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Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments? (Read 162352 times)
Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #400 - 04/29/18 at 13:05:49
 
Oh boy. I have been thinking of the CSP2+ and CSP3 25th anniversary version and woke up this morning and ordered a CSP3 with the 25th Anniversary mods. As I know what a profound effect the mods have on the amplifiers enjoying my Monoblocks so much I got to thinking how this would benefit my headphone listening and perhaps help my speaker listening as well if pre-amping the Monoblocks. If I were to pop it in place of the Taboo Mk IV in my system it should be another step up for both modes of listening. (I'm no longer surprised that there are steps up! Steve is climbing Jacob's ladder for us).

Now all I have to do is keep selling things to finance this. . . .Easier said than done, but I've got to tag along on the climb. . . it may be a sickness but I don't yet want to be cured.
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10, PowerBases,XStream Statemt spk cb,AC-12 power cds;Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3;Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;Aurios;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Sennheiser HD800
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #401 - 04/29/18 at 15:59:26
 
You are on fire Lon!  I love it!  Congratulations. I am sure this pre in front of those monoblocks will be divine!  

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alper_yilmaz
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #402 - 04/29/18 at 16:02:02
 
Lon,

Stop it, man!  You keep on promoting ultimate GAS here!  Congrats on the purchase, I am sure it will sound like heaven!

Cheers,

Alper
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Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #403 - 04/29/18 at 16:13:34
 
Thanks Jeff and Alper! That makes me feel a little bit better making a possibly incorrect decision!

I'm wondering whether sources to ZTPRE to ZBIT to ZROCK2 to CSP3 and then to the Monoblocks is "one step too far" or whether it will be awesome. I don't want to abandon the ZTPRE which is an amazing component (both as a piece of equipment and as a part of the "magic") in my system. . . My gut tells me this will work and be worth it. We'll see. If not then the new CSP3 can be the heartbeat of my second system or be the headphone amp only in my main system, so it won't go to waste. . . .

In my opinion this 21st year of my journey with Decware is a pinnacle, and full of musical enjoyment.
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10, PowerBases,XStream Statemt spk cb,AC-12 power cds;Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3;Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;Aurios;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Sennheiser HD800
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lazb
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #404 - 04/29/18 at 16:22:22
 
Lon, no reason to think your experience will be any different to Steve's writing about the combination at his place! I may be just a tad envious!! You WILL love it, no doubt. Joe
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Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #405 - 04/29/18 at 16:54:06
 
Thanks Joe. I'll feel easier when I've managed to pay for it and actually afford it, but that will happen. I am doing my part to support Decware's growth, as many of us are. And dang I KNOW it will be a good sounding unit.

I could have saved by sending in one of my CSP2+ (if they can be modded) but they are white tops and gold knobbed and black top with ebony knob will match my Monoblocks. Hopefully the CSP2+ will help someone else's system if I sell them.
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th;PS Audio:Soloist SE,DMP+DSD,P10, PowerBases,XStream Statemt spk cb,AC-12 power cds;Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3;Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;Aurios;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Sennheiser HD800
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Archie
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #406 - 04/29/18 at 18:57:09
 
That's what I figured you'd do.  No sense missing a chance to bring the "lowest" component up to snuff.

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Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #407 - 04/29/18 at 19:34:41
 
Well, the CSP2+ hasn't been in the main system since I got the ZTPFRE so it's more like adding another component than correcting the lowest denominator. And it won't cost me any other cabling or force me to come up with another rack space if it replaces the Taboo Mk IV as a headphone amp.

I hope I'm doing the right thing and that it works out that I can feed the ZBIT with my three sources through the ZTPRE and then use the ZROCK2 to feed the CSP3 with mods and use that to feed my Monoblocks. If it "works" it should yield even better sound from the CSP3 mods, AND improved headphone sound as well, a real win.

If it doesn't work. . . well then it doesn't work and I'll have probably fixed the lowest denominator component in my very infrequently used second system. . . .

