don't think you're nuts. Or maybe you are. . . and if so we all are or want to be as we want smiliar experiences.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #52 - 09/27/14 at 23:42:35
 
Ditto LR, I don't think you're nuts.

We have skin in this game with our exceptional playback/reproduction equipment, to get lost in the music moment (see/feel/hear it). So, high praise indeed, coming from you about the OTL. I want to experience it.

In the meantime, I know what we have in our Music Systems. I could leave it untouched.

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #53 - 09/28/14 at 04:37:48
 
Lonely Raven wrote on 09/27/14 at 18:17:22:
Some of you probably think I'm nuts when I say stuff like this, but I describe it as I see/feel/hear it, and oftentimes the builder (in this case Steve) usually agrees with me.

Back before I had the ZMA, Steve gave me a taste of his one-off OTL amp - not 10 seconds into the session, I almost yelled out for him to stop playing music, as the sound was a bit overwhelming; it was a bit of sensory overload honestly. The sound was so dense (being played from his Teac DAC mind you) and visceral, that for a second my brain said "reach out and see if you can touch it as it goes by"

Two times in my life that sound reproduction has pretty much popped the circuit of my brain, both times were with Steve.

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--xQwI7_F7--/aadtclqhyzi6qey5r...


You make it sound as if it was either scary real or it was like fingers on a chalk board.  A  bit overwhelming in a good way right? Shocked Grin

Can anybody explain what the difference one could expect in sound and performance from an OTL vs. Transformer based amp?  What are the trade-offs between each one, etc.?  

Man ... I have been waiting for a S.E.T. from Steve with just a little more juice, I'm not so sure about the OTL as I've never heard one ... but the amount of watts is perfect for me and my speakers so it has my name all over it as long as I can afford it!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #54 - 09/28/14 at 14:34:09
 
Might as well get the ball rolling, by digesting designs:

http://www.atma-sphere.com/

Their are numerous OTL builds online. I picked Atma-sphere, because they are in my backyard.....8 miles from my house.
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« Last Edit: 09/28/14 at 14:40:17 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #55 - 09/28/14 at 15:18:18
 
What an amazing video!!

Now, from what I understand, most OTL amps out there aren't really OTL. They "modified OTL" or "Hybrid-OTL" or some such. I don't understand the technical differences exactly, but I've seen several EEs say that a proper OTL would have all the negatives Steve talks about (heat, expense, slew of transformers, dangerous voltages, etc). I'm guessing Steve's one off amp is a true OTL - I don't know if the Atmos-phere falls into that - but seeing as it needs 10 output tubes, it probably is a real OTL.
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« Last Edit: 09/28/14 at 15:19:10 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #56 - 09/28/14 at 15:18:30
 
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #57 - 09/28/14 at 15:28:51
 
All those Output Tubes is what puts me off...LR.


I'm more interested in Steve's OTL with 6c33c's.

I need it to handle the dips of 2-4, 6-ohms...from my 8-ohm Speaker's.
If it needs a preamp with gain...I have that in the CSP3!
Also, need RCA inputs and want XLR with it too.

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« Last Edit: 09/28/14 at 15:45:05 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #58 - 09/28/14 at 15:30:39
 
I would have been really interested in an SET with more juice than the Integrateds. . . til the Toriis came along. The Mk IIIs, with Jupiter caps and stepped attenuators, give the best of both push-pull and SET to me, indeed I've compared them to the little Zens and Integrateds and prefer their sound. So I"m off the amp merry-go-round.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #59 - 09/28/14 at 15:41:58
 
For me it is not a merry-go-round. I enjoy my CSP3/ZMA combination, my SE84CS/SV83 Svetlana and Super Zen CKC...I'm not selling. I rotate them. Although, my CSP3 an ZMA rule.

I appreciate Steve's designs making my music. If he persue's this OTL...I want him to know I'm interested.

I look forward to the impressions of Listener's at the Fest.

LR, as beowulf asked....what are your further impressions of the OTL...compared to the ZMA?
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« Last Edit: 09/28/14 at 15:44:27 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #60 - 09/28/14 at 15:59:09
 
Quote:
LR, as beowulf asked....what are your further impressions of the OTL...compared to the ZMA?


Honestly, it's really hard for me to describe. It doesn't help that Steve was "doing research" on me. He was switching around between audio-files of various resolutions and watching my body language. Of course I didn't know this at the time, he just does stuff and watches how I react. Once, when I was shopping/listening through his speakers - he put one pair on for only 7 seconds and immediately shut it off and said "that's not going to work for you". I guess I must have made a bad face or something. LOL

Quote:
You make it sound as if it was either scary real or it was like fingers on a chalk board.  A  bit overwhelming in a good way right?


Not nails on a chalkboard, but it could be as the amp is very, very revealing. As I said, it was sensory overload - there was so much audio information hitting me that I felt a bit overwhelmed.

I don't know if I mentioned this to Steve, but that amp did something else to me - the whole 3 hour drive home from Steve's place, my senses were raw and sensitive. I was hearing every little creak of my car, the way the noise of my tires would reflect off objects on the side of the highway, the swish of the wind as it changed direction. It's like my ears and brain were stuck on listening mode NINJA after listening to the OTL - and honestly that amp has haunted me since. I have healthy respect for it - with great power comes great responsibility or something like that. LOL So I understand why Steve hasn't made this amp a regular at the events.


Also, one thing I've just realized that may have affected my listening that night - I'd not been seriously listening for years. I did not yet have the ZMA or the DirectStream and this $15k, highly tweaked system I have now. So looking back, I was probably like a guy living in a cave for years coming out into the sunlight - it's no wonder it was overwhelming. And, maybe it "woke me up" a bit? Maybe it helped reactivate that deep listening part of my brain that hears distortion to the nth degree, and picks up on the natural reverb of every room I walk into?

Too much Zen for me this early in the morning - and yes, this is the kind of stuff that rattles around in my brain all the time. Ugh.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #61 - 09/28/14 at 16:30:02
 
Rotating speakers and amps. . . just a totally different mindset and methodology to me, I want one system really to do all without futzing and have been working in that direction for years. If ONLY I could spend more time in my own home with my system because it really has become that for me, one system to just let me melt into the music, favoring all my recordings as well as any system I've had or heard.

Vive la difference! I'm glad you have fun on the merry-go-round. But I'm glad to have the stability of one great system for playback.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #62 - 09/28/14 at 18:03:23
 
My rotation is far from a merry-go-round. The CSP3 with ZMA take up residents mostly all the time. I just enjoy having the luxury (that you don't have) of three different Decware Amplifiers, with all three having different tube compliments....to compare. Steve's new SET and/or OTL is for me as well.

