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Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments? (Read 69759 times)
Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #400 - 12/07/17 at 03:44:30
 
ANNIVERSARY 2 WATT ZEN AMP will HAPPEN!

Well, something wonderful is happening here behind the scenes with the Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier development not to mention something completely unique! Even better it is something that is only possible in a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier - which is to say that it can't be duplicated in any other amplifier. It is something I have been wanting to do for years on any amplifier and for some reason a dead pocket of brain cells was brought back to life recently and I realized I could have done it all along... go figure.

This is just a teaser, so I'm not going to tell you what I did, or anything else at this point except to say a working prototype exists and things are going better than well.  

Stone cold off the bench in it's first breath it is already more liquid and more dimensional than anything I've ever heard. Yup, this is going to be some good stuff.  It's so extreme and so good, I don't know if I should be happy or disappointed that it took me 20 years to figure this out.

Hehe.. maybe I'll call it the SE84UFOHC for "Holy Crap".

Save your questions, I'll tease you with it more as it develops.

BTW, I know... overly exuberant statements that seem hard to believe and thus diminish everything else I've said over the years, but take it seriously because I have always been able to put my money where my mouth is and if I say no one has ever heard a Zen this good you can be completely certain of it.

-Steve
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Martindfletcher
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #401 - 12/07/17 at 03:59:20
 
Nice tease, hope I can upgrade the UFO2's!
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Martindfletcher
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #402 - 12/07/17 at 04:19:41
 
Steve,

Alpine brewery out here in San Diego named their epiphany beer HFS.

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Brian
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #403 - 12/09/17 at 03:06:24
 
The most exciting write-up since Torri Jr. I am eager.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #404 - 12/09/17 at 04:41:03
 
Quote:
ANNIVERSARY 2 WATT ZEN AMP will HAPPEN!

Well, something wonderful is happening here behind the scenes with the Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier development not to mention something completely unique! Even better it is something that is only possible in a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier - which is to say that it can't be duplicated in any other amplifier. It is something I have been wanting to do for years on any amplifier and for some reason a dead pocket of brain cells was brought back to life recently and I realized I could have done it all along... go figure.

This is just a teaser, so I'm not going to tell you what I did, or anything else at this point except to say a working prototype exists and things are going better than well.  

Stone cold off the bench in it's first breath it is already more liquid and more dimensional than anything I've ever heard. Yup, this is going to be some good stuff.  It's so extreme and so good, I don't know if I should be happy or disappointed that it took me 20 years to figure this out.

Hehe.. maybe I'll call it the SE84UFOHC for "Holy Crap".


So...Steve, does this mean I should bring mine back for whatever this magic update is?  I'm in town again on Monday.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #405 - 12/09/17 at 18:29:29
 

Sorry, this new Zen requires a scratch built chassis and as a result it will be impossible to upgrade any prior amps.

Steve
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #406 - 12/09/17 at 18:38:38
 
So, when is the expected release date, Steve?  I cannot believe there can and will be anything better than the SE84UFO in the price range (plus, say, 50%); but I will take your word for it!  :)

And of course, looking forward...

Cheers,

Alper
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #407 - 12/09/17 at 19:13:11
 
Oh boy, this is going to be A HELLUVAN amp.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #408 - 12/09/17 at 20:02:19
 
So, maybe it should be named HELLUVAN84 then!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #409 - 12/09/17 at 20:04:46
 
Yes! LOL.

I'm going to try to save up for a bridged pair, and hopefully Steve can leave space in there for a treble cut circuit. . . ..
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« Last Edit: 12/09/17 at 20:25:22 by Lon »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #410 - 12/09/17 at 21:48:22
 
25th Anniversary Amp🤔🤔🤔🤔
Of course you have to get one.

HK
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #411 - 12/09/17 at 21:55:49
 
Just one?  ;)
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #412 - 12/09/17 at 22:34:57
 
The word on the street around here is that Steve is working on some 1500 watt solid state monoblock amps and some really cool 80 Db efficient speakers.
The street around here is usually right.... Roll Eyes
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #413 - 12/11/17 at 04:28:43
 

Well the Audio Gods have blessed the new Anniversary Zen amplifier design... which is important.