I just got over a wait. . . and here comes another.
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Archie
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #408 - 04/29/18 at 19:43:46
 
I didn't realize you wanted to put it in with the ZTPRE too.  I just thought you wouldn't want any weak links in the stable.   Smiley

I'm sure you'll run all combinations and come up the the optimum.
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Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #409 - 04/29/18 at 19:46:35
 
Yes, I did mention using the ZTPRE several times! Wink  I'll find the optimum. . . but if the optimum is the ZTPRE out of the system I have a problem as I need the ZTPRE for the balanced inputs, all three of them. . . . And if I have to choose then I think the CSP3 will have to be in the second system (and I use that so infrequently I might as well not have it, so no use throwing money at it). Ah well. . . I'll work it out. First world problems!
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lazb
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #410 - 04/29/18 at 20:35:28
 
Lon, like Steve says, the ZTPRE is vvirtually without a sound signature of it's own, so no reason to think you will not have the same success as he did with the CSP3  He did not take his ZTPRE out when listening with the CSP3 so do not stress. It will all be good! Joe
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beowulf
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #411 - 04/29/18 at 20:40:47
 
Isn't the ZTPre a CSP3 on steroids? If so, why not get the anniversary mods done to the ZTPre instead? That would be the place within the chain that I would think about most.
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busterfree
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #412 - 04/29/18 at 20:58:27
 
No mods have been announced for the ZTPRE unless I missed it.
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Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #413 - 04/29/18 at 21:04:51
 
lazb wrote on 04/29/18 at 20:35:28:
Lon, like Steve says, the ZTPRE is vvirtually without a sound signature of it's own, so no reason to think you will not have the same success as he did with the CSP3  He did not take his ZTPRE out when listening with the CSP3 so do not stress. It will all be good! Joe

Awesome Joe, that's what I wasn't sure of reading the report from that night's listening. I'm not going to stress, I'm going to have great sound either way this pans out. .. I am pretty sure the headphone sound alone will be worth it if that ends up being the only use and the Taboo Mk IV will kick ass as a headphone amp upstairs in the second system. Thanks!
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Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #414 - 04/29/18 at 21:09:13
 
As Juan says no mods are announced for the ZTPRE. Looking at the layout I am hard-pressed to imagine where the mods would fit but Steve probably can and maybe will do so. I agree that would be a great place for the anniversary mods, and if he announces it I may well consider it in the future. But I shudder to think of packaging and sending this back and being without it. . . .Nor will I be able to just purchase a second one and leave the original in place as I did with the ZBIT last year and in a sense am doing with the CSP3--the ZTPRE is very expensive (but worth it).  At least if I do that in the future I'll then have the modded CSP3 to use in its place for a spell.

I do feel that the ZTPRE and the CSP3 are a bit of different animals. . . the torroidal power transformers and the dual mono balanced configuration do cause a different feel and sound. Adding this difference may well be a good thing for the overall system sound.

Anyway, I'll be trying out dropping a modded CSP3 into the system and we'll see.
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Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #415 - 05/19/18 at 15:16:44
 
I received confirmation from Steve that a CSP2+ can be modded with the 25th Anniversary changes for an additional 100 dollars of the cost for the changes to the CSP3. That's good news for CSP2+ owners.
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RLB
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #416 - 05/22/18 at 13:06:58
 
Steve, I don't know where to post these questions about the DNA2, but since this is the original string where you revealed details about it, I will proceed.

First let me admit, I have yet to hear any very-high efficiency speaker designs; I have only read about them. I am also completely new to the low-power amp scene and intrigued enough by the revelations you are reporting with your new 25th Anniversary Zen amp to think of putting-in an order. I would want much different speakers, however, from the ones I presently own (not to say also a different preamp).

Furthermore, Decware is a good 800 miles away from me, so an audition is not something that I would easily and willy-nilly choose to do, at least not in advance of trying to absorb a lot more information.

So in trying to get a better handle on what I could expect from the type of speaker that the DNA2 is I have tried to find (without luck) reviews on the DNA. Do you anticipate anyone doing an official review of the DNA2 when it  finally debuts? And how does the rest of its sound spectrum compare to the significant improvements you tell us you are hearing in the low end (over what the DNA is able to produce)? To try to flesh-out better what the DNA2 might sound like in advance of any audition, I read your elaborations here about a month ago that you had arrived at the same driver complement for the DNA2 as the DM947. So I tried to find out what those are and came up with another zip.

Maybe I am jumping the gun with all these questions on this new speaker and you will be revealing all in due course?  
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #417 - 05/22/18 at 17:26:23
 
If you can put your hand on a pair of headphones, you can listen to the DNA2's from my listening chair by clicking on the video at the top of the forum titled DNA2 Speaker Demo.

