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Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments? (Read 59232 times)
stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #350 - 09/04/17 at 18:14:56
 
"When I added the final component to the speakers (which I'll point out later after photos of the finished speakers surface in this thread), it only took 3 hours to initiate a patent application and it's the first time I've ever done that... but I've heard most of the Omni's at the audio shows, and am well aware of what has been done."

"So to take it all in, we have a speaker that could take a ZMA turned all the way up on disco music without distortion and completely "wreck the room", but yet is efficient enough to enjoy indefinitely with something as simple as the SE84UFO 2 watt amplifier."

......PLUS, the fine tuning/addition to your room treatment you mention.

YOU HAVE MY FULL ATTENTION.

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« Last Edit: 09/04/17 at 18:18:13 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #351 - 09/04/17 at 18:23:35
 
now i am wondering if you should get the HR-1s or wait for the Eggs Smiley
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #352 - 09/04/17 at 18:53:27
 
Quote:
now i am wondering if you should get the HR-1s or wait for the Eggs


I wondered the same thing.  I have the HR1s but my room is far from "ideal."  Didn't Steve say that the Eggs need a carefully treated and symmetrical room to bloom?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #353 - 09/05/17 at 03:24:55
 
The eggs are currently prototypes.  The first production unit could be as far as a year away assuming we choose to put it in production.  Room compatibility, cost to make, and how well people like them will all be determining factors, so a little soon to starting putting yourselves on the list ; )

Steve
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #354 - 09/05/17 at 03:53:21
 
Steve, I LOVE that post about communing with the Gods to get the last piece of the puzzle on the Egg speaker!  Great stuff.

Brian
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #355 - 09/05/17 at 19:21:21
 
The Egg's and the 6C33C's, will be fun to follow the next 6 months to a year (and if you decide it's feasible, to bring to market the Egg's).
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #356 - 11/17/17 at 02:53:19
 
OK, I have an update.

Back Story:  The Zen in Decware is like surfing a wave where the wave is in charge, not the surfer.  

I have decided that this years Christmas design fest where I unplug for a couple weeks and dive back into new Decware amp designs, is going to be something different than intended.

I have decided to go with something other than the 6C33 mono's.  As great as they are, even in a simple chassis they are going to be expensive, similar to the TORII MONO's and while a hand full of us would love them, the majority of people would just be bummed due to the price.

Instead I am going to come out with our 25th Anniversary Zen amp. (Keep in mind that the Zen Amp pre-dates Decware's going on line by several years.)

So far the prototype of this amp concept is owned by Lonely Raven. This is hopefully going to smoke that. Achievements are seldom higher than the goal, so set the goals high.

If it works, it will be so good as to be a game changer.

There is also going to be some new offerings in 2018 in the ZKIT department we're looking forward to that everyone will love!

So those holding out for the 6C33 mono's can have another year to save up for them, you would have needed it anyway.

Happy Holidays!

Steve


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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #357 - 11/17/17 at 12:42:47
 
Wow, Eric has gushed about the sound of his Zen amp "all revved up" and I know the 25th anniversary amp will really be something! I know I'm not alone in wanting to see this product appear and in details along the way.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #358 - 11/17/17 at 15:31:32
 
I very much like Eric's amp.  

Maybe this is the reason I just couldn't pull the trigger on a Zen amp purchase despite wanting one for several years.  I didn't know it but I was waiting for the Zen wave to arrive.  The cosmos are tricky.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #359 - 11/18/17 at 01:07:12
 
My ZMA and the 25th Anniversary Zen Amplifier, will be all I ever need.

Steve, I'm excited to read about it as you take what you developed in Eric's.....to new heights!

.....consider my order placed.....I like serial #0001 (just like it's listed under my Zen Mystery Amplifier).  8-)

Thirteen (13) years of beautiful music produced with my Zen Select #76.....driven by my voltage adjustable output AA Gear... .
Yes, I have been adjusting voltage output into Amps since 1994..... And came the SE84CS into .... My Listening Room (May/2001)....the rest is history....as I scrapped my jaw off the floor....albeit moderate to loud listening levels....but you get the picture.

Time to Coda back....and with a ZBIT (no longer use the AA) if necessary. All in good time of discovery. I look forward to this.