I owned a Torii III too. I wish I kept, an upgraded it to a IV. My bad.

Well, to nice to be inside!  I'm off to the Vikings game at TCF outdoors.
72 an headed for 79 at game time (3:25 pm central)!  I need to put on sun screen... .
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« Last Edit: 09/28/14 at 18:24:46 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #63 - 09/28/14 at 18:45:14
 
Well, it seems like a merry go round to me, especially with all those speakers. I never need more than just one, right set of speakers. The HR-1s are those for me, especially the newest version I own.

You're also wrong: I have four Decware amps (well really five, but my original Zen amp #27 turned to Revision A I'll never get back from a friend).And I explore different tube complements in each. A Torii Mk II, a Torii Mk III with stepped attenuator and Jupiter caps, a Torii Mk III with standard attenuator and Jupiter caps (but no bass controls, one of the first made and bass controls can't be added) and a C amp modded by Eddie Vaughn. I have three systems (two here in my home, one at my parents), three amps in use, one in the closet. But the Mk III with the stepped attenuator and the Jupiter caps, it has the magic that makes my main system best in a way that I can enjoy my recordings, in tandem with my HR-1s and RP3 and ZP3 and CSP2+ and DirectStream and DCD-A100. I don't need to move any component out and that gives me great satisfaction. If only I could spend all my listening time in front of that system, but alas I have caregiving duties that make me listen more elsewhere.

To each their own. We all have different tastes and priorities and I've discovered and fed mine. And I'm learning when to just center on what is in play and enjoy the music.
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« Last Edit: 09/29/14 at 00:38:13 by Lon »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #64 - 09/29/14 at 02:18:03
 
blah blah blah ...drone on Lon drone on
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #65 - 09/29/14 at 02:24:15
 
Whatever Larry. I put it as concisely as I could, we're different, you like to flit from thing to thing it seems, I don't. Vive la difference as I said before.
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« Last Edit: 09/29/14 at 03:11:35 by Lon »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #66 - 09/29/14 at 02:53:13
 
@ LR, thanks for the in depth thoughts in regards to the OTL.  It seems as if you weren't as ready for that as you are after living with the ZMA the past several months.  I bet if you went back for an in depth listen you would be able to pin point a lot more about it at this point.

@ Stone, very cool video!  I've heard about Atma-Sphere, but never heard their gear.  It does seem like a huge tube compliment though, I'm sure it costs a small fortune to replace those.  I also wonder type of heat output does something like that cause?

@ Doorman, thanks for the Transcendence link.  I've been to their site on occasion, pretty cool stuff for the DIY'r.  Still a lot of tubes, I wonder the cost of re-tubing and heat output as well.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #67 - 09/29/14 at 04:45:03
 
Couple things I'd like to bring to the surface here...

I have never liked OTL amplifiers because they require multiple tubes in parallel which is expensive, hot, and never as transparent as a single tube, especially after the tubes begin to drift. Besides being expensive, they are famous for blowing up speakers and themselves.  

My OTL is like no other in that it is an SET. It is like any other SET amplifier... the difference is that the tube of choice (6C33C) is capable of driving very low impedances so with a second tube acting as a current source on the cathode of the first it is possible to drive an 8 ohm speaker directly with no output transformer.

What everyone is calling my OTL is not actually correct.  My OTL is an OTL SET amp.  Output transformer-less Single ended triode.  That makes it as different as you can get from most OTL amplifiers, which is why I like it.

Steve
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #68 - 09/29/14 at 15:12:32
 
Quote:
@ LR, thanks for the in depth thoughts in regards to the OTL.  It seems as if you weren't as ready for that as you are after living with the ZMA the past several months.  I bet if you went back for an in depth listen you would be able to pin point a lot more about it at this point.


My thoughts exactly.

Quote:
What everyone is calling my OTL is not actually correct.  My OTL is an OTL SET amp.  Output transformer-less Single ended triode.  That makes it as different as you can get from most OTL amplifiers, which is why I like it


This explains so much - and is exactly why it sounds so different.

Count me in, Steve. One way or another, I have to have something like this.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #69 - 09/29/14 at 18:17:58
 
I am really looking forward to coming to the Fest. I am sort of new to the audiophile thing and have really enjoyed acquiring my current system. It will be really fun to meet a lot of the people I have either bought stuff from or just talked with on this site as well as meet Steve in person.

Steve, I did talk Frank into coming with me so get ready! Shocked I'm sure he will have endless questions.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #70 - 09/29/14 at 21:23:49
 
@ Steve D ~ thanks for the clarification on the new amp design.  It sounds like this will be something special within the Decware lineup and I'm interested in buying this one.
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« Last Edit: 09/29/14 at 22:17:55 by beowulf »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #71 - 09/30/14 at 11:54:55
 
Steve, also, thanks for the info. I'm with you LR an Beowulf...count me in!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #72 - 10/01/14 at 17:02:33
 
Well, 48 hours till' the FEST!

Do post from your phones/impressions of Steve's OTL SET.
I look forward to discerning what I can with ~ online/Fest.

Have fun Fest goer's!

Whether, you decide to do Mono-Blocks or Single Chassis Steve....it's all good.......... .
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #73 - 10/01/14 at 19:07:50
 
Palomino and I have been chatting in E-mail, getting our Demo tunes lists together. He's great at finding demo tracks, and I'm good at finding the highest resolution version of whatever track. So it works out.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but Bri and I are doing the Zoo or the Wildlife preserve out in Peoria during the day, then we'll head over before or after dinner - sometime before dark, so we can play around with gear and be ready for Steve's late night events. I don't dare miss any of the OTL and/or Tape antics!! Plus I've not heard a good vinyl setup in decades...and *never* heard any of Steve's vinyl setup ever!

Same plan for us on Saturday, we'll be playing around Peoria, looking for local things to do, then heading over to Steve's shop before dark.

I *may* bring my DirectStream if anyone is curious, but I'm not sure I want to leave it there all day and all night. It would devastate me if it had an accident. I really couldn't afford fixing it if something broke. So it would only be there under supervision. If nobody cares, then I'll leave it at home - one less thing to worry about.
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« Last Edit: 10/01/14 at 19:09:03 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #74 - 10/01/14 at 19:12:24
 
I'd like to hear it, but then again I can hear it just about anytime because you are so close.  

I'll bring my Chord QuteHD because if I get a chance, I'd like to hear it in Steve's room and/or in a nearfield setup with a Zen and some traps.