What makes our high-efficiency speakers different from typical hifi speakers is the lack of a crossover and low moving mass brings a far more linear response with better dynamics.  Side-by-side the typical hifi speaker sounds congested and lifeless.

You won't find many reviews of our speakers because we have never shipped a pair out for review a likely never will because it costs too much, the speakers will get trashed by UPS, I won't see them again for about a year, and after the glowing review the only people who will buy them are a tiny fraction of those who read it, and despite what reviewers would like to think, not very many people actually read their reviews.  In fact I have tracked the traffic and looked at google anylitics for every review we've had over the years and these reviews are lucky to get a thousand hits in the first week and even luckier to get a 100 more over the next year.

If we were going to get into the review game, we would have to double the cost of our speakers so we could afford to send review samples to the entire review circuit and at the same time do the audio shows so that people when they see the review would recognize the speaker and want to read about it.

Steve

 
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RLB
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #418 - 05/23/18 at 14:25:27
 
I checked out that video demo of yours with headphones, Steve, but personally for me it wasn't useful. Which leads to the next question. I notice your 30-day trial-period policy on purchases. But it comes with a 10% restocking fee if one elects to return anything. A whole new system with your 25th Anniversary editions (2 amps and preamp) and a pair of DNA2's becomes a 5-figure proposition. And my only experience so far with Decware anything is a 19-year-old SE84C that I newly acquired a few weeks ago and so far have played with less-than-ideal preamp and speakers. If I were to take the leap and buy what I am thinking of buying here, then discover during the trial period that any part of the new system is not for me, the minimum restocking fee becomes onerous. Do you anticipate the same 10% prevailing for restocking for the DNA2's and various Anniversary editions?

Or maybe you would be willing to help subsidize a 1600-mile round-trip visit to East Peoria for an audition? Wink
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Archie
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #419 - 05/23/18 at 16:09:49
 
I appreciate your dilemma but eventually it comes down to trusting and taking the plunge or not.  There are ample examples of satisfied Decware plungers (me too)!   Cheesy
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #420 - 05/23/18 at 17:01:16
 
@ RLB

I understand your concerns too.  I am lucky enough to live 20mins from Decware and have opportunity to listen to Steve's latest on each visit.

Maybe go slow and in small steps till you get comfortable with spending more, and more $$$.

I listened to the DNA2's with new 25yr amp and it is very very lovely!!
I've always liked the original DNA (prob my fav of steves speakers), but these DNA2's are crazy good.

Having just had my CSP3 upgraded, I am guessing that 1/2 or more of the magic is coming from that 25yr amp.  it a beautiful sounding pre amp and amp!!

just my 2cents.
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lazb
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #421 - 05/23/18 at 19:56:34
 
Me too!
I am going from zero Decware to SE84UFO25, DNA2, ZBIT and ZROCK2 all at one time! I attended DECFEST last year and heard the DECWARE sound first hand, went home and sold my system, traveled back(an eight hour drive one way) to verify that what I had heard was what I was going to buy but, as soon as I heard the 25th Anni. amp and DNA2 speakers play, it was "game over" for me! Now I am in line and waiting for production.
Come on in, the water is excellent!!!!!!!!!!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #422 - 05/23/18 at 22:13:08
 
Trip, I did not know you live that close to Decware.

Yeah, I know, I say I'm not looking back and staying with my ZMA only.

Ha! Whom am I kidding.
I enjoyed my SE84CS, for 13 years. I'm no stranger to Steve's Pentode in Triode.

To satisfy my curiosities thirst, I will by appointment go to Peoria for a visit. I've been a couple times and had a great time.

Whether it is late summer, late fall or even this winter or next Spring. I am only 442 miles away/door to door.

The Mono UFO3/25th's vs. ZMA enhanced (when Steve has it done and seasoned in to his liking). The gap might be really narrowed with an ZMA bypass enhancement; as he eluded to in the 25th Anni Thread (stock ZMA vs. Mono 25th's). However, hearing for myself will do it.

....I might be leaving my ZMA with him to enhance and ship back. Or, am I putting in an order for the Mono's and my ZMA will need to wait?!

Pack and carry:

(Modified) Acoustic Zen Adagio's
ZMA (in Pelican case~leaving Amp with Steve if I'm doing the enhancement/ship back)
KS6063 Speaker Cable
KS1030 IC
Sony transport
Illuminati D-60
Shunyata digital p-cord for his ZDSD on tap
XLO p-cord I use to ZMA
My favorite full tube compliment(s).