Steve QUESTION: Will you be sticking with the 6922 tube variant for input or switching to the 12AU7, for the Anniversary Edition?
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« Last Edit: 11/18/17 at 14:43:45 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #360 - 11/18/17 at 17:49:05
 
Not that you are taking suggestions, but I would like to see meters and tube regulation in stereo 2W Zen if it works out. This would be unique to the 25th Anniversary amp. How about Cardas copper speaker binding posts and better RCA inputs in an effort to further differentiate this amp?

Regardless, I look forward to hearing about it.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #361 - 11/19/17 at 00:50:50
 
Yeah, I was thinking those things too buster.....SuperZen UFO2 ....all that and the upgrades .... EricLR prototype + more

......there lies the intrigue of speculation.

.....now I'm also thinking ....why not mirror along side the Anniversary development ....Rachel? ....now I know the special magic of the SE84CS (13 years)...but to hedge for more headroom.....maybe I want/need for Steve's topology mojo upgrades in the Rachel UFO............ .
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« Last Edit: 11/19/17 at 01:39:13 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #362 - 11/19/17 at 01:07:56
 
.....and to the Lurkers/Learners out there about these great Amps....don't be bashful....sign up and ask questions please! .... Great people here.

.....www's too. .....so, not to lose site of all this .... Why would I want the Anniversary Amp, when I have a Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier? Are you kidding!? .....Steve's topology Pentode's run in Triode genius  .... And his next incarnation of this......yeah, I'm in...... .

.....and NO....my ZMA is not ever for sale. I just need Decware/Triode, when I want it. My well deserving Stanford grad son......gets my ZMA if my Stent and my favorite craft beers get the better of me  :D

PR for the Marathon is 2:40:41. Hereditary factors for the Heart are a cruel mistress. My son was an All Conference champion in Cross Country.
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« Last Edit: 11/19/17 at 13:35:32 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #363 - 11/19/17 at 03:44:03
 
Quote:
Steve QUESTION: Will you be sticking with the 6922 tube variant for input or switching to the 12AU7, for the Anniversary Edition?


It wouldn't be a Zen Triode Amplifier if not for the original tube compliment, so the tubes will not change.

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #364 - 11/19/17 at 05:35:50
 
I'm sure it will be great, but a fourth iteration of the "2 watt zen amp" in the lineup? Why not trick out a Rachel or even better, create a non-bridged pair of 12 watt Rachel mono blocks (SET + watts for a little more headroom)? The whole reason I was interested in the 6c33c monos was because it was SET and headroom.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #365 - 11/19/17 at 05:39:59
 
......as I asked/stated in my Reply #361...Beowulf....good reiteration...asking? ....will see what Steve says...... .

.....thanks Steve about my question....makes sense....and I love my 6922 tube variants/bought and paid for....to apply.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #366 - 11/19/17 at 11:21:38
 
What can be done in the Zen triode amp that isn’t already implemented in the mono version available? I asked if possible to add meters in my pair, but because of design Steve could not fix that at the time. Some talk about V-caps that isn’t on the option list, but is an upgrade, may be an option here? Two inputs maybe? But keep the pass-thru option as well. Of course, one chassis... I was under the impression that the mono is pretty much maxed out
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #367 - 11/19/17 at 11:53:11
 
Quote:
What can be done in the Zen triode amp that isn’t already implemented in the mono version available?


This is the interesting part of the process by stepping back from a particular design and trying again without any assumptions. I envision a lot of trial and error.

Is there a better cap or a boutique resistor at 2x price that sound better?

Will a small OC2 fit in the UFO2 chassis in place of XLR?

A second chassis for power supply, large ZMA cap, or dual rectifiers?

A Zen without a tube rectifier?

How about a slightly larger chassis footprint with wood base and optional retro tube cage with Decware logo?

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« Last Edit: 11/19/17 at 12:08:06 by busterfree »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #368 - 11/19/17 at 12:06:50
 
Quote:
I'm sure it will be great, but a fourth iteration of the "2 watt zen amp" in the lineup? Why not trick out a Rachel or even better, create a non-bridged pair of 12 watt Rachel mono blocks (SET + watts for a little more headroom)? The whole reason I was interested in the 6c33c monos was because it was SET and headroom.


I would like to see an improved Rachael. A single chassis 12 watt SET would be nice. I often wonder what could be done with this amp if there were biasing options like the ZMA or if it could use the KT120 or K150 tubes.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #369 - 11/19/17 at 13:51:04
 
Yeah, I have to admit my interest in the 6C33C's was the more headroom in triode output. I would want the Rachel or Rachel's at 12 watts per channel, with the Upgrades.