It fits in my coat pocket, so its easy to transport. Wink
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« Last Edit: 10/01/14 at 19:13:21 by Palomino »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #75 - 10/01/14 at 19:16:01
 
Yeah, but you have to figure out how to control the mini-DAC with Steve's setup?

My setup, while multi-component, is self-contained. It does involve DAC, Mini-Computer, External Hard Drive, L-PSU, and laptop! It only takes 15 minutes to setup though.  :)

I'm looking forward to hearing the Chord on the OTL. I think the density of information of the OTL, and the silkiness of that little DAC will be something interesting!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #76 - 10/01/14 at 19:25:59
 
Didn't think about that.  It depends on what Steve uses as a player. If he goes USB out, then no worries because the Matrix USB to SPDIF converter is plug and play on a Mac.  You just have to set the output device to Matrix.

I'm going to bring my digital transport for the nearfield setup, but its probably not worthy of the big room. Cry
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #77 - 10/01/14 at 19:32:13
 
BTW, Steve if you are monitoring this thread, weigh in on if you want us farting around with our own equipment.

I know some people brought their home build amps last year and I loved hearing them.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #78 - 10/01/14 at 22:16:19
 
This is my plan this year...



The rack is equipped with my digital source, i.e. laptop for handling digital files and ZCD for handling rebook format CD's or IPods.  The ZCD player and computer both use the DSD DAC setting under the laptop.  The output of the DAC is hooked up to balanced transformer which will feed whatever we place on the top shelf.  Shown is the OTL SET amp.   Note:  The ZCD player is also cabled up so that anyone interested in hearing one on it's own without an external DAC can do so.

The space on the floor to the right and left of the rack is reserved for other components.  Each side has two open receptacles of filtered power.  There will be a pair of small one component stands available for each side that can elevate components around 24 inches - about the height of the ZCD player.  This will make it easier to handle and adjust the placed components as well as enable the use of 1 meter cables.  I am using our Silver Reference Cables on everything.

This is what you're going to have to work with.   Smiley


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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #79 - 10/02/14 at 01:42:09
 
Can't until this years fest starts. I brought same LPs last year that where a big hit. LR and Palomino what's on your hit list. If I have it on vinyl I'll bring it. I there is anything anybody else wants to hear list it and if available I will bring it.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #80 - 10/02/14 at 04:27:45
 

You'll probably laugh, but I'd love to hear Heart's Little Queen album again. I've not listened to that on vinyl since...'88 or '90.

I can't think of anything else I've been curious about on Vinyl, but I am looking forward to it!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #81 - 10/02/14 at 17:56:51
 
Keep in mind there won't be a lot of play time for vinyl this year, as I have the vinyl rig set up on the analog side of the room which won't be turned on until 8:00 P.M.  My plan is to demo the tape machines first, then any good vinyl after that.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #82 - 10/02/14 at 19:01:33
 
Steve, what is the per ch/output power of the OTL SET?

Steve wrote:
"...the tube of choice (6C33C) is capable of driving very low impedances so with a second tube acting as a current source on the cathode of the first it is possible to drive an 8 ohm speaker directly with no output transformer".

......sweet/like your other Amps (capable of driving low impedance). I hope you decide to build it. Or, at least 8 or 10 of them (mono's or single chassis). I want one.

My ZMA with CSP3 are a permanent fixture in my Listening Room. I think, an my hunch is, the OTL SET won't be leaving either.
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« Last Edit: 10/02/14 at 19:21:39 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #83 - 10/02/14 at 20:18:17
 
Into 8 ohms it does around 30 watts.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #84 - 10/02/14 at 21:32:56
 
Perfect. Thanks Steve, an have a great Fest.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #85 - 10/02/14 at 21:38:04
 
Steve Deckert wrote on 10/02/14 at 20:18:17:
Into 8 ohms it does around 30 watts.


Hi Steve, is it too early to determine where the new amp will fit into the Decware lineup price structure?  I was hoping you may release a SET with more watts midway between the Mini Torii MT2 and Torii MK IV price wise, which there is a nice gap ($1800 - $3500) to fill with a Decware product, but I'm not sure if this is the one that can fit there.

Thanks!
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« Last Edit: 10/02/14 at 21:43:40 by beowulf »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #86 - 10/02/14 at 22:50:23
 
You must have missed the memo a few posts back? The C note count on this....well it is you know..... .  Seven power supply stages under the hood................ .  .....for starters......



Just kidding, like you said, you were not sure if it fits there.
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« Last Edit: 10/02/14 at 23:03:21 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #87 - 10/02/14 at 23:47:55
 
beowulf, Steve's comments from earlier in this thread:

"I don't really want to make an amplifier that people won't buy, so this year at the fest I am going to give my prototype OTL a lot of air time to see peoples reactions and try to gauge the amount of money they would be willing to spend on this kind of sound.  

Amplifiers using tubes like this AND built the old school way are far from practical and anything but cheep. For example, this OTL SET amp requires 7 power supplies, the largest being a high voltage supply rated at 4000 mA. A Torii or Mystery Amp by comparison uses only 300 ~ 340 mA. An amplifier like this OTL creates enough heat to keep a room warm in the dead of winter, so using it during the summer in a small room would be difficult without central air. Does it sound better than a Torii or ZMA, yes it does. Does that make it a better sounding amp, not nessesarily. We'll just see what people think about it and without knowing how much it would cost to make a pair of monoblocks we'll just say 10 grand.  If we don't throw out a number like this, literally everyone will want a Decware OTL SET amplifier until they find out what it costs and then they'll be disappointed. This is in fact why I've always kept it either hidden or off limits during past Decfests."
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #88 - 10/03/14 at 01:28:39
 
Thanks Stone and Lin ... I missed that ... Shocked

I'm out, I was hoping for something more pratical, say something along the lines of a 15 watt set, a Super Zen on steroids.

next ... Grin

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« Last Edit: 10/03/14 at 01:30:09 by beowulf »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #89 - 10/03/14 at 02:21:55
 
I'm stuck at DFW airport till tomorrow. I won't even get to Peoria till 10pm. Looks like Friday is completely shot.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #90 - 10/03/14 at 03:10:02
 
It's that time of the year .....

I'm still breathing, so I will be there .....

Should be rolling in a little after noon tomorrow (Friday).

Looking forward to seeing everyone and enjoying some tunes,

Randy
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #91 - 10/03/14 at 04:16:16
 
Quote:
I'm out, I was hoping for something more pratical, say something along the lines of a 15 watt set, a Super Zen on steroids.



Yeah, I was thinking/hoping along the same lines. I feel that if Steve finds this Russian MIG tube good to work with on all levels, then it would happen.