Definitely need to hear the new DNA Speaker's too.

So, to say again, the only way to satisfy my curiosities thirst, is to go into the belly of the beast and LISTEN with all well seasoned in Gear and at my 16/192 via/CD's of my collection. Will need to hear some hi-res too though.  8-)

Best laid plans of mice & men, right?  It has been to long since my last visit.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #423 - 05/24/18 at 02:21:48
 

Visit the mother ship!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #424 - 05/24/18 at 02:23:15
 
RLB, you fly out here and I'll deduct the price of the hotel if you buy the amp : )

Steve
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Acetone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #425 - 05/24/18 at 02:42:06
 
He might not need a hotel if you guys spend 12+ hours in listening bliss !!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #426 - 05/24/18 at 14:36:55
 
I'd take Steve up on the lodging deal RLB.

I'm fortunately 884 miles round trip. I don't know if I want to change my ZMA? I love the cadence as it is and I'm in my 5th year with this great Amplifier.

I need to go and hear it all with a two night hotel stay. Steve, does such great work....I'll be leaving with something enhanced (leave my Pelican boxed ZMA with Steve) or something ordered (25th, Mono 25th or Speaker's) as I mentioned above.

I also, will continue to keep an open mind about higher sensitivity speaker's. An must hear for me vs. my modified Adagio's. One does not make the other right or wrong. Just, thus far, I prefer the 90 to 92.5db @ 1 watt/1 meter ~ camp.
+, if my KS1030 + KS6063's got dethroned along with my modified Adagio's.....so far, that has not happened.
stone_of_tone/Texture
.....I will come home and sell, if my ear brain connection is moved to do so.

With your precognitive dissonance RLB? I think you should go and alleviate any post cognitive dissonance.  
.....Obviously, I have my pre/post issues too. Plus, my curiosities thirst to visit...since it has been an decade for me (2005 & 2008 visits).
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Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #427 - 05/26/18 at 03:29:15
 
Hi Steve,
will there be an "official" CSP3-25 version in the future, or will it be an option like now that has the mods only internally?
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- Stefan
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #428 - 05/27/18 at 02:50:38
 

Hi Stefan,

I am seriously considering it, yes.

Steve
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Stefan
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #429 - 05/27/18 at 05:54:44
 
Please do Steve, would like nice to have a 25th anniversary pre-amp matching the 25th anniversary amp!
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- Stefan
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #430 - 05/27/18 at 16:33:28
 
I second that Steve
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #431 - 06/13/18 at 04:31:05
 

Meanwhile, the Anniversary mods for CSP3 are going great.  I've done enough to get good at it, and have fine-tuned the mod for both Type I and Type II beeswax caps.  




The mod is an option now in the shopping cart for anyone who wants to purchase a new unit built this way.  It can be found in the shopping cart under the signal-cap section where you choose what type of signal-caps to have your CSP3 built with.

The one pictured is a CSP3 built with copper foil (type II) beeswax caps and then updated further with the Anniversary mod.  There are a total of 12 Jupiter Cryo-Treated beeswax caps in this modded unit, several poly film caps and two miniature solder-into-place voltage regulator tubes that will last the life of the preamp if they're not shorted.  

The headphone section is also bypassed with the copper foil beeswax caps.  

All of this takes a preamp / otl headphone amp that already sounds better than all of it's competition and punches it through the stratosphere.  



For the techies that want to know what is different, while we have a picture to look at... the standard CSP3 is built with a novel power supply design.  It features a simple pie filter using two caps and one resistor.  Very Zen. To negate the need for a choke, regulation, or anything else the power supply transformer is rated at 170 mA while the circuit draws only 30 mA.  The other novel part is that it is a signal node supply, meaning that all the B+ comes from a single point for all three tubes.  No attempt to segregate whatsoever.  This kept the timing the same for all three tubes which promotes cohesiveness.

The Anniversary mod takes the 10K 6.5 watt dale resistor in the pie filter and adds another 10K to it, dropping the value in half and doubling the wattage rating.  Heat drops in half.  Voltage increases.  Then it is sent through an added 1K 6.5watt resistor to a pair of miniature VR tubes which drop the voltage back down to the original value but without heat, and segregate the voltage between the two channels, so each VR tube serves 1-1/2 audio tubes.