.....and yes, the biasing and don't forget the balancing option I have with my ZMA. I'm spoiled by this.
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« Last Edit: 11/19/17 at 13:52:56 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #370 - 11/19/17 at 20:31:53
 
@ stone - agree, I was not really interested in the 6c33c mono's for the tube compliment, but rather the wattage/headroom and SET circuit.

Living here in the dry hot San Diego climate, I don't think I would ever be interested in the 6c33c mono's anyways due to the heat of that tube.  it's already mid November and we just turned our A/C off last week and opened our windows ... but a couple of days ago it got so hot I was almost tempted to turn it back on.  I live in a place where we keep our windows open pretty much all winter then close them back up late June to early July and run the A/C pretty much until late October all the way up to mid November when we can open the windows back up again.  I've read those 6c33c tubes are like mini space heaters and don't think they would bode well for my area.

@ busterfree and stone - a hot rod'ed 10-12 watt Rachel (in either single or mono chassis) that could come in between the price of a Torii Jr and Torii would really fit the bill for me.  Not only would that be my dream amp, but it would fill a gap in the lineup as far as wattage goes as well.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #371 - 11/21/17 at 16:33:57
 
Quote:
So far the prototype of this amp concept is owned by Lonely Raven. This is hopefully going to smoke that. Achievements are seldom higher than the goal, so set the goals high.


Quote:
Wow, Eric has gushed about the sound of his Zen amp "all revved up" and I know the 25th anniversary amp will really be something! I know I'm not alone in wanting to see this product appear and in details along the way.



When I brought my little Zen amp to Steve, it was kind of tough for me to do because it's an early serial number, and completely unmolested. He genuinely gave me grief about it, pointing out that of the early Zen amps, not a single one has come back for mod or repairs; they they were overbuilt in order for him to have that lifetime warranty that his amps are known for.

But Steve also taught me to trust my gut; if something doesn't sound right, or feel right, or just off and/or I think it can sound better, do something or say something about it! And I really felt that my old Zen amp didn't keep up with the newer zen amps - it still had the transparency it's known for, and still does it better than the ZMA....but I felt like all the newer Decware amps were making the little Zen amp feel slow and old. So I pressed on and told Steve I wanted the UFO mod that he kept suggesting was absolutely worth the cost "and whatever else you  think it needs - I think you know what I like in an amp"

That last part turned into a $700 ouch! Remind me not to tell Steve to do whatever again unless I win the lottery!  ;D

So when I showed up to pick up the amp, Steve had this mischievous grin from ear to ear - I like when I see that, it means the audio gods have whispered something to him and something clicked. And Steve started in with his you'll be blown away, it will melt your brain (etc) and I'm like yeah, yeah, I've heard this before and I'm a picky bastard so to me it's rare something is as good as someone thinks it is. Well I'll be damned, this amp just blew me away!

I've heard the UFO Zens and tweaked out Selects and whatnot and ProgRobs always stood out as being pretty amazing to me - and I honestly felt this surpassed that one. My little Zen had the transparency and honesty it's known for, but it's faster and slicker and appeared to sound at least twice as loud! I easily fill my 25' x 15' x8' home theater with the little Zen and my MG-944 or my Omega SuperHemps. For about a two months after getting the little Zen back I honestly had zero interest in listening to the ZMA - and that's saying a lot because that's like saying I didn't need to eat or drink two months, LOL.

Can I run it out of Steam? Yeah, that's really the limitation of the little amp - there are times I miss the grunt and horsepower of the ZMA, but the little Zen now feels like it does so much more that the ZMA hints at but can't do. Steve mentioned some of his tweaks to me, and I won't steal his thunder, but it boils down to being able to voice not only the tone of the amp, but the speed and honesty. Add to that he's got some great build quality tweaks to eek out a little bit more, so I'm expecting the 25th Anniversary Zen to surpass mine (and be totally worth it).