Plus, as mentioned in Steve's quote, he wants to make what people would want - you never know, maybe lots of people want a Super Zen based on the MIG tube.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #92 - 10/03/14 at 14:21:48
 
The count down continues (main page).

I have the Live feed up....the ZMA is in place to open the show!

My Transporter is on the Fritz!
(You do know the Philadelphia experiment did happen-just not successfully). We are not ready yet..... .

But, the Holodeck is about to open!

Okay, all kidding aside...I do look forward to the Feed.

However, I will have to check out late-late night tonight.
I will be at the Dakota seeing Lee Ritenour for the 9pm show!
He has not been in the Twin Cities for quite some time. I need to be there...so I will be.
http://www.dakotacooks.com/event/lee-ritenour/
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« Last Edit: 10/03/14 at 15:36:26 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #93 - 10/03/14 at 19:34:12
 
I am listening an liking the DM946. I think I need to bring a pair in with the base = 947.

I have Steve's Zen Styx for 94db Speakers an up; driven direct by my DAC(s) into my ZMA or my other Zens. However, when using the CSP3 with 89, 90 an 91db rated Speakers (my favorites).....my Kimber Select is needed. My point being, I should bring in a pair of Steve's Speakers...that being the Monoliths.
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« Last Edit: 10/03/14 at 21:46:58 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #94 - 10/03/14 at 23:57:11
 
Hi everyone. My flight is coming in late tonight. I'm staying at the Pere Marquette. Is anyone available to give me a lift to Decfest Saturday morning? Please call or text me at 714-892-1569.

Thanks
Pat
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #95 - 10/04/14 at 01:02:44
 
Hey Decfest folks. Out here in NM I envy you!

I have been writing a review on the Torii MKIV, giving me a lot of time for careful listening and thoughts. This won't be that useful if Steve does not have a MKIV with a lot of hours on it, but if he does, and you have time, Reconstructive Feedback may be fun to check out. Here it took more than 600 to really hear all the amp's subtle potential. Unfortunately, I did not note where the Feedback shifted from diffused to all it can be, but I think this happened a little earlier. Now, with over 1000 hours, my Torii is really amazing, pretty different amp than pre 600 hours.

Here is part of my review. My source is a NOS Tranquility DAC 44.1/16 from a tweaked Mini with a separate Firewire drive for the music, with vibration control and weight, a good USB cable, and linear USB power separating the USB power to the DAC from computer power. This combo is great at micro detail, and is no doubt part of what I am hearing here.

"Reconstructive Feedback:

For a long time I kept it switched off, preferring the more focused sound. But this changed with long burnin. At some point the feedback effect became tighter, clearer, and very tasteful… spacious, but no longer diffused. Now I Need to keep it on.

Compared with my MKIII, the soundstage here is similarly saturated, wide and deep, but the MKIV sound with reconstructive feedback is different, increasing subtle information. It heightens the complexity of detail while enhancing liquidity and spaciousness. This refines everything, from the sound of wood, brass or skin, to each player's space, and finally wide ambient decays fading way past my walls. Also, recording ambience more completely and seamlessly integrates with my room ambience. From note hits to fading trails, it feels like it takes bits of information and divides them into more bits. The increased fine detail and greater sense of resolution make tones and edges smoother and more complex at the same time. It can be heard throughout, but shows best in edges and ambience.

My soundstage was already quite good here, but if memory serves, the reconstructive feedback from the MKIV gives mixes with less focus on soundstage more soundstage definition than the MKIII.

There is a lot good about this design, but with my source and system/room, the Reconstructive Feedback switch is really sort of revelatory, bringing the rest to fruition. "
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« Last Edit: 10/04/14 at 01:22:31 by will »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #96 - 10/04/14 at 21:44:58
 
Well I have come and gone.  Good fest this year for me even though it was short.

Palomino's pick at this years fest was the OTL into Bob's new "el caminos"
That's not the official name but Bob hadn't named them yet so that's the first thing that popped into my head.  ;)

The Minnesota orchestra fanfare for the common man was the song that left me slack jawed.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #97 - 10/05/14 at 05:28:51
 

I liked the other (slightly higher rez) version of that song better on that setup.

So was the OTL everything I said it was?

I do like Zygi's new speakers as well. I think they'd give the 944 a run for the money...though I'd have to put them side by side to be sure. The 944 just have such fast bass, the make too many other speakers sound slow (even the Anthony Gallo 3.1)

The tapes Steve played (that I caught) sounded amazing - I'm sad I didn't get to hear the Beatles tapes, but that was my fault for simply not being there at the right times.

Some great times and great conversations with everyone. It was great just chatting it up with everyone.

I really do hope Steve produces some sort of OTL in the future. It is really a sexy sound...though you really do have to be mindful of your source material and source device. An analytic DAC with an OK recording would probably be too dry and difficult to handle. But a silkier DAC and excellent recording would be mesmerizing.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #98 - 10/05/14 at 16:58:43
 
Are the "el caminos" the 944 replacements?  Any other highlights from the festival?
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #99 - 10/05/14 at 18:22:49
 
"Are the "el caminos" the 944 replacements?

Yes, they have a dome tweeter and DNA style woofer loading.
FWIW I like the new speakers much better.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #100 - 10/05/14 at 19:07:06
 
Hi Lin...Thanks!  What did you like better about the new speakers?
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #101 - 10/05/14 at 19:14:04
 
Lin, do you know what full range speaker and tweeters were used?...DFR 6.5" or 8"?  Thanks,  Mark.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #102 - 10/05/14 at 19:42:30
 
Hi all,

Just got back an hour ago, and I wanted to send a big THANK YOU to Steve, Devon, Sarah, Bob, and Mike for another great fest.  You guys are the best!!!  I'll have more comments in a few days, after my mind sorts out all the great info, music and sound I heard yesterday...it's still spinning right now.

Thanks again guys.

Dan
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #103 - 10/05/14 at 20:43:36
 
I think Ziggy said the mb is basically the same driver Wilson uses for a mid in the Sasha/Sophia and the tweeter looks like an SB Acoustics ring dome.

I've never been a fan of ribbon tweeter and cone woofer pairings, I like the dome tweeter's integration and sound better. YMMV
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #104 - 10/05/14 at 23:22:36
 
A big Thank You to Steve and crew for hosting Decfest! Thanks for your generosity, it was a pleasure to by there.

Pat
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #105 - 10/06/14 at 00:54:55
 
Oh well, the best I could do was to catch some of the live feed. The streaming sound of Steve's tape machine was unbelievably good and made me want to be there even more. See you there next year.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #106 - 10/06/14 at 01:28:22
 
Dave and I did a "red eye" drive home last night and got back to Caintuck around 6:00 AM .....  