Once the voltage gets through the VR tube, which acts like a miracle filter being in series with the supply, it then is accumulated in the cryo treated beeswax caps using a .47uf for each channel because it is big and has to supply 1-1/2 tubes.  Then we bypass that with another cryo beeswax cap at .022uf to balance out the speed for high frequencies.  These caps then feed the plate resistors of each tube.

The main filter caps also have to be bypassed with film caps, and the same applies.  There are two bypass caps for each filter cap to maintain a balance of speed to properly feed the VR tubes.

The performance went up, the distortion went down (it was already super low) and the noise floor that was also super low dropped even further.  The VR tubes can offer in some cases ten times the ripple reduction as an equivalent resistor with the same voltage drop and do it with no heat... so this mod is basically like running your CSP3 off high voltage batteries with bottomless current.  It doesn't get any better than this... but it's not cheep unless you put it in the perspective that nothing retail is available that does this, and a power re-generator for 6 grand or more isn't going to be half as good.

Steve




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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #432 - 06/13/18 at 05:22:21
 

UPDATE:  The DNA2 loudspeakers production model 001 and 002 have arrived and look simply stunning!  They sound BETTER than good right out of the box!  Just amazing.  Another Ziegler masterpiece. Pics coming soon!!!  Web page to order from coming soon as well!

I am listening to them now... Love Comes in Colors (acoustic mix) live with Arjonas, Chris Jones.  My couch has levitated to the ideal position in front of the stage about 35 feet back and centered with the stage.  The couch is floating just above everyones heads giving me a clear, spectacular view of the performance and the sound is expansive.  I can see the stars as this is an outdoor concert in the summertime at night. So once again you thought you were going to listen to speakers and you became part of the experience.  A consistent fault of Decware gear Wink

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Reply #433 - 06/15/18 at 01:18:18
 

I've been listening to the ZMA for the past week on the DNA2 loudspeakers having come off a 6 month exclusive pairing between these speakers and the UFO25 anniversary amps.

Tonight I went ahead an implemented the upgrade which only took 8 beeswax caps.  There is nothing else that can be done to this amp without replacing original parts.  Of those, the only one that stands a chance of being obvious is the large 3 x 6 inch caps.  The 47uf F&T caps are wonderful on their own and now bypassed with beeswax caps, both a .47uf and a .1uf I don't see a cost justification to go with more expensive caps that probably don't last as long. So the large KEMET caps in the amp now are already twice as good of specs as the fancy Mundorfs, but specs don't always tell the whole story.  I have been researching possible candidates for a replacement that might best the KEMETs in the amp now and will start that process after the bypass caps have burned-in. This way I can hear what the bypass caps did, and then when I change the large caps I can hear if that was an improvement that justifies the price or not.  I'm not convinced the Mundorf is the answer, as it's longevity rating is so short (16,000 hours) vs. the 40,000 hours of the KEMET.

Believe it or not I suspect the winner will be the new production version of the "RED CAPS" that I sold the first ten amps with, or the Nichicons which both weigh in a 2.39 pounds ea.  Twice the weight of the KEMET.

So I guess the point of all this is to let you know the  ZMA mods are under way, and the bypass caps moved the amp a huge step in the right direction.  I can really listen to it now.

Steve

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Reply #434 - 06/15/18 at 01:36:40
 
That's great news Steve!  So, the original big reds are good?  Speaking for myself, going to the trouble and expense of sending in my ZMA for the upgrades will be 90% of the battle.  If you find original parts that could/should be upgraded, I'd probably go that route.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #435 - 06/15/18 at 03:06:55
 
Steve,
With regard to the specifications on the large Mundorf caps, which model are you referring to?  

Jeff
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #436 - 06/15/18 at 22:07:03
 
Steve,
If you discount longitity ("longevity rating is so short (16,000 hours) vs. the 40,000 hours of the KEMET") and only discuss performance would Mundorf caps be better in your opinion.

BonnyA
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Reply #437 - 06/16/18 at 06:08:07
 

My guess its the Mundorfs with their cathode coatings and foils should be the best sounding, but the tradeoff appears to be longevity compared to the industrial caps we've been looking at.  When I try the Mundorfs I will be attempting to get the larger size so that the physical size does not change over the original caps.  That will put the specs closer to what we currently have but with around twice the microfarads so certainly this should be audible.  The cost however is $300 or so per cap.  I am hoping these will be so good we don't care about the price, but they will have stiff competition in the coming months between the Nichicon, United Chem, and Mallary industrial caps.  The original red caps we shipped the first 10 amps were NOS Mallary made for nuclear power plants.

