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10/23/14 at 06:25:48


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The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam. (Read 637 times)
Guy13
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Audio should be
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Posts: 36
The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
08/08/14 at 14:19:58
 
Hi all.
At first I wanted to by a Glow One amplifier,
Look nice, not too expensive and more power than needed,
But the Debit Card transaction did not work, at the time, I did not know why, but now I know it was because it was blocked by the ACB bank for security reason, I did not advise them of the purchase.
Anyway, today I am glad the transaction did not go thru.
After that a Vietnamese audiophile friend of mine here on planet Vietnam, told me about Decware, so since I was still looking for a SET amplifier, I went I went browsing for Decware and found what I was looking for.
SET + Inexpensive replacement tubes, point to point wiring,
no bell and whistle, life time warranty, integrated and Ö
Well that was enough for me.
So I decided to buy the SE84C
I ask Decware to ship it to Common Sense audio, because with 2wpc and wanted to go for the point source extended range driver in a Open Baffle dipole configuration to see and hear if what a lot of audiophiles said was not exaggerated.
So, I bought a pair of Audio Nirvana 8Ē basic and everything was sent to planet Vietnam.
That was in 2008 (6 years ago.)
Iíve built some ugly looking baffle, so ugly, that I donít have any pictures anymore of that horrible looking contraption.
Anyway, the result/sound was really not what I was expecting.
Yes, lots of details, but very shouty around 2-5KHz and of course no bass, zero, niet, rien, khongÖ
To fix that problem, I had a Sony mini subwoofer, when I say mini, I mean mini 3.5Ē woofer, not bass with that, but Iíve disconnected the built in micro woofer and sent the signal to four 8Ē B+W woofer that I had, so two 8Ē on each side, but all from the same sub woofer amplifier.
HaaaaÖ Now I had some bass, nothing to show off to my friend(s) but certainly more listenable.
The 8Ē woofer were also open baffle, because they are easy to build when the only tool you have is a jigsaw, no table saw or rooter.
So I kept my Decware for two years, then I sent it back to Decware for an upgrade (For got the name of it, but I think it went something like: Early Christmas ????)
Honestly, I did not hear any improvement in the sound.
Then I bought from Tube Depot two extra pairs of Electro Harmonix el84 again no sound improvement, but, I did not have any better drivers, so I kept it like that until about a year ago, when I decided to buy a pair of Omega 7F Ferrite magnet wide range drivers in (Again) an open baffle configuration.
Then the sound was really to my liking, lots of micro details, very natural sound especially when itís solo instruments (Acoustic guitar) vocals and many moreÖ
Then someone from another forum recommended that I replace my EH with a pair of Toshiba equivalent.
The result was disastrous, the sound was completely veiled from bottom to top and the output was down by 50%.
I returned then and exchange them for a pair of Gold Lions, now with those, the sound was back to normal, but by rolling the tubes, I found out that the original EH el84 had more details,
Itís strange, because the Gold Lion are also made by Electro Harmonix.
Anyway, I kept my EH and I did some tube rolling with the 6922 I bought a few NOS tubes, but found out that I could not hear any improvement, so I left the EH 6922.
As for the 5Y3 Rube that came with the amplifier, Iíve replace it first with a RCA 5U4 and then with a Sovtek 5AR4 and itís still there and I love the sound with those tubes.
About a year ago, Iíve noticed that the left and right channels were reversed, I found out when I played a test CD from Stereophile.
Iíve contacted Steve Deckert via e-mail with a picture of the connection and he told me what to do and that solve the problem and also an expensive trip from planet Vietnam to the US of A.
About six months ago, the left channel stop working and I had no clue what was the cause of the failure.
So, I did not wanted, but I had no choice, so I brought it to a local repair shop to see what was the problem, after a few days, he told me that the problem was a burnout output transformer, I was very surprised of his diagnostic, but it was working perfectly, so I paid him (25USD) and I got back my amplifier. That made me saves about 300 USD+ round trip to Decware shop.
About 2 to 4 weeks later, Iíve noticed that the same left channel
That was repaired, had lost 50% of itís power, so, there we go again to the repair shop and told the technician that I would not pay a penny for the repair, because it was under warranty.
He did not argue and did the repair free of charge and since that time, itís been working flawlessly.
Thatís one of the best investment I did in audio.
Not all that is nice, how about some not so nice stuff.
O.K. planet Vietnam is hot, is hot like hell.
Even in my air conditioning listening room,
the thermometer never goes below 30C/86F even with the AC running full blast.
The amplifier was running too hot to my liking.
But thatís me.
So what I did to cool down the amplifier Iíve use a 220V. floor fan running on the lowest speed, but also connected to a step-down transformer from 220V to 120V. so the fan spin very slowly and does not make any noise and there is still enough air to cool down my little darling and like killing two birds with one stone, the cool air also cool down my Bottlehead Crack headphone amplifier that also is a hot runner, but not anymore.
The other thing I donít like itís the fact that there are no identification labels for the toggle switches and the RCA inputs
and a few other minor things.
No big deal you will say, but still.
I a world that everything is (( NEW )) and (( IMPROVED ))
why not do it for the Decware products.
Now, donít get me wrong, I love my SE84C+, but I would love it more with those improvements. How much more, well moreÖ
Would I recommend the purchase of this amplifier?
Of course I would, but I would also recommend a pair of speakers that are at least 95dB efficient and 95db would be even better.
Now, I would also recommend supplementing the bass department with an amplifier sub-woofer.
I like my double 12Ē amplifier Open Baffle Dipole H frame sub-woofer, but thatís me.
Thanks for reading that extremely long post, but I had no choice.