This time the sine they left was and is simply unmistakeable. The amp has been on for days continuously playing music and the power transformer is just warm (110 degrees F). The normal temperature of every Zen ever built since 1996 ranges between 129 ~ 139 degrees F. I am using the same power transformer and the current draw is exactly the same as it's always been.

I am wrestling my way through the burn-in process of VCAPS which I have chosen for this amp to raise both the gain and the dynamics. As always with any cap, there is a window of 30 minutes to a few hours during the initial cold off the bench listening test where you can hear exactly what the cap will sound like once it is burned it. Then it goes away not to return for several hundred hours.  

Another note regarding burning in stubborn caps that I've learned since 1996... what you play when you burn in the cap is important. I learned early burn in is about memory. The cap is learning.

Sine waves, Pink Noise, warble tones, and all the other electronic crap found on Burn-In CD's makes the cap really good at reproducing those noises and as a consequence music reproduction also improves a tiny bit. However, let the cap learn good music, real music, and it will be far better at playing it while as a consequence it will also be better at reproducing the noise of a Burn-in CD.

I say real music meaning non-electronic, non-processed recordings of real instruments that are properly tuned to themselves - is the ideal thing to use when training the caps. Things with complex harmonics are best, such as you will find in classical music. I have found that the most complex harmonics I have found seems to come from 18th century Tibetan Singing Bowls which is an ideal thing to use when training the caps so long as the recordings contain many different bowls.

If you're going to try Singing bowl recordings to burn in new caps, you will also need well recorded music to alternate it with. That said the bowls will cut the burn in time in half.

Anyway back to the temperature thing. There is no SPICE models I am aware of that could predict this sudden temperature reduction, or explain it. The cool thing (excuse the pun) is that everyone who owns one of these will be able to experience for themselves the sign every time they feel the disarmingly cool power transformer.

As a final unrelated thought, I spent most of the week exploring the voicing and trying to wrap my head around how the most subtle things can simply discombobulate the sound. It's like painting a portrait in Oils and you had the face nearly perfect but you just had to see what would happen if you add a little paint here and take a little away from there and presto... it's all F'd up! Now you spend the next couple days working backwards to fix it. In this case what I am referring to is the voicing the power supplies and getting them to the correct speed so that the timbre is correct and the dimensionality doesn't compress. All of this can come from seeming nothing and just as easily return to nothing because just using the wrong brand of bypass cap or the wrong value or both anywhere in the entire amp can wreck it.

The Voicing of my amps, especially this one, is sacred. It's a real bitch to get it there and it comes from unexpected places, so assuming a particular brand or type of cap can be replaced with something that cost more money and positive results will come is foolish. Your job is what's on the outside of the amp, i.e. the tubes, cables and power cords, speakers, room, sources. I juggle all of these during the voicing process to keep from getting an amp that only sounds good in one system.

So that's my update, and truly of the hundreds of sines I've gotten over 25 years, this one is hallmark.  I'll probably spend the next 25 years trying to figure out how it is happening ; )

Steve




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Lonely Raven
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #414 - 12/11/17 at 05:47:50
 
(Eric is frantically going through music library to see if there is any Tibetan Singing Bowl music - oddly, find 3 albums)
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #415 - 12/11/17 at 06:18:51
 
Since it's running so cool, does that mean you could bore it out, port and polish the heads, throw a high lift cam in it and get it to 10 WPC without it over-heating?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #416 - 12/11/17 at 11:28:39
 
Maybe Singing bowls with Ohm speakers?  Ohmmmmm.


HK
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #417 - 12/11/17 at 16:54:19
 
Steve, thanks for your comprehensive last post, to remind me of what you do to make music so convincing and enjoyable in my Listening Room.

You stated (among everything you said and I appreciate):
"Your job is what's on the outside of the amp, i.e. the tubes, cables and power cords, speakers, room, sources. I juggle all of these during the voicing process to keep from getting an amp that only sounds good in one system."

....not an easy task  

Furthermore/you're:
".....wrestling my way through the burn-in process of VCAPS which I have chosen for this amp to raise both the gain and the dynamics."