I'm bummed about the 6c33c amps - not that I could afford them, but to me, they were probably the only thing that could bridge that gap between the honesty of the Zen and the Horsepower of the ZMA. But if it's a $10k amp, 99% of us will want to hear it at DecFest and otherwise just shrug it off...like seeing a $100,000 supercar roll by; yeah it's great, but if I have to choose between a house and a supercar, well...
Even if the 6c33c monos can be brought down to the $6000 range it would be out of reach for most of us, but that's getting it closer to the ZMA territory which even I was able to afford (after selling a car and a rare guitar! LOL)

I wonder if there is space in the lineup for a 6c33c Zen amp. I know a few of you guys that posted don't seem to care about the tube, but more about the headroom, and I get that (seeing as how I run my little Zen out of steam, I do get that!). But like how Steve pioneered the SV83 tube because there is something special about it, I think the 6c33c tube has something special about it as well, even given it's quirks and expense - there is something there. I think I could get by with a 6c33c 25th anniversary Zen amp! LOL

Sorry for the Will level of long post, but it's rare that something exceeds my expectations, and this refreshing of the Zen amp is one of those times. For those of you in the market for this kind of flea watt purity, I wholeheartedly say go for it!


P.S. I like to think me trusting my gut is one of those ways that the audio gods nudge Steve.    ;)
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« Last Edit: 11/21/17 at 16:38:14 by Lonely Raven »  
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #372 - 11/22/17 at 15:15:56
 
Yeah, I'm out of the running for the 6C33C's. As you stated LR, I too, am fortunate to have afforded my ZMA at the time and Cabling (+ my Adagio's). .....NOS Tubes too...... .

Far as the 2 and 6 watt Zen's go?  I have faced the facts.....I'm addicted to my ZMA.....right through its Cabling to my modified Adagio's. I can't go back.

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #373 - 11/22/17 at 18:22:34
 
Is there a Black Friday special???
If so, what is it?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #374 - 11/22/17 at 18:27:27
 
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #375 - 11/22/17 at 21:37:41
 
@ LR - cool story dude and I'm sure its a fine amp!

Pardon my being underwhelmed with this latest amp in development ... it's just that I already have a Zen Select and I'll go out on a limb and say that a majority of Decware owners already have and/or have had an iteration of this 2 watt amp in their kits at one point.  There's already 3 iterations of this amp in the lineup as well, so I just don't see any reason for a fourth one when there's other areas of untapped potential that people have been waiting for ... i.e. a SET with a little more headroom.  

If the 6c33c's are going to be too expensive I understand that Steve may not want to continue with the development of them, but putting the breaks on the development of the 6c33c's to make yet another iteration of the Zen Triode 2 watt amp when people were hoping for a SET amp that had the potential of 18 watts is kind of a let down (for me at least).

Anyways, no offense Steve I'm sure it will be a fine amp for whomever may want to purchase it.

p.s. Happy Thanksgiving to all ... heading to Vegas to spend the holiday with mom, big sis and family!!!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #376 - 11/22/17 at 22:04:52
 

Quote:
Pardon my being underwhelmed with this latest amp in development ... it's just that I already have a Zen Select and I'll go out on a limb and say that a majority of Decware owners already have and/or have had an iteration of this 2 watt amp in their kits at one point.  There's already 3 iterations of this amp in the lineup as well, so I just don't see any reason for a fourth one when there's other areas of untapped potential that people have been waiting for ... i.e. a SET with a little more headroom.  


You make a fantastic argument, and don't worry I plan to continue with the 6C33 amps, just not right now, because as I said, the ROI will be too slow at least for this year.  

As for a fourth iteration of the Zen amp, the 2 watt Zen Triode is the legacy of Decware and I can make it appreciably better than anyone has ever heard one, so I have to do it.  

For those wanting more SET power than the 6 watts, firstly understand that the 6C33 amps are all about the tube and I would pusue them even if they only made 2 watts.

If you want a 12 watt SET amp, you simply bridge a pair of SE34I.5's.  There is no way to get to 12 watts any cheaper and maintain the Decware sound.   People don't realize that SET costs a LOT more to build than push pull.  The power supplies have to be twice as big, and if you use directly heated triodes to keep the hum down the power supply becomes twice as complicated.

To that point, the 6C33 mono's that I prototyped are in fact the 2 watt Zen Triode Amp built with 6C33 tube as cost effectively as possible.  The result is at least 6 or 7 times the price and the weight and the heat.

Beer is here -  more later.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #377 - 11/22/17 at 22:48:51
 
What I think will be interesting with this Anniversary amp will be the sound and signature of a mono'd pair. They would probably have grunt and sparkle and be all many systems would need.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #378 - 11/23/17 at 02:14:49
 
Many people don't realize that a Decware SET amp is fundamentally different when bridged than I would say probably most if not all retail tube gear. That difference is in the output stage where in a Decware amp it floats. Specifically there is no connection from the negative speaker binding post to ground like there is in virtually everything else.