I am expecting in the end that the beeswax bypass will have far more effect than upgrading the electrolytics, but the spirit of the anniversary mods is that if the sound can keep up with the price we don't care how much it costs... so we will see.

Steve  

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Reply #438 - 06/18/18 at 21:22:22
 
Steve,

Thanks for your musings on the intended path for the 25th anniversary ZMA “cost no bar, performance centric” upgrades.
Given that this mod is easily reversible I went ahead and installed the same MUNDORF MLYTIC MLSC HP+ 4700µf 500VDC caps that Jeff did on his ZMA. In my case -as was his- they replaced the upgrade option red Mallary caps that came with the amp.
Improvements were palpable right away. Best description is that the flow of music is more relaxed, more effortless, this with only 10 hours of burn in. I felt the difference soon after installation. Understandably the first 10 minutes were awful but it picked up at an exponential rate thereafter.
These Mundorf Mlytic’s capacitors have 4 leads while the originals had 2 leads. I installed the Mundorf’s both ways: as a 2 pole (drop in fit) and then after about 4 of running re-installed them using the 4 leads. Even installing as a 2 pole cap the improvement was obvious. But when I switched to make it work as a 4 pole cap there was a step jump in performance. My experience is that the additional benefit as a 4 pole cap is the LRC filtering provided by this arrangement is not just theory.
To install them as a 4 pole cap I had to de-solder (separate) the 3 red wires connected to the +ve terminal of the original red Mallary caps since the input and output needed to be separately connected to the Mundorfs. I connected the one red wire coming from the full wave rectifier (downstream of the diodes) to “IN” +ve of the cap and the other two outgoing wires -one to the anode of OA3 regulator tube and other that goes to the primary of the output transformer to the “OUT” +ve lead on the cap. Similarly the “IN” -ve to the inner 100mA meter -ve lead green wire and the wire to the copper return bus to the “OUT” -ve of the Mundorf cap. This arrangement brought the best out of the amp. I feel the background is blacker. It seems the KT66 and 6922 tubes have more of a glow now. Having experienced this I am coming to believe that only 4 pole caps should be used for this purpose – power reservoir and filtering.
I do not mind that the Mundorf Caps have about half the life span of the original caps. Once the wiring changes are made replacing them with new caps is very easy – becomes almost a drop in fit.

Next I would like experiment by connecting the Red Mallary caps in parallel with the Mundorfs via leads that I can easily bring out side the amp though the gap created by the Mundorfs (they are about 2mm smaller in diameter). The capacitance then would double to 9400 uF. Do you have any thoughts/concerns on this. Would the power supply be able to handle the initial startup current to charge the increased capacitance?

BonnyA
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #439 - 06/19/18 at 01:25:50
 
I received my 25th Anniversary CSP3 and am listening to the very first disc with it. I'm using the stock 6N1Ps and 6N5P and a Sophia Electric Aqua 274B rectifier. Listening to the Audeze LCD-2 at the moment.

It arrived just as I was halfway through dinner and just as my wife arrived home, and so I stared at the box through dinner, then washed the dishes, walked little Fiona and finally was able to unbox and set up the amp. It was on my mind all afternoon waiting for UPS!

The sound I heard immediately was involving and vivid. This is certainly more detailed sounding than the CSP2+ that I have (with Type 1 beeswax caps and stepped attenuator). At the moment a bit brighter as well, but I believe that will not last long. Soundstage is wider and as Trip mentions in a post started today about these preamps there are "layers" to the sound that are very discernible. Thes presentation is not entirely different from that of the Taboo Mk IV but different, a "bigger" sound, a crisper sound right now with comparable dynamics.

I'm going to enjoy listening to this preamp, no question! Later this week I'll connect it to the Monoblocks. . . .
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #440 - 06/19/18 at 02:35:55
 
LOL!!! Lon, it may in fact be later this week when you put it with the monoblocks but I will wager that it will not be MUCH later! I think the sound of it will force you to hear it with the monoblocks.  ;)
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #441 - 06/19/18 at 02:56:28
 
LOL. I do plan on getting some "burn in" on the preamp with headphones, and a handle on "what it's doing" before putting it into the chain in front of the Monoblocks. And I have a few non-audio tasks to perform mid-week so perhaps I'll initiate that on Friday.
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #442 - 06/19/18 at 03:16:10
 

Quote:
Next I would like experiment by connecting the Red Mallary caps in parallel with the Mundorfs via leads that I can easily bring out side the amp though the gap created by the Mundorfs (they are about 2mm smaller in diameter). The capacitance then would double to 9400 uF. Do you have any thoughts/concerns on this. Would the power supply be able to handle the initial startup current to charge the increased capacitance?