........and with the raise in gain and dynamics you're providing.....oh yeah.


I'm back in. My modified Adagio's Tweeter's and Driver's, I can't be without...can be driven by the Anniversary Amp. My SE84CS, really had no problem. With the VCAPS, the living hell, as described to burn them in.....will be worth it, to BE BACK IN THE COMPANY OF YOUR PENTODES RUN IN TRIODE ~ 2ND TO NONE.

I look forward to reading more.  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #418 - 12/11/17 at 17:12:26
 
"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."

Lower temp on the power transformer, due to what you stated in your post/reply #398?

....can the new layer of the right clear parts affect this lower temp back?
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« Last Edit: 12/11/17 at 17:22:36 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #419 - 01/03/18 at 14:28:02
 
OK, here is my summary of what makes the 25AZPT special.  It's really in the attack of the notes.  So notes have an attack, a body and a decay. The 25AZPT is especially fast and really lends great definition to the attack part of the note.  That draws you into the music more, keeps the music moving and involves you.

Not that the body or decay is lacking.  Quite the opposite, but its the attack that makes this the most engaging Decware amp I have listened to.  I put it in and it didn't come out until the CDApS meeting because I just didn't want to.  I put the Rachael back in because I wanted everyone to hear the difference when the Zen went back in.

In contrast, I find that he ZMA gets the body of the note really well and squeezes out the definition.  Its no slouch of course on the other aspects, but it is not a fast as the 25AZPT.

Soundstage on this Zen and imaging are also first class, but again its the attack that I think really separates it from other Decware amps.

I did have to make an adjustment to my bass amps for the Zen and turn them up a few clicks to keep the bass at the same level as Rachael, but otherwise if Steve can keep the attack going in the production model, this will be a really great amp.
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« Last Edit: 01/03/18 at 18:14:24 by Palomino »  

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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #420 - 01/04/18 at 01:32:20
 
Regarding the temperature, the amp has been on 24/7 since I first mentioned it and the temp simply won't rise.   Consider this, it is the same 170mA transformer we have always used in most of our amplifiers. The Zens only draw around 50 mA on average from that 170mA power supply.  Some are built with a resistor, some are built with chokes, and none have run this cool.  In fact the original zen ran hot.

The only explanation I can offer is that both the resistor(s) and or the choke reflect something backwards back into the transformer through the bridge rectifier which causes friction/heat that isn't necessarily tied to load.

In any case with it running so cool I have no qualms about leaving it on 24 hours a day and it makes sense that without the chaos of this friction, the sound would have insane liquidity - almost disarming.

The reason there is none of this is because I have eliminated the resistors and the choke and am using the vacuum gap of the OA3 tube in place of it to feed high voltage to the plate of each output tube. This has never been done before, only the grids of the output tubes, or the high voltage for the input tubes has ever been done in the past. In this amp all the high voltage for everything is resistor-less and has no chokes, just the vacuum gaps of three separate vacuum regulator tubes, one for each output tube and one for the input tube.

Of course this can not be done with any other amplifier because all other amplifiers use larger output tubes, and we're at the limit of the current capacity of the Voltage Regulator tube with the Zen's 6P15P-EB / EL84 output tube. So something this graceful can only be done on a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #421 - 01/04/18 at 01:49:10
 
Wow, that's an amazing design. Can't wait to see more of this amp!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #422 - 01/04/18 at 03:02:40
 
Steve, your thoughts on bridging a pair of these into mono?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #423 - 01/04/18 at 18:12:16
 

To clarify Palomino's post (quoted here); I loaned him my little Zen amp that is the prototype for the 25th Anniversary amp, and he had about two weeks of playtime with it. He said he wasn't giving it back. I agree with his assessment - the speed and honesty of this amp is very engaging - we just kept running out of steam when we wanted a little grunt, or with quiet recordings.

Quote:
OK, here is my summary of what makes the 25AZPT special.  It's really in the attack of the notes.  So notes have an attack, a body and a decay. The 25AZPT is especially fast and really lends great definition to the attack part of the note.  That draws you into the music more, keeps the music moving and involves you.