Because the outputs float, and the transformers run a non-standard ratio they function rather well in series as opposed to in parallel into most speaker loads. Being in series means that the two tubes are in series as well. When the transformers and or tubes are in series, they become one. They do not have to match. Their differences compliment the whole. In contrast when output stages or tubes are in parallel, the differences fight each other causing an audible smear or veil over the music.

This is why you can bridge a Decware SET amp into mono without any obvious penalty. The 12 watts you're all wanting is a pair of SE34I.5 for around $3K. I can not build a 12 watt stereo SET that sounds better for less than that or even for 50% more than that.  Sure I could set up a KT120 or KT150 and advertise it as wonderful, but so far I fail to be impressed. I have listened to both single ended and they don't have it. Not surprising, but had to try it.  

If 12 watts won't do it, then you need to move into the push pulls. Your speakers aren't fast enough to discern the difference when you compare the two in the Decware line. Other companies, yes, the difference is painfully obvious even on your inefficient speakers. Not so here.

It's been my opinion since the beginning that people should put there money into the speakers and run a 2 watt Zen amp (The super serious ones anyway). It's a big commitment to run large speakers that are around 100dB with response down in the low 20's in a room that can support it and it's not cheap. Instead everyone goes the other direction, bigger amps, smaller or inefficient speakers.

I've done the best I can within the window of opportunity, which is to say the window that defines the fidelity vs. power curve (2w ~ 40W) since anything outside that window can not compete.

Precious few people have actually followed this advise and own a pair of SE34I.5 strapped into mono, so consequently it remains a well kept secret.

As for making the SE34I.5 better with tube regulation, I might do that, it just depends.  Voltage regulator tubes are not in current production anywhere, and are not all that easy to find in any real quantity, so I have to plan wisely what amps would use them, and that is done with price.

So that's where I'm coming from. That said, as mentioned I have every intension on building myself a pair of 6C33 mono's that look good. Likely in the original sketches I submitted that match the ZTPRE. Once I have done that, it really won't be a problem to make more, since I can buy 1 pair of chassis for 90% the cost of 10 pair of chassis, I will own 10 pair of chassis just to build my own pair. I'm going to go to the trouble because the tube has something special that I appreciate and is non-user friendly which also appeals to me on a personal level. Wink

Happy Thanksgiving!

Steve








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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #379 - 11/23/17 at 02:26:44
 
It's true what Lon says, as everything I just talked about applies to the 2 watt Zen's as well.  In fact it is only a 3dB difference in level between the 6 watts of a bridged 2 watt ZEN and the 12 watts of a bridged 6 watt Zen so by far the biggest bang for the buck is a pair of SE84UFO or UFO2 bridged into mono.

Many have discovered that 6 watts is enough in large spaces with speaks that are 94dB or higher. The assumption is of course that there will be no bass compared to say a 60 watt amp. False. Same bass., Usually better.  Why?  Because a 60 watt amp is paired with 86 dB speakers that have a moving mass of 80 grams and the 6 watt amp is paired with a speaker that has a moving mass of 20~40 grams making the later two to four times faster. Faster bass is always better bass. How low it goes is only a function of the cabinet size and tuning, not the amplifier.

If my true interest was in profit, I would present you all with a nice 300B amp for the same price as a TORII, but it wouldn't sound as good. You would never know that because you would never own both.  

Steve
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #380 - 11/24/17 at 03:27:44
 
Well, as I stated, I'm firmly in what Steve mentioned of his fidelity vs. power curve/window. I'm a firm believer. You will not find me running a Class A/B Amp (in my Listening Room).

I'm at the higher watt rate of 38 and peak power (AB1) of 114 per channel when I push my ZMA.....which is often.....with my higher moving mass of x grams modified Speakers.....that absolutely has crushed all contenders that have entered.

......I will leave it here.  8-)
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #381 - 11/28/17 at 11:25:07
 
Quote:
It's been my opinion since the beginning that people should put there money into the speakers and run a 2 watt Zen amp (The super serious ones anyway). It's a big commitment to run large speakers that are around 100dB with response down in the low 20's in a room that can support it and it's not cheap. Instead everyone goes the other direction, bigger amps, smaller or inefficient speakers.