Thanks for excellent feedback on the Mundorf caps.  In application I doubt the life-rating of the cap will have any real bearing on how long it will last in a ZMA since we are not running them at anywhere near the high temperatures (85'C) that those ratings refer to.

As for increasing the value...  4700 is already over the stock 2200 which is larger than the original red mallory caps that were around 2000. As you increase the value the voltage will increase throughout the amplifier and this will change how it sounds. 4700 should be the limit.

Steve

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #443 - 06/19/18 at 03:32:32
 
POWER CONDITIONER from DECWARE?

Also, just a heads up that I am working on a design for a power conditioner and I getting pretty stoked about it. It will have 6 independent fully balanced outlets fed by a large TOROIDAL transformer sized to handle most entire systems. With it we will eliminate ground loops and noise problems while getting you 100% de-coupled from the power grid. I'll keep you posted in the coming months when chassis and parts begin to roll in. Meanwhile if you are contemplating getting a power conditioner, by this Fall you will have a Decware offering to add to your list of choices.

-Steve

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #444 - 06/19/18 at 03:56:43
 
Thank you Steve. I'll drop the idea of paralleling the Mundorf caps with the Mallorys. It's also the law of diminishing returns.

The amp is sounding better and better with every listening session - 16 hours put in thus far. I am driving 89db (91db anechoic chamber) PSB T3 speakers. This mod has improved their drivability. What amazes me with this hobby is there is always more that one can do never reaching the end. I am glad I did this mod and must credit Jeff o A for providing the inspiration and taking the brave first steps.

BonnyA
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #445 - 06/19/18 at 05:49:01
 
BonnyA,
I’m just glad you aren’t cursing my name here - pissed off that I steered you wrong.   Grin

In all seriousness, when it comes to topics related to large expenditures, I am extra cautious about what I broadcast.  I would hate to influence anyone into betting on the wrong horse.  So, I am incredibly pleased that these Mundorf Mlytic caps lived up to your expectations.  And to piggy back on Steve’s comment about the ZMA’s normal temps not reaching 85C and therefore likely to sustain longer than 16,000 hours, when I estimate my yearly listening hours, it would be unlikely that these caps will need replacement any sooner than 10 years.  Maybe its 8, maybe its 12, regardless, I am happy to sacrifice longevity for ultimate sound quality.  But this may not be the case for others, so I don’t want to criticize anyone for choosing longevity first, as these retail for $500 a pair!  

I like that Mundorf is audio first, as this is an audio application and not a mission-critical laser, or robotic surgical apparatus, or Department of Defense super secret alien weapon technology.  They chose the construction and material for a reason and I don’t believe their reason was to create a shorter living cap.  I do believe their reason was to create a superior cap with regard to sound quality/performance.  At least that notion supports what I (and you) have experienced with the Mlytics in our beloved ZMAs.  

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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #446 - 06/19/18 at 08:04:56
 
Wow, a power conditioner!  That's something that's been on my list for a while now.  I currently have an older Monster Power Center and it's decent, but looking to improve.
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Reply #447 - 06/19/18 at 10:05:36
 
Steve,

Put me in that list for the power conditioner.

I have one currently and it's being refurbished.. and hunting for a new unit.

This is such a good timing..!!
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #448 - 06/19/18 at 13:10:39
 
New DNA2’s, Power Conditioners, Cap Mods, Anniversary PreAmps...I guess I’m needing a bigger “Paper Route” real soon 😏😉

Best,
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #449 - 06/19/18 at 21:54:10
 
Steve,
Would you consider adding a DC offset removal in the new power conditioner or building a stand alone one ? I have been looking for a DC offset built in power conditioner but could find none.
I found one or two amp manufactures that include DC offser removal directly in built in their power supply of their amplifiers. Maybe also some thing to consider to clean the power supply of the ZMA and other further. Would help minimizing transformer buzz as most grid power now a days has DC offset in their supply to a larger or smaller extent (also change with time of the day).

BonnyA
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