Not that the body or decay is lacking.  Quite the opposite, but its the attack that makes this the most engaging Decware amp I have listened to.  I put it in and it didn't come out until the CDApS meeting because I just didn't want to.  I put the Rachael back in because I wanted everyone to hear the difference when the Zen went back in.

In contrast, I find that he ZMA gets the body of the note really well and squeezes out the definition.  Its no slouch of course on the other aspects, but it is not a fast as the 25AZPT.

Soundstage on this Zen and imaging are also first class, but again its the attack that I think really separates it from other Decware amps.

I did have to make an adjustment to my bass amps for the Zen and turn them up a few clicks to keep the bass at the same level as Rachael, but otherwise if Steve can keep the attack going in the production model, this will be a really great amp.


Oddly enough Steve, using the regulator tubes on the Zen amp is exactly what I imagined you were doing - somehow I just *knew* that was the next step in purity for the little Zen. With all the other details you're putting into it, I'm seriously thinking I may have to have a 25th Anniversary Zen myself!!


Quote:
Regarding the temperature, the amp has been on 24/7 since I first mentioned it and the temp simply won't rise.   Consider this, it is the same 170mA transformer we have always used in most of our amplifiers. The Zens only draw around 50 mA on average from that 170mA power supply.  Some are built with a resistor, some are built with chokes, and none have run this cool.  In fact the original zen ran hot.

The only explanation I can offer is that both the resistor(s) and or the choke reflect something backwards back into the transformer through the bridge rectifier which causes friction/heat that isn't necessarily tied to load.

In any case with it running so cool I have no qualms about leaving it on 24 hours a day and it makes sense that without the chaos of this friction, the sound would have insane liquidity - almost disarming.

The reason there is none of this is because I have eliminated the resistors and the choke and am using the vacuum gap of the OA3 tube in place of it to feed high voltage to the plate of each output tube. This has never been done before, only the grids of the output tubes, or the high voltage for the input tubes has ever been done in the past. In this amp all the high voltage for everything is resistor-less and has no chokes, just the vacuum gaps of three separate vacuum regulator tubes, one for each output tube and one for the input tube.

Of course this can not be done with any other amplifier because all other amplifiers use larger output tubes, and we're at the limit of the current capacity of the Voltage Regulator tube with the Zen's 6P15P-EB / EL84 output tube. So something this graceful can only be done on a 2 watt Zen Triode Amplifier.

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #424 - 01/05/18 at 01:30:15
 
"In this amp all the high voltage for everything is resistor-less and has no chokes, just the vacuum gaps of three separate vacuum regulator tubes, one for each output tube and one for the input tube."  - Steve

This sounds so exciting! I hope I get to hear one of these. Of all your amps, I think this is the one I would like best.
Brian
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #425 - 01/05/18 at 14:22:35
 
It also makes me wonder if maybe there is some obscure regulator tube out there that might be able to handle bigger output tubes...

It would be fun if there was a big stash of some unwanted Russian submarine tubes that Steve could use to develop bigger amps with this.  ;)

Just daydreaming.
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« Last Edit: 01/05/18 at 14:23:29 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #426 - 01/05/18 at 15:14:34
 
Yup, I try to walk away....and then get sucked right back in with your answer to my temp inquiry.....and pull me back in with tube regulation.
Grin

Okay, hook or crook.....I'm buying one in Oct/November.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #427 - 01/07/18 at 05:19:46
 

It comes at a price, adding the OA3 regulation for each output tube that is...  Rather than the two capacitors used in the power supplies of the SE84UFO and SE84UFO2, this uses a few more. The first cap comes off the rectifier tube just like the other amps but then the power supply is split into three separate filters, one for each tube.  This adds 7 additional caps and nine additional poly film bypass caps. There was no option other than to spit it into three separate supplies due to the 30mA limit of the OA3 tube. And because the large gap beautifully slows things down, all of the caps have to be carefully bypassed to speed things back up. This stretch between speeds expands the transient playground to a very large window giving a more immersive sense of depth and complexity. The slow side of it's personality creates unbelievable liquidity. The fast side of it's personality reveals stuff you had no idea was there, and that Zen duality creates an infinitely variable speed power supply that fills in the middle.  