What speakers would make the short list?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #382 - 11/29/17 at 01:20:18
 
Actually it can be done with 94dB or higher.  The trick is the cabinets bass response and extension.  I have had a pair of Imperial Horn cabinets at 28 cubic feet per side that were never less than 100dB regardless of the numerous combinations I played with, and a 2 watt Zen amp would just crush you.  While the 94dB won't crush you, they are more than enough for musical satisfaction.  I find the trick is when you find yourself listening to a 2 watt zen amp and you forget your not listening to a 40 watt amp because the bass and punch is the same. Then you know you have a great speaker. The speaker's sensitivity is such that with either amplifier, your listening level is easily reached with one watt. In that world, the smaller amp can often have the advantage and come out victorious in a head to head shoot out.

Back in the 1970's radio shack designed a nice poly woofer sold for the diy crowd to "improve bass response".  It was a high Q driver with an fs of 33Hz or so, and could be in either an infinite baffle or a 5.29 cubic foot ported box. By infinite  baffle, they meant a wall in your house. Cut a hole in the wall and install the driver.  It was only 89dB.  It marked a point in the audio timeline where efficiency was no longer a big priority because solid state was the new thing and power was cheap but still we were all used to large boxes. It took several more years for speaker box sizes to shrink.

Today, if you put a single 8 inch driver in a nearly 6 cubic foot cabinet you'd be laughed out of the room. Most manufactures can cram at least 5 drivers or more in that amount of space Wink

I have found over the years that the biggest reason not to have too big a speaker in a small room is imaging. Typically the large speakers are hard to make disappear. The Zen amp is however so good at making giant speakers invisible that it works more often than not.

In our line, the HDT and the DM947 are best we offer pre-built that are efficient enough and have the bandwidth to sound like a big amp is driving them with only 2 watts. We do have plans for the Imperials online and also our corner horns as well as our Imperial SO (Sub only) which can be used horizontally across the front of a room and paired with smaller open baffles to create a completely realistic experience on 2 watts.

Horn speakers, good ones, sound heavenly on single ended triodes. The two go well together. Use anything else and you will not like the horn for very long.

Back in the 50's it wasn't that uncommon to find stereo systems built into the house. High Fidelity was a novelty and celebrated. Today it is taken for granted, and compressed and downsized to fit in you pocket.  How special.  It's up to you and me to save it!!!


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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #383 - 11/29/17 at 10:43:12
 
I have to be careful about what I say in response to the comments regarding a 25th Aniversary Zen Amp because I ‘m afraid that after experiencing the 2 watt based system that I have I may not be able to be all that objective.  You see I’ve become a Zen Snob and make no apologies for it.

I have followed followed the “philosophy” and continued to work with it in order to achieve it’s full potential.  The results have led me to the conclusion that a lot more is possible with with a 2 watt Zen Amp.  That the fidelity that is possible is completely disproportionate to the power.

Yes, I understand that certain speakers require more power, but IMO, that does not mean that it will result in higher fidelity, just in the ability to drive speakers of lower efficiency.  The two are not necessarily related.

At one time I would excuse the prescence of “ungainly” components as being a necessary evil, not so anymore.  In fact I now acknowledge that such components have become repulsive to me.  No offence intended here, just a statement of how I feel, after all beauty is in the eye of the beholder and there’s no accounting for taste, including mine.

So, in conclusion; A 25th anniversary Zen Amp? - It’s about time to ramp it up to the next level!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #384 - 11/29/17 at 13:22:09
 
JOMAN wrote on 11/29/17 at 10:43:12:
So, in conclusion; A 25th anniversary Zen Amp? - It’s about time to ramp it up to the next level!

Agreed! I think a bridged pair of these upcoming amps may be the ultimate amplification for my audio/visual system, and I will definitely consider that in the future.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #385 - 11/29/17 at 15:01:30
 
I have read a recent post by Steve regarding a pair of 2 watt Zen Amps..."by far the biggest bang for the buck is a pair of SE84UFO or UFO2 bridged into mono.".

Please pardon me if i missed it, but when is the release date of the 25th Anniversary Zen Amp?  I am considering the possibility of buying 2 of these to drive a pair of 95db Tekton Pendragons in a 2.0 ch music/HT system.

Which amp to buy has been the hardest decision to make.  Having read alot about the SET made me consider the Zen & Rachael, then worrying that there would not be enough power, the Torii Jr and MKIV became likely candidates and preferably the MKIV because of it's bass and treble adjustments.