The trip to Peoria was well worth it and a hearty thanks to the entire Decware family and crew for the superb hospitality.

Steve's tape setup is very impressive ..... but since we weren't able to locate the tape with "Free Bird" on it, I will reserve final judgement until it can be located for Zen Fest 2015 .....

I spent quite a bit of time listening "through" the Rachel amplifier and like it a lot. Steve and Bob were kind enough to let me spend some time with the Rachel powering a couple of non-Decware speakers that I schlepped to the event ..... and the Rachel made them both sing.

A highly recommended amplifier .....

It was great to see many old friends and meet quite a few new ones.

Looking forward to next year .....

Best wishes,

Randy
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #107 - 10/06/14 at 02:13:09
 
Thanks Randy, I just put a ZP3 and a Rachel on order last week. Very excited about these finally coming. I am sure that a lot of good music was listened to at Decfest.

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #108 - 10/06/14 at 03:06:55
 
The live feed was a nice touch.
Even on my I-Pad, that clarity was there. Well done !
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #109 - 10/06/14 at 07:30:40
 

I'm really impressed you guys were getting an impression of how good the sound was over the live feed. I got several txts when I was playing MC with the OTL amp playing, about how good the sound was, and asking me what the tracks I was playing were.

It's a clever setup that can pull that off! Even more so when you see how simple it is!

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #110 - 10/06/14 at 14:35:01
 
Yes Raven, I think your description of the otl was right on the money.  My only question would be would you want it that intense every day?

Randy thanks for the music suggestions.  I would have loved to hear your ob's with Rachael.  I am looking for a higher efficiency speaker for my Rachael and I like to build.

I spent a couple of hours when nobody was awake in the morning switching back and forth between the monoliths and the el caminos using a Rachael amp.  Different sounding speakers to be sure.  The biggest difference though was the efficiency.  In a larger room you would need more of an amp to run the el caminos.  I got a nice listening volume out of them but in Steve's big room I ran them pretty high and got to clipping easy when a loud track came on.  

I felt the el caminos were more audiophile sounding (detail, clarity, punch) and the monoliths were more of a bigger, airier, Hifi sound. The imaging on the el caminos was more precise where the sound stage was bigger on the monoliths.  I also think the el caminos have more grunt In the low end. I have to be honest and say thiat I don't think the room did either speaker justice on the bass (sorry I am a bass trap freak).

I did like the tweeter on the el caminos.   I believe all three drivers are sb acoustics.  I currently use a single driver of that woofer in my DNA cabinets with a Vifa bullet tweeter.  I will be looking to see if I could use that tweeter in my cabinets.

So I think if I was running a zen or Rachael I would go with the monoliths.  Something more hefty and I'd go with the el caminos.  A smaller room would possibly open the door to the el caminos with a lower powered amp.

The el caminos are heavy. 3/4 mdf all through. I think that helps them in the grunt department for sure.   Bob showed me a picture of the insides and they have a very long tapered horn.

Edit: the monoliths were the 945 version without the custom wave guide.  Steve had asked that we not touch the other end of the room where the 946's reside.  From my memory, I think that waveguide does let more detail through in the mids.
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« Last Edit: 10/06/14 at 15:03:07 by Palomino »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #111 - 10/06/14 at 15:06:39
 
Quote:
Yes Raven, I think your description of the otl was right on the money.  My only question would be would you want it that intense every day?


I've been thinking about that a lot since I did my MC session on Friday, and you felt the OTL was an overwhelming wall of sound. I have to say that I handled the OTL better now that I've got almost a year of Mystery amp under my belt - the OTL wasn't as overwhelming for me. So I postulate two outcomes (assuming Steve produces an OTL, and I somehow afford it).

Outcome #1 - the OTL becomes my main amp, and my brain evolves to a higher level of listening (only half-joking here - my experiences this past year tell me this is an actual thing). This will pretty much ruin me for any other kind of listening.

Outcome #2 - The Mystery Amp remains my main amp, and the OTL is my "winter amp" because of the heat - LOL just kidding. The OTL would be like listening to Reel to Reel master tapes - not something I do all the time, but something I do for really deep listening sessions.

Since I still have a lot of room issues to deal with, and I'm still (after a friggen *year* working out issues with building my overly complex sound diffusers, I still have a long way to go with the gear I have now. I'm betting I could get the Mystery amp as involving as the OTL if I ever get my room under control with diffusion. But then, imagine the OTL in a room like that!!

Quote:
In a larger room you would need more of an amp to run the el caminos.  I got a nice listening volume out of them but in Steve's big room I ran them pretty high and got to clipping easy when a loud track came on


I saw this the next day when people were listening to the mini-torii. It just didn't have the guts for a larger room, with that many people (aka higher noise floor).  It would have been fine for solo-listening late at night, and/or with high efficiency speaker. Late Friday night, it was so quiet, the damn fan was annoying me. LOL

Quote:
I felt the el caminos were more audiophile sounding (detail, clarity, punch) and the monoliths were more of a bigger, airier Hifi sound. The imaging on the el caminos was more precise where the sound stage was bigger on the monoliths.  I also think the el caminos have more grunt In the low end. I have to be honest and say thiat I don't think the room did either speaker justice on the bass (sorry I am a bass trap freak).


I agree with this - you know I like the more audiophile sound, and Bob's new speakers really appeal to me. I also felt the room got boomy on that side. Not so much on the other side. But then again, the couch was rolling all over the place, I'm betting with a little work it wouldn't be hard to find the sweetspot in that room. Remember, in your room you've not only added treatments, but you've adjusted both seating and I believe speaker locations to smooth out the bass. With all the work you've put into that room, your home reference kind of kills most other rooms - especially one with a rolling couch, full of speakers and people.  :)
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« Last Edit: 10/06/14 at 15:09:50 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #112 - 10/06/14 at 15:11:33
 
Any thoughts versus the 944s?  I felt the el caminos were more refined on the top end and more gutsy on the low end.  I didn't really check, but I also felt they were less beamy.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #113 - 10/06/14 at 15:22:52
 
Since I was standing behind the couch to let others take in all that is the OTL, I didn't get a chance to really evaluate the sweetspot. I think anything with a cone is going to be less head-in-vice then the 944 ribbon. But I do enjoy the speed of ribbon drivers.

From my mental memory of the 944, these speakers are quite close. I would hazard to say the 944 might still have faster bass, and the El Camino (sic) I think had better mids. I'd really have to put them side by side to evaluate since they are so much alike. Overall my thoughts are they would make a good replacement if the bass is as fast, mids are more detailed (without being edgy), and the tweets are smoother with a wider sweet spot. It would take all that to best the venerable MG944.