It's not real practical, but it is something you do when you're trying to not be practical, and voyage well beyond that point of diminishing returns, through the neutral zone and into heavy waves of total realism... something I think the little Zen deserves after being such a trooper for so many years!!

Who would have thought 25 years ago when Eric Barbor of Svetlana contacted me to see if I had any interest in an EL84 substitute called the SV83, such incredible effort would have ended up going into the amps for it.  25 Years ago it was a $4.00 tube.  Who would have thought a $4.00 tube would justify a $2500 wholesale price pair of amps (and counting). The bizarreness of it from this perspective just makes it even more desirable to do, just to see how much further can we push the resolution of this amazing output tube, which is actually a Russian 6P15P-EB.

We've always known that EL84's are faster than virtually all 8 pin output tubes, be it pentode or triode wired, but the 6P15P-EB was nearly twice the bandwidth and subsequent speed and as a result nearly perfectly neutral.  So there is no reason not to see how fast the tube actually is... just know it's expensive aka painful, but worth it. I predict it's going to hurt fairly bad until the moment it arrives. Most of the pain will go away in the first hour. I would say 90% of it. By the third week you will begin to understand that the amp is easily worth twice what you paid for it, and it's limited production ensures that it will always hold it's value and you will then become forever pain free.


Steve



Here's a picture of the prototype... don't worry I was just having some fun with the finish.  The actual model will be done in a beautiful textured powder coat resembling a green patina with silver jacks, and white silkscreening for a really vintage upscale look and backlit meters.



The current tube compliment is presently a globe 80 rectifier tube with adapter, a pair of OA3's for the output tubes, an OD3a for the input tube which is a 7DJ8. So far the input stage is working out as a wonderful opportunity to voice your own amplifier. With 3 voltage regulator tubes ranging from VR75 to VR150, you can make any input tube sound three different ways. Powerful tool. The input tubes used and liked are 6N1P-EB, 6N23P, 6N11, 6922, 6DJ8, 7DJ8, 6N5P.  I'm presently torn between the 7DJ8 and the 6N5P with the OD3A on both as to which should be the stock tube compliment... but that could change with more time.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #428 - 01/07/18 at 06:07:44
 
I am sure this question is looming in the minds of many, but thus far with this amp as you have described, how would you summarize the strengths and weaknesses in comparison to a Torii MKIV or a ZMA.

I am very intrigued by the notion of running a pair of these bridged mono.  My Omega's are 97db efficient and I am running everything through my Ultra preamp.

What do you think?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #429 - 01/07/18 at 06:29:40
 
On second thought...  I don't care.  Just know I'll be the first to order a pair of these when they come out.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #430 - 01/07/18 at 06:36:29
 
Speed.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #431 - 01/07/18 at 06:45:52
 

Submarine tubes,...  that does sound exciting.  How about if we take my tired Carbon Dioxide Laser tube and use it to superheat a titanium diaphragm while simultaneously cooling the other size with liquified gas.  That should get down to at least a few hundred hertz.  Stereo systems always sound better when they could accidentally kill you.

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #432 - 01/07/18 at 07:01:21
 
What type of change (not sound characteristics) if any can be expected when compared to a SuperZen.

Still two watts?
Still stable to 1 ohm?
Noise level?
Bias switch?
Dual volume controls only?
One input only?
How limited is production if decided (100, 1000, etc)?
Pushing output tube harder?

Not that the answers will change anything. I like your 2 watt amps.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #433 - 01/07/18 at 07:07:35
 

Whatever you do, don't listen to Takla Makan at 1:00 in the morning on this thing!  You won't be the same.  

Based on what I'm hearing this means the middle of the night bloom is not all about power, as expected. This proves it's the suns effect on the Ether and much as the state of the power grid. It's also almost disturbing that I'm listening to digital... seems impossible to sound like this.  



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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #434 - 01/07/18 at 07:13:46
 
Quote:
Still two watts?
Still stable to 1 ohm?
Noise level?
Bias switch?
Dual volume controls only?
One input only?
How limited is production if decided (100, 1000, etc)?
Pushing output tube harder?