I just can't get my mind off of the SET amps, and now hearing about the upcoming Zen amp mod, AND Steve's mention about a pair of 2 watt Zens is series:  "Many have discovered that 6 watts is enough in large spaces with speaks that are 94dB or higher."


Using an iphone db meter app (and i know it's probably not the most acurate), i have determined that we listen to music at an average of 85db and a peak of 98db at 6'.  If a pair of 2 watt Zens would accommodate those levels with music and also provide enough power for DVD...consider me in!  Source will be an Oppo Sonica and Oppo UDP-203 for DVD transport.

An intervention from the audiophile gods on amp and interconnect cables would certainly be welcome because i'm banging my head against the wall here.

I also want to say "Thank You" to Lon, Will & Lin for previous advice.

FWIW, Christmas present to self will be seeing my name on the Decware Amplifier waiting list.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #386 - 11/29/17 at 15:41:29
 
Ginny, at the present the 25th Anniversary Zen Amp is something that Steve will work on with the idea of possibly debuting it next October at the 2018 DecFest. So. . . some time to go before it's a new model on the website if it becomes so, maybe a year.

The truth is that matched with an appropriate speaker any of the Decware amps will give amazing music. I've gone through quite a few and have some gathering dust because it's so hard to part with them! So you can't go wrong. . . and it's a hard decision to make.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #387 - 11/29/17 at 20:43:58
 
Hi Ginny,

I would definitely start with one, rather than two SE84UFOs.  Your speakers are efficient enough to be driven by one amp.  I would invest in a high-output buffer/preamp, though, in order to run the SE84 to its limits.  That is what I do and I have been very happy with the results even though I am using much less efficient speakers than yours (91dB, 2.5-way speakers with relatively more complex crossovers).

In a later stage, you can still invest in a second one, if the first does not satisfy you volume-wise.

Best,

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #388 - 11/29/17 at 22:24:19
 
I've read some comments in more than one thread on this forum that running bridged pairs always take away some of the magic. Hence my not ever wanting to buy a second Zen amp and run them bridged.  I would also assume that this would not effect the Zen mono's.

Knowing that I have heard about the reduced magic (when bridging them) a few times on this forum was why I was suggesting Steve to build a pair of non bridged Rachels, but after hearing his explanation on why he doesn't want to I understand that it is too costly ~ so it doesn't make sense as very few could afford them.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #389 - 11/29/17 at 22:50:32
 
Wouldn't affect the Monos as they aren't bridged, but one chassis per channel.

I'm sure there's a little loss in bridging but there's also a gain. Life is full of losses and gains and balance. . . .
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #390 - 11/30/17 at 03:06:38
 
Lon wrote on 11/29/17 at 22:50:32:
Wouldn't affect the Monos as they aren't bridged, but one chassis per channel.

I'm sure there's a little loss in bridging but there's also a gain. Life is full of losses and gains and balance. . . .


Yes, but the question should be ... Is any loss in fidelity more important than 3dB or so louder volume?

Maybe it's just splitting hairs as I've never heard them in such a configuration, but I've talked with enough people that it would have me believe that it does make a difference in sound quality and to me the loss doesn't seem worth 3dB gain in volume.  IMO it would be better to have a real set of mono blocks in the wattage you need to drive your speakers with the authority that you want.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #391 - 11/30/17 at 12:01:43
 
Without experiencing it ourselves it's hard to tell either way. To be honest I react from reading the opposite, that the extra gain made the amps more appealing with someone's loved speakers with a tiny loss of magic. No use having a bit more magic if you really can't hear it at the right volumes. To me it really does boil down to the magic of the amps suiting the speakers. I've fallen in love with speakers that have more magic than others for me, and 3 more DB may keep that magic even if the amp loses a touch of its magic.

Jeez, we're talking about magic! I think I'd welcome an opinion from Steve about this. I think in my case, in love with my HR-1s and used to the different magic of the Toriis I might well be able to enjoy the Zen amp magic with a bridge pair, especially of what I imagine a bridged pair of Anniversaries would deliver. Steve is the best judge, and we have time to find out.

There are many ways to skin a cat, and the interesting part of my experience of the last few years is that my "purist" ideas are turning if not on their head, on their side. With my there Z Amigos (ZTPRE, ZBIT, and ZROCK2) everything gets better. . .with three additional components, three more interconnects and two more power cords. You'd think there's magic lost. . . but there's so much that has been gained.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #392 - 11/30/17 at 12:22:21
 
I think that the answer is in what Lon concluded with... Balance.