I would be happy with them in my setup.

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« Last Edit: 10/06/14 at 15:26:25 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #114 - 10/06/14 at 15:55:19
 
Thanks for all the observations guys.

I too hope Steve produces the OTL SET. The bottom line is: I need to bring it in on Trial and use my Anedio D2, AA front end an Chord QuteHD DAC with it. Also, different IC an Speaker Cable combinations, from my Kimber Select to 8TC an Silver Streak with my Zen Styx Speaker Cable. Of course, it would be compared to my SE84CS, Super Zen CKC an ZMA Amplifiers too. Furthermore, with an without my wonderfully transparent an dynamic CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps.

Far as Speakers go, I'm intrigued with the Seas Pendragon. I will most likely order a pair next week an report back.  Cheers.
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« Last Edit: 10/06/14 at 16:05:55 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #115 - 10/06/14 at 16:00:23
 

OTL is a completely different animal from any of those other amps. It does stuff that's really hard to explain. Very detailed like the old 2 watt Zen, but liquid and HUGE like the ZMA, but still, completely different.

I hope Steve does an OTL Super-Zen to hopefully bring an OTL to the masses, and a big OTL like the Mystery amp, or Monoblocks for us extremest listeners.  :)



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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #116 - 10/06/14 at 21:02:11
 
Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this weekend. It was really great to put some faces with screen names and be able to have some stereo conversation. It's hard to find people to talk stereo with a girl;).
Thanks Steve for an awesome event and sharing the non-digital bliss in the evenings!
I'm pretty sure I'll be back next year.
Mele
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« Last Edit: 10/06/14 at 21:02:38 by miller88 »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #117 - 10/06/14 at 21:07:05
 
Mele,

I am glad to have you on these forums! Testosterone can be a dangerous drug Wink

Will
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #118 - 10/06/14 at 22:17:51
 
Mele,
It was nice to meet you. I appreciate the tube lesson.

It was a fun time. This year I did more talking than listening. Its nice to be able to talk about the hobby to people that understand.

John
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #119 - 10/06/14 at 22:21:02
 
Wow, sounds like you guys had a great time and thanks for all the comparisons and impressions!  It looks like Zygi has another hit with the El Caminos and a nice replacement for the 944's.

I can't see ever running any OTL here in San Diego.  Aside from being way too expensive for me, it is still almost 100 degrees where I live and my a/c bill alone was close to $300 last month, that on top of us having to use a fan even in the winter make it a no go and totally impractical.

Well I was hoping for a SET with some more juice say 10-15 watts in the $2K-$3K range, but not like the OTL that has taken center stage. Cry ... I'm sure it's pretty awesome, but I'll sit this one out and use my Taboo for now and hold off for the time being.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #120 - 10/06/14 at 22:30:23
 
We had 273 people watch the live feed this year, up from 184 last year!  I was wondering how the tape sounded via the feed so I appreciate the feedback!

Even though I haven't fully recovered from this year's fest I am already looking forward to next year!

My favorite one-liner from this year's fest came from Miller88 when someone wanted to hear the vinyl rig after we had spun a few tapes.  I dropped a pretty great LP on the table and let it go.  About 3 songs into it, she looked up at me from the couch and said "How long are we going to have to listen to this?"

It sounded great btw, it's just that the tape is really that much better.  I have always said women can hear better than men, so I am still smiling about her comment! Wink  We stopped the LP before it was done, fired up the tape machine and it didn't stop until around 2:00 A.M.  

I wanted to see how long the tape machine could hold everyone's attention...  now I know it's not just me.

God bless everyone who took the time and expense to make the journey to Decware... it really means a lot to us.  

Steve

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #121 - 10/06/14 at 23:08:39
 
Steve,

My headphones aren't great Sennheiser 280 pros, but here is what I heard. The tape density and smoothness was noticeable on the feed. Density without sounding thick or dull in any way. The 3 digital units I heard all sounded different, but odd by comparison. The only speakers that sounded really noticeably balanced to me were Bob's new ones. Other than the radial effect, this made me wonder about what I was hearing, but it was fun!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #122 - 10/06/14 at 23:32:42
 
Yes I am pretty sure that an otl will be out of my range too.  But I might be able to swing a ZMA or Torii when other guys trade up.

Also I want to emphasize that Bobs new speakers are not officially called the el caminos.  Just my name for them to discuss them on the forum.  They did have an auto paint finish to them but that's the only connection to a thing auto related  :)
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #123 - 10/06/14 at 23:42:38
 
Btw stone I got several hours in with the Chord in the big room.  Sounded great.  Most of my observations about the speakers were based on the hooked up to the chord.

I pooped out Friday night at 1:00 so I wasn't able to do the direct stream comparison with mr late night lonely raven.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #124 - 10/07/14 at 01:30:30
 
Chiming in just a bit late here, but I just wanted to say how grateful I am to have been to another fantastic Zen Fest.  The thing was a real top-notch affair!  My hat is off to Steve, Devon, Sarah, Bob, and Mike.  My only regret was not going home with those Err's.  :(     Maybe some other time.  Hearing the (temporarily termed) El Camino's as well as the DNA horn with the Mark Audio drivers was fun.  The Beatles tape was fantastic and couple other rather late nite auditions from Steely Dan made a believer out of me.  Too bad I can't enjoy both formats, I'm too far down the vinyl path.  My compliments to Mike for tending the fire for the entirety of the event, Thank you sir.  Steve, thank you for making such a fine event possible; it is quite special and anyone who attends knows just how generous you are with your time, home, and ingenious amplifiers.      
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #125 - 10/07/14 at 01:33:15
 
Very detailed and thought out reviews as usual guys.  

I also tapped into the live stream briefly one night while tapes were being played and was pleasantly surprised how good it sounded with my $100 headphones.  I thought I would see more toe tapping from the people sitting in the room, but maybe they were so floored by the sound that they couldn’t function properly.  There was a classical piece from a Canadian broadcast that stood out in particular to me.  It sounded awesome!

Do the “el caminos” have the same efficiency as the DNA horns (89 dB)?  I think I need additional data to determine if I would want to go lower in efficiency (94 dB) in my room.  In fact, I was hoping Bob would create a slightly more efficient speaker that bests the 944’s in SQ.  Might be an unreasonable request/wish for…  

I didn’t realize the DirectStream made an appearance.  I am curious what folks thought and how it compared versus tape and the other digital rigs.  In theory, DSD is probably the closest digital could get to tape, but you do have the AD/DA conversion, which likely has an impact.  Also, I think it’s true that you can’t push digital past 0db without negative clipping.  I remember making mix tapes as a kid and often pushing the meters into the red for that extra saturation.  