Not that the answers will change anything. I like your 2 watt amps.


Yes, same, same, yes, yes, don't know, no, the audio circuit remains identical.  It's just that a well kept secret in audio design is that the power supply has more effect on the sound than the audio circuit itself... and is by far the most expensive part.  The Zen has for 25 years used a 170ma power supply for a circuit that draws less than 50ma., so at the price points we're at getting more extreme than that is well past the point of diminishing returns.

Steve
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #435 - 01/07/18 at 07:17:17
 
Steve Deckert wrote on 01/07/18 at 07:07:35:

It's also almost disturbing that I'm listening to digital... seems impossible to sound like this.


ZROCK2 in the chain?  If not, say it isn't so!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #436 - 01/07/18 at 15:21:45
 
Oh my!  That is beautiful. I like the red. I'm sure the green patina with silver jacks, and white silkscreening for a really vintage upscale look and backlit meters....will be just as stunning.

Oh, I'm trying to hear it in my head....ZROCK2 in play. Not, all about power as you stated and any of us that have owned your 2 watts knows.
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« Last Edit: 01/07/18 at 15:35:42 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #437 - 01/07/18 at 15:36:15
 
Nice!!  Question is!  Do I build 2nd system around it, or sell my SE84CKC to finance this?
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #438 - 01/07/18 at 17:27:46
 
Was listening to Borris Blank Tidal Masters on the ZDAC2 feeding the ZTPRE... no ZROCK this time.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #439 - 01/07/18 at 18:22:12
 
I just want to say that RED amplifiers always sound better. It is a scientifically proven fact.
I learned that in my advanced studies at MIT. (Mississippi Institute of Truckin')
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Reply #440 - 01/08/18 at 04:23:32
 
I have settled on the stock tube compliment.  OD3a with a N.O.S. 7DJ8.

I say this because this weekend I put all the exotic bypass caps in the power supply, 9 in total, and up until now, the amp was slower than the Lonely Raven Prototype. More musical possibly but lacked the surprise factor that makes music sound real.  I had to see where the amplifier landed without the full bypass, which has taken all this time.  

Now with the bypass in place the OA3 and OD3 work as intended and HOLY CRAP is the amp fast. I just heard it do things tonight that I have never experienced before. It is like a black hole. And it's going to get better still as the bypass caps break in.  

Literally tonight I listened to something extremely well engineered and recorded, digitally, and walked out of the listening room shaking my head in complete disbelief because honestly, I have never heard anything sound that good.
It was the whole package, weight, power, scale, dynamics, insane, repeat insane imaging, and absolute liquidity with spooky presence. The sound stage was a 270 degree arc and about 50 feet wide, 20 feet tall and 70 feet deep and you could hear around each image. This is personally thrilling to me because I thought I've had better rooms in the past 20 years, but now I know that isn't probably as true as I thought. The thing is, the amplifier was able to literally say -censored- the room, and just force it's will to happen regardless. Talk about making speakers disappear...  it's just sick.- I thought the speakers were really pretty good, but I just heard what they can really do... it's bitter sweet of course because only Decware customers have any idea what I'm talking about.

Happy listening... it's only 9:45 P.M. and it already sounds like 1:30 A.M... some of you know what I'm talking about. Imagine if this damn thing can actually stretch the golden hours of which there are never more than 3 into a number more like 6 or even 9.

My only advise is don't handicap this amplifier with anything less than an honest 94dB 1/w 1/m because it deserves at least that. Also, the bigger the speakers the better.  It will make anything disappear, so don't be afraid of larger full range speakers, the amp will love you for it. At 94dB I can reach the same density and pressure that I do with the larger amplifiers using the same speakers... so I catch myself forgetting I'm not listening to the larger amplifiers, but tonight I have to say that letting the speed out of the box has made it pretty easy to hear your not listening to the larger amps... which makes sense, but look, this is what it actually took... a zen amp that might well be the same price as the TORII MKIV... I'm not counting at this stage, just excavating for that treasure that will pay for all the excavation. ; )

It's just counterintuitive because I always use digital for amplifier design since that is what the world listens to, and it's a worse case scenario in many instances as a source. This is making digital sound better than I've ever heard it.  My only theory is it must be the "stretch" between slow and fast that we talked about with the power supply design.  The amp is slowing it down and speeding it up to the point where 88kHz up sampled is sounding better than native DSD used to. I may have stumbled into something here. It just sounds so real.  Definitely have some new respect for ZDAC2. I can now hear it is better than my favorite, the ZDSD, for streaming from the computer.  It gets along well with TIDAL when set to use the DAC directly as the only output device, ignoring the computer's operating system.