Guy 13 †

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Lon
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Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7687
Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #1 - 08/08/14 at 16:03:11
 
Guy,

Thanks for sharing that story and welcome here to the forums!
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Guy13
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Audio should be
simple !

Posts: 36
Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #2 - 08/08/14 at 16:08:14
 
Hi Lon.
Thanks for your comments.
I hope my (Long) story was not too boring?

Guy 13
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 7687
Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #3 - 08/08/14 at 16:16:17
 
Not at all! Sorry to read of the repairs and the downtime I know those entailed. It's so hard when our amps are out of the system, nothing else quite does the job--I think of it the same way as when I run out of the coffee I've been so happy with for over a decade, when I run out that no other coffee quite satisfies me fully.

It's interesting to read the journey we each take to great sound! Thanks for sharing.
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Decware:ERR,HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,PS Audio PWT+DS,
PowerBases,PPP,AC-12 pcs, Denon DBP-A100, Denon DCD-A100,Rega RP3 +TTPSU,white belt+Exact2, VooDoo Cable:Evo,Ultra Linear, Iso-PodMapleshade:Double Heiix Plus.Samsonv2+v3 +4" platforms,Herbie's Iso-Cup
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Guy13
Verified Member
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Audio should be
simple !

Posts: 36
Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #4 - 08/09/14 at 05:24:20
 
Hi Lon.
I have a backup tube amplifier,
it's a XYZ brand, Made in USA amplifier, point to point wiring
with 6L6 pentode configuration.
It's more powerful with 10wpc,
but when it comes to sound quality,
it's galaxies away from having the SET magical sound
of my SE84C+
For me here on planet Vietnam, 99,9999% of the time, warranty means nothing to me, since it always cost bags of $$$ to send it back to the factory and when it comes back and goes true custom,
you always end-up paying corruption and some custom tax import.
By the way, I am sure lots of you did not know that,
but on planet Vietnam, it's illegal to import used/second hand stuff,
not only audio stuff and even if it's new and still under warranty, it's consider used.
Yes, the warm sun is nice when you are on the beach,
but at the custom office, the heat build up fast when they ask for $$$ under the table...
But, if I am not happy with that, I can always go back to my home country Canada.
Hummm, if it was that simple.

Guy 13
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clowkoy
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Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #5 - 08/09/14 at 23:17:57
 
What happened to the output transformer? Replaced or repaired? Steve should be able to send you a new one. Steve's transformers are custom-made. You won't find it elsewhere.
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Guy13
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Audio should be
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Posts: 36
Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #6 - 08/10/14 at 01:11:38
 
clowkoy wrote on 08/09/14 at 23:17:57:
What happened to the output transformer? Replaced or repaired? Steve should be able to send you a new one. Steve's transformers are custom-made. You won't find it elsewhere.


Hi clowkoy.
(I wonder what's the meaning of clowkoy ???)
The output transformer was rewounded by a Vietnamese local
electronic repair shop.
Here on planet Vietnam it's something they do all the time
and it's inexpensive for a lot of different products.
At one time I even had a tiny little servo coil of my Rollei
medium format camera lense rewound with success.
Of course I know it can't be the same as the original.
I could have asked Steve to send me a new genuine
Decware output transformer,
but I felt that it would have been expensive for Steve to do that,
so I got the output transformer repaired locally.
You might say with reason, that it's not the same
and it won't sound the same
and you are correct saying that, but for me,
with my 66 years old ears,
I could not tell the difference between Before and After.
I been around with audio stuff for mucho decades
and I know that nothing is better than genuine parts.
I know that, because here on planet Vietnam
I am the exclusive importer/distributor for many prestigious brands
of professional photographic accessories like:
Bowens, Manfrotto, Phase One and many more
and we only do the repairs with genuine parts bought directly
from the manufacturers,
even if that means an up to three months wait.
I hope this answer your questions/worries.

Guy 13

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clowkoy
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Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #7 - 08/10/14 at 17:20:12
 
Thanks for the explanation!
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Guy13
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Audio should be
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Posts: 36
Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #8 - 08/11/14 at 04:38:29
 
Hi clowkoy.
You still have not answer my question about the meaning of your name.
Maybe it's a military secret ???
Please satisfy my curiosity, otherwise I won't be able to sleep at night.

Guy 13

For me, my name is easy to figure out.
I was born on a Friday 13th.
Lucky me.
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« Last Edit: 08/11/14 at 04:39:16 by Guy13 »  
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Guy13
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Audio should be
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Posts: 36
Re: The story of a Decware SE84C+ on planet Vietnam.
Reply #9 - 08/22/14 at 04:27:38
 
Hi clowkoy.
Well, I give up on my request for an answer
to the meaning of your name.

Guy 13
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