Wish I could have been there.  Keep the observations flowing… Cheers.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #126 - 10/07/14 at 01:44:56
 
I tapped in as well, right at the point of LR's ZMA being in the mix and got to hear one of my favorite songs off of Hadestown "Our Lady Of The Underground".  It sounded excellent even through my PC speakers in my upstairs bedroom which in itself is pretty amazing, so I can only imagine how great it sounded being there! Cool
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #127 - 10/07/14 at 02:17:14
 
I think the el caminos are around 91 db. To me they sounded about that. I also think they are 4 ohm.

The direct stream made an appearance late Friday night.  I'm not sure how many people were around for it.  It was after 1:00 when I called it a night and Eric was just hooking it up.

I hope that Steve puts the videos out there like he did last year. I got a lot of great music ideas off those videos.  I'd also like to switch between videos when the el caminos were on different amps.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #128 - 10/07/14 at 03:10:00
 


Black and Silver, with a big bucket in the back...I'm just sayin' Bob. I like it. Though I know you made a funny face when I read that Palo posted that name in the forums.  :)
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #129 - 10/07/14 at 03:35:11
 
Quote:
I didn’t realize the DirectStream made an appearance.  I am curious what folks thought and how it compared versus tape and the other digital rigs.  In theory, DSD is probably the closest digital could get to tape, but you do have the AD/DA conversion, which likely has an impact.  Also, I think it’s true that you can’t push digital past 0db without negative clipping.  I remember making mix tapes as a kid and often pushing the meters into the red for that extra saturation.


Yeah well, about that...

Long story short, at about 1:30am everyone was heading out, and I said, "hey, I was about to bring the DS in" and everyone did an about face. Palo was...let's call it sleeping. But after about 15-20 minutes of me having issues getting my laptop to connect to my streaming server, everyone said screw this we're out of here. Not long after that I got my system up and running (stupid IP mistake and no time to test before I drove down).

So it was a solo flight - just me, the DS, my music, the OTL amp, and Bob's El Caminos. I played till about 4am.

All I have to say, is that's it's the closest I've ever heard digital come to tape. And yet, the master tapes still sounded better (duh!).
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #130 - 10/07/14 at 11:25:19
 
I looked in on some of the Fest, but only up to pre 8 0`clock ( 5 hours time lag ) so before the main events. The `caminos` looked pretty cool and I did wonder if they were made from ally, so good paint job. My interest was with the ZOBs, a speaker I`m becoming a fan of. They were being demo`d and sometimes placed a lot further back. I liked them a lot.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #131 - 10/07/14 at 13:46:13
 
Looks as if the Fest was a success! Were I in the market for a new amp and new speakers I'd be interested in what Steve MAY develop as an OTL amp and the new speakers Bob brought. But I'm deliriously happy wtih my amps and speakers and know when to jump off the merry-go-round! Now if only I can get my DirectStream working again I'd be all set!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #132 - 10/07/14 at 15:39:26
 
Just curious if anybody had a chance to listen to various amps on the same system at the same time.  I'm always curious to hear about what the differences are (sonically) between the Decware amps.

If anyone did do some comparisons, I'd love to hear their impressions.

Thanks!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #133 - 10/07/14 at 17:11:34
 
If it happens, then it is happening (the OTL SET). After some hours on the wonderful creation....I will take it down to see LR an Palomino.

Kudos to Steve for the Live Feed once again. I really enjoyed hearing the Reel to Reel an the OTL SET with Bob's new Speakers. I enjoyed Steve's Monoliths too.

I was inspired from Decfest to work on my Listening Room. I took down a room divider an spread my Speakers out wider with some toe-in. Improvement was had. Opened up my Soundstage even more.

I love what I have an could not see myself parting with my ZMA. What I could discern of the OTL SET/I want to bring it in though (I do believe it to be that significant like the ZMA). I could also happily live with my Vintage Polk SDA1 speakers in stereo with my ZMA too.
However, between now an Oct 31st, when the price goes up on the Monoliths....I should bring in a higher efficiency Speaker.  

I'm considering:
Monoliths or Tekton Lore S.  Any opinions? I decided against the Seas Pendragons an Bob's new Speaker will be more than I want to spend. The Monoliths and Lore S are at 2k and $1500 delivered, respectively.
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« Last Edit: 10/07/14 at 19:15:23 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #134 - 10/07/14 at 21:56:47
 
@ Stone, I was actually looking at the Tektons a while back before I bought my Omegas.  The Tektons get a lot of good feedback, but at the time Eric wasn't doing very well as far as cutomer feedback and the amount of time it was taking for him to complete orders (it was like 8-10 months for people to get their speakers in some instances).  

I chose the Omega's for many reasons, but that's one of the main reasons I ditched Tekton as a potential vendor.  That was almost 2 years ago though, so I'm not sure if things have changed in that regard, but just an FYI ...
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #135 - 10/08/14 at 04:52:25
 
Thanks Beowulf, I was afraid of this long Lead time. I'm going to bring in Steve's Monoliths most likely. He has them ready to go.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #136 - 10/08/14 at 06:37:02
 
Stone,

I've been pretty happy w/my Monoliths. I wrote a review, if you're interested, in the Monolith thread, topic "Special price for new buyers".
Check it out.

Randy
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #137 - 10/08/14 at 14:43:16
 
From Tekton's Product page:

"Ordering: standard finish (satin black) - all models - usually ships within 2 working days

Please allow 2 to 4 weeks for custom paints, theater projects, and veneers"

If these are really interesting to you Stone, might be worth a call to see.
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« Last Edit: 10/08/14 at 14:45:00 by will »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #138 - 10/08/14 at 16:05:36
 
Yes, as I mentioned it was about 2 years ago when this was occuring, by now he could have straightened out the issues he was having prior. Although there is a thread with fairly current posts on AVS forums that tells of a lot of problems with Tekton that are still not smoothed out.  

I think most of the problems stem from custom orders (veneers and paints), grills seem to be a big issue for him and a few quality assurance issues as well.  I've seen statements like this posted a couple times ~ "When Eric says 5-8 weeks that means "8-10 months".

Maybe if you get a standard finish you may be safer as there are current posts on that forum that said they still waited a while to get their product and if you want grills ... forget about them as he is known to never ship them (even if you paid for them).

One of the most recent threads stated that it only took 4 weeks to get a set and that included a custom paint job, so overall after reading that thread it still seems to be somewhat of a crapshoot on lead times IMO. (YMMV though).