I can already say it was the right decision to postpone the 6C33C's because the original prototypes were not this good. I realize that it is now 10:20 and I still haven't hit the save button. I have never heard an amplifier this good before. I'm sorry, but it's true.  

Anyway, I don't have time to post, because the black hole effect is sucking my ass to the sweet spot.  

Steve
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #441 - 01/08/18 at 04:29:29
 
I can say that before the evening really gets going, I have been completely humiliated by my own amplifier.  I literally thought I knew what was possible and built products to take us all there, and I did.  Tonight I hear that I didn't know shit.

Smiley
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #442 - 01/08/18 at 05:07:35
 
Well, it sounds like my 97db Omega SAHO's are a perfect match.  I had a feeling the ZMA was an overkill in a sense for such high efficiency speakers when I purchased them. But after my ZMA went back to the mothership for meter repair and upgrades, when I put my 2 watt SuperZen into duty powering the SAHOs, it became obvious that these particular speakers didn't "need" the ZMA.  I must clarify, need.  My ZMA crushes it with these speakers and of the all the Decware amps I have in my possession (Super Zen, Torii MKIV, Rachel, ZMA), the ZMA would be the last amp standing.  

However, since I do have such an ideal foundation to create the magic with these 25th Anniversary amps, I cannot NOT get them.  Yes, them.  Price of a Torii MKIV, or not, put me down for a pair to run as mono blocks.  

Steve, how does serial #1 and #2 sound?   Wink
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« Last Edit: 01/08/18 at 05:09:54 by Jeff of Arabica »  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #443 - 01/08/18 at 05:19:15
 
So a little more real time documentation.

I'm still listening of course and all I can say is it's just SICK. I almost can't understand how it can take control like that. Believe you me, it's in charge, and it's conscious. It's freaking me out... the audio gods have spoken and if I make it through the night without pissing my pants I'll be really impressed.

I've just never heard anything do this before!!!!  This is probably going to really be bad for business... or change everything.

This is proof that if you're a slow learner but have the staying power to spend 80,000 hours chasing audio nirvana some higher vibrational being will eventually feel sorry for you and toss you a bone.  This one is hard to comprehend... I guess be careful what you ask for because I'm just getting shredded here... it's so humbling it's embarrassing.

Haha... I get it... game of the weakest link that I've been preaching for 20 years just.... and ironically, or paradoxically right when I didn't think the Decware line had any weak links worth exploiting.  

The sound is so different. It's real.  It's having it's way with physics that defy logic. It's having it's way with the speakers and the room and me all at the same time and the more I notice it, the more it does it, proving consciousness.  

I recognize this kind of power... it used to manifest when we jammed in the studio in Peoria.  The music would become conscious and take over your body and make you play well outside your abilities.  It's happening now with this amplifier. The music has taken over the amplifier.  It seems to be playing WAY OUTSIDE it's capabilities... Not missing the bigger amps ? ! ?  No, because the presentation has the same forcefulness with higher resolution.

OK, I get it again... l am just now hearing the UFO output transformers... what they are actually capable of. Solid state amplifiers sound like turds compared to this. Even the chip amps which are artificially fast are slow.  

See this is what happens when you find the weak link in your system, you get to hear everything for the first time and it greatly exceeds what you thought was possible. See it still happens even to me, so it will happen to you as well!

It is literally a black hole.  So captivating that it is impossible to sit on the side lines and enjoy from afar.  It's conscious and you don't want to insult it.  Unbelievable...  I'm actually scared to listen to my Vinyl Rig, and then some master tapes. There's is no way I would try that tonight.,,, I'm on the edge of my sanity now.