If we were to state that no loss is acceptable then that would apply to the entire system from the electrical plug in the wall to the room.  Sometimes we can demand the ultimate in one component and get it only to find that it makes matters worse because it shows where the imbalance is.

My system delivers what I want in fidelity and I continue to try to wring out  more, only to find out that some very poor recordings sound much worse and better recordings sound much better.  For me that’s OK, that’s what I want.

I believe that there always will be some compromise and that at some point we will go round and round until reality forces us to accept some sort of compromise.  A compromise that is acceptable to each one of us individually and what that compromise will be will vary from individual to individual.

Perhaps then, for some monos will be it, but for others bridged amps will be more than sufficient.  It depends on the whole system right down to the room.

I don’t know if there is one clear cut answer for anything in this hobby, that’s what makes it both interesting Smiley and at the same time frustrating Cry.


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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #393 - 11/30/17 at 12:37:25
 
Actually Lon, I found that the same has happened with my “purist” ideas (damn it!).  Now I get to rethink everything and reorganize everything (damn it!).  But I like the result and so I keep at it (DAMN IT!) Wink.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #394 - 11/30/17 at 12:40:22
 
Yes, DAMNIT. Smiley
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #395 - 11/30/17 at 16:33:28
 
For me, it is difficult to figure out if there is a significant sonic difference between one amp versus two amps bridged in themselves.  One of the reasons is the difference in volume.  Without volume matching, one should not get into comparing the two systems.

Back in the day, when I was having difficulty with driving my speakers with one SE84 (I think it was the C+ version), I went for the second one and used the two bridged for a few years.  It definitely reduced the clipping issue and I do not remember noticing a significant sonic difference.  However, even with the bridged amps, the system was struggling with operatic voice or forte piano passages.  So, when we switched to a TORII mkII, it was like a difference between day and night.  

So, again, I would start with only one SE84UFO.  Please note that the most recent version of the SE84 is a total beast in comparison to the earlier versions.  Because of all the changes in the design over years (Hazen Grid mod, UFO outputs, etc.), the amp has reached another level and with the same set of speakers, I am much happier with it.  

If you are looking for crazy volume levels, I would rather go for a TORII or ZMA, but they are different beasts.  With the Pendragons, I have a feeling that one SE84 would suffice, if it is fed with a high-output source...
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #396 - 11/30/17 at 16:51:51
 
I think Alper is spot on (for what it’s worth)
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #397 - 12/02/17 at 15:51:39
 
When it comes to the UFO version of the SE84, (which will be true for the Anniversary edition as well--I'm sure they will have UFO transformers) Steve has in fact weighed in on the matter on the Zen SE84UFO page:


Worried about 2 huger than life SET watts not being enough power?

The SE84UFO employs a unique floating output transformer scheme where the negative speaker wire is not tied to chassis ground. That means when the amp is bridged, both channels may either be series or parallel wired. In series, both channels work as one and transparency is preserved.

So with no sonic drawbacks to running the amps in mono, you can expect 6 dB of additional power rather then the expected 3dB. This is thanks to the power increase the amp has when it sees half the speaker load from being series bridged.

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #398 - 12/07/17 at 02:48:19
 

A note about the purist approach:

It's easy to think of transparency as the result of fewer parts, but the reality is transparency is about the transparency of the parts.

Think of transparency as crystal clear water, and a lack of transparency as cloudy water. If you start with somewhat cloudy water in a cup it may be hard to tell it is cloudy because there is so little water in the cup. It's not until you add more cloudy water that you begin to notice it's loosing clarity.

If you start with water that is crystal clear in your cup, you can add many layers of water on top of that until the cup is full and it can still be clear.

The reason this has caught many of you by surprise is because most audio gear is not this transparent. There is precious little hand made point to point tube gear available with this price/performance ratio.

Steve
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #399 - 12/07/17 at 03:27:42
 
I can say I have no issues with transparency (my perspective at least) with bridged ufo2's.  With zu druid v's spec'd at 16 ohms and if you look at the curve they are closer to 19 in good portion of the spectrum.  I needed the extra power as steve advised.  FYI I start getting distortion around ~95db/meter. Somewhat dependent on source. They are spec'd at 101, most reviews question that number.    Normally listen at 70-80.  So it's enough.  I doubt with those speakers a single se84 with my room size and un ideal acoustic environment would have been enough in my case, but it sounds magical.
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