I would mention though, once people get their product they are fairly happy aside from a few issues as mentioned above.
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« Last Edit: 10/08/14 at 16:08:17 by beowulf »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #139 - 10/08/14 at 16:05:38
 
Thanks TubeNube, Lin an will.

I have decided to wait an see if Steve makes the OTL SET. I then plan to arrange a visit to Decware to hear it. At that time, I will hear the Amp with Bob Z's new Speaker, Steve's Monolith an the HR-1's. It allows the direct comparison to the ZMA too (which I own).

It will be interesting to hear if the Redbook standard can maintain its composer through the OTL SET vs. Hi-res. I have my Chord Chordette QuteHD at home if I need to venture into that realm. Certainly, will be fun to make the comparisons at Steve's. The Chord, is nothing short of incredible with Redbook. Detailed and smooth. Chord certainly made a statement with this FPGA DAC! I don't miss the PS Audio DSD I returned....so that is saying something about this QuteHD DAC.

Until Steve puts the word out in due time about the OTL SET an potentially a new Preamplifier too; I will enjoy my SE84CS an CKC at 68 to 78db SPL...and my ZMA via my CSP3 at 68 to 92db SPL  8-).
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« Last Edit: 10/08/14 at 16:19:07 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #140 - 10/08/14 at 17:50:09
 
Going to Decware and checking things out sounds like a lot of fun!
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #141 - 10/08/14 at 19:31:12
 
Probably the best time I had at the fest was listening to Bob's speakers and the Monoliths on pretty much my system.  I was using my DAC, my transport and a Rachael with the same tubes except rectifier (which I liked and later bought one).  Same interconnects and same speaker wires.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #142 - 10/09/14 at 01:31:55
 
Hi Steve,

I was unable to attend Zenfest due to work  :(, however I logged in a couple times to listen in.  I heard the Beatles broadcast tape and it really captured my attention.  So much that I listened to the end.  A super warm sound over the wire.  After that, I also heard what I think was Bob James live and it too sounded amazing through my cheap headphones (thanks for the hi-def feed).  Do you recall if the monoliths were used during that time?  If so, I'd be interested in your opinion how they'd sound w/ my MK4....?

Thanks,
Chris
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #143 - 10/09/14 at 01:39:35
 
I think Marky brought this up earlier, but can folks comment on the Zen Open Baffle speakers?   They looked like they were pushed up against the front wall and were toed in significantly.   I suppose the former is more surprising to me.  I was always under the impression that you want to get the speakers away from the front wall, especially dipoles or open baffle speakers.  Do you guys have any additional perspective on this?
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« Last Edit: 10/09/14 at 01:47:31 by Dave1210 »  
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #144 - 10/09/14 at 02:47:33
 
@ Dave1210 - I would have to agree after reading numerous posts from Lin on good placement for this type of speaker.  I was thinking 4-5 feet out into the room would be close to optimum.  Maybe one of our open baffle guru's such as Lin, Randy, Zygi or Steve can chime in.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #145 - 10/09/14 at 09:43:29
 
Yes Dave the open baffles were being used with the OTL amp at the time. Even on my laptop I could hear their speed and sense of fidelety ( the monotliths and `el caminos` were a different story  ) I think the directness qualities and speed of the open baffles, coulped to the OTL,  warranted them being placed nearer the wall to see if their speed kept up and what the effect was. Every picture tells a story.  :)
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #146 - 10/10/14 at 03:00:07
 
Just wanted to send out a big THANK YOU to Devon, Steve, Bob and the rest of the Decware family for all the hospitality over the weekend!  Had a great time seeing old and new friends.  Hope to make it back next year.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #147 - 10/10/14 at 15:13:38
 
Dave D, wish I could have made it down to see you this Fest an Randy. Remember 2005 when we went to the "Club" late night an the college kid fight broke out!?

Hey, I thought to sell my Parker Crusader's a couple times. However, I am glad I have not. They are still going strong since November of 2005 arrival. 95db @ 1 watt/1 meter. I don't use the plate amp all that much when I rotate them in my System. But, enjoy the acoustic suspension MTM on them an I use the Hovland Music Caps Randy sent me all those years ago.

Cheers, (Stone)  Larry
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« Last Edit: 10/10/14 at 17:20:08 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #148 - 10/10/14 at 22:53:44
 
OK...it's time for me to give my impressions.

I arrived Sat around noon and could feel the vibe of great sound.  There was a group of guys in the room enjoying all kinds of equipment and speakers.  I stroke a conversation with Chris K, and it was really interesting.  We talked about our set ups, and I kept being drawn into the room.  Finally, the Rachel was set up and I had to go listen.

Now, you have to understand that the Rachel is the amp I lust for.  We heard it on the HR1's ( AWESOME!!!) and then the open baffles (I think).  Then I had the chance to put the HDT's in the mix...my speakers BTW.  Even though I/we had the volume too high (even Steve poked his head in to see what was going on), I was captivated.  I had heard the Rachel's last year, but this time I heard it with MY SPEAKERS and MY MUSIC.  To say I was impressed would be an understatement!!!  I am now working on selling my mono blocks and finding the rest of the funds to get my Rachel!!!(Email me if you"re interested).

After another beer, and many more conversations, the evening came upon us and ANALOG was on the menu.  All I can say is...WOW!!!  The tapes played were beyond the words I can put here.  Suffice it to say that if a quality tape machine comes available, I'm gonna be be "spinning tape"!!! (And I'll take you up on your offer Steve)

Anyway, it was absoulty a GREAT time.  It was great talking with Steve, Bob, Mike, Chris K, Randy, Lonely Raven, Brie (hope I got that correct), and ALL the Decware family. I can't wait for next year!!

Dan
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #149 - 10/12/14 at 22:12:24
 
Quote:
I think Marky brought this up earlier, but can folks comment on the Zen Open Baffle speakers?   They looked like they were pushed up against the front wall and were toed in significantly.   I suppose the former is more surprising to me.  I was always under the impression that you want to get the speakers away from the front wall, especially dipoles or open baffle speakers.  Do you guys have any additional perspective on this?


The reason I was able to run them that close to the walls was primarily due to the diffusers and absorber panels behind them.
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #150 - 10/16/14 at 00:40:13
 
Thanks Steve.  Do the ZOB speakers play well with the ZMA, or do they need a SET to really release the magic?
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Re: DECWARE Zen Fest 2014 ~ Oct 3rd, 4th, 5th
Reply #151 - 10/16/14 at 17:02:36
 

The ZOB's sound great with all of our amps.  My favorite with them is the TORII MKIV.

Steve
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