Thank GOD I haven't hooked up the EGGS because this is making tower speakers image better than the EGGS did, which we all know is impossible. When things sound like this, the last thing you want to do is start screwing with it.  It's just too good to touch.








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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #444 - 01/08/18 at 05:31:37
 
Well Steve, we "don't know what we don't know."  So, to read of this audio epiphany is not surprising to me.  The difference between those who wallow in content to the point of complacency and guys like you, is unwavering curiosity fueled by a "no compromise mindset."  It is inevitable that progress and innovation will ensue, even if it takes 25 years!  Hey, if all of this stuff was quick and easy, everyone would be doing it and you know what, it would be boring as hell!  It is the pursuit of perfection where the thrills lay.  You never want to get there, because then the chase is over.  

I am already anticipating the Decware 35th Anniversary amplifier and all of the incredible mysteries it will possess.  I know you have a few more tricks up your sleeve, even if you have no idea what they are at this moment in time.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #445 - 01/08/18 at 06:08:29
 
I have to continue documenting this because sadly I'm getting that age where by the time I recall it to write it down to make some point, well you know.

I am experiencing sound right now in a new way. It feels like water. I can feel it. I can swim in it. I can touch it. I can taste it. I can become it. It is so completely immerse and 3D that it reaches from 30 feet behind the speakers right up to your chest and you swim in it. It has so much mass it feels like water.

Things like distortion, fatigue, flatness, boredom, or being teased are alien concepts in this reality. The music is in charge and it literally feels like the stereo system / by the fact that it hits a certain harmonic purity / becomes an antenna for consciousness and then you suddenly have a one million dollar stereo because nothing on earth could sound better than this, even the artist has only heard this in his or her minds eye, never from speakers... this is surreal.

What I am hearing I would have thought was impossible until tonight. Wow did I under estimate speed. I knew our amps were so firkin fast already that I best protect us all... obviously a big mistake or else the universe is just using me for a practical joke and none of this is happening.  

Nice try... it's happening.

Holy Crap, the textures are so complex it just stops time. That would actually explain some of the sensation I'm having. If you haven't read my recent article about "what is sound" I beg of you to do it now, because what I am hearing is directly linked to what's in that article.  http://www.decware.com/newsite/DECWARESOUND.pdf

I feel like I'm hearing music in an alternate universe where the sound is so lucid that you swim in it, and so complex that the species never wasted their time with speech because it was just too slow to communicate complex ideas.

The fact that this is happening with only 2 watts, is the thing that is really freaking me out.  It sounds like 40 watts, which I know and love in the ZMA. It's just projecting so much energy into the space and everything in it that the sweet spot is levitating.  

I'm going to have to make some videos of this, because the energy will come through the video and let you hear this happening.  I feel like I have to ask it permission first...  

This is so humbling... I just listen to  what's coming out of my speakers and it's like the first time I've ever heard hi-end audio. Had it the whole time and didn't know it. It just goes to show that the magic in technology is knowing exactly how to do something. There can be no guessing and no chance. It only works like this and I was so close I drove the audio gods mad to the point where they just knocked me up with it pushing my ability to comprehend it.  

Thank God I'm a good listener because I heard the little voices that said "Do this" and "Do this" and I did it. I can't wait for this to be heard by others!  I guarantee you'll either jump out of the listening chair 25 times and pace around in circles, or you'll turn to stone in the listening chair.

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #446 - 01/08/18 at 06:18:29
 
Yea, I've never heard an amplifier this good.  I'm not even sure I've heard anything even close.  I'm really not.  I have to think about that for awhile.  I'm going to pull the plug now before get sucked into an all nighter. Lots to think about, be hard enough so sleep after having my ass handed to me like this. Tomorrow is a new universe of what is possible with the Zen Triode.


Steve
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Reply #447 - 01/08/18 at 06:55:37
 
So nice! Thanks.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #448 - 01/08/18 at 13:34:58
 
Very exciting news. I think with this news this should not be a "limited edition!"
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #449 - 01/08/18 at 13:45:48
 
There is nothing quite like an excited Steve Deckert.  Looking forward to the new 25th Anniversary "Mighty Zen" amplifier.

HK
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