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Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments? (Read 127939 times)
deucekazoo
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #450 - 06/19/18 at 22:36:45
 
bandrade,
I had DC on my lines a while back also. I have a SS amp running my subs and it was buzzing like crazy. I tracked it down to a bad fan speed controller. You might want to look at all the stuff you have plugged in. I had a hard time finding one also but found this one. https://emotiva.com/collections/accessories/products/cmx-2
This is the one I got and it worked perfectly. Seems they are sold out but should be back in stock soon.
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Donnie
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #451 - 06/19/18 at 23:08:48
 
I don't know why I just thought of this, but whatever happened to the Decware vibration isolation "stand" that was shown at the last "fest?
It was pretty and Steve said that it was the only one that really worked properly.
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Lon
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #452 - 06/20/18 at 01:07:30
 
Steve mentioned this month I think that these are being developed for each model.
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25, Taboo MkIV;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;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #453 - 06/20/18 at 02:47:47
 

I am in the process of installing the Nichicon 4700uf 450V caps in the ZMA since they are here and I am still waiting for the Mundorfs.  Haven't listened to them yet, getting ready to now, but something amazing did happen.

My old trusty 200 ohm 10 watt wire wound resistor that I use to discharge caps took on a new life today.  Usually if you discharge a cap by accident or with too small a resistor relative to the size of the cap, you get a sharp if not violent SNAP when the resistor leads contact it and then the charge drains down through the resistor and you feel a little heat.

This is basically how it has always been with the 2200 uf 500V caps in the ZMA and even the 2000 uf red Mallory caps used in the first 10.

Today I brought the new Nichicon caps up to speed on a variable AC transformer to form the caps a little bit before tubing up the amp and putting it into use.  After a couple hours I decided to do some other work on the amp and needed the caps to be discharged.  I didn't want to wait for the bleeder resistors at 1 volt per second to drain the 450 volts from the caps so I got the trusty 200 ohm resistor and started to discharge the caps and instead of a bright white SNAP as the lead makes contact, there was controlled plasma arc which stayed there exactly like a welder.  I would have watched it for the duration but the resistor instantly got too hot to hold.

I checked the cap and had only drained less than 100 volts off it, so it ended up taking about 5 more times to get the cap fully drained and each and every time it stuck a highly controlled plasma arc until the resistor got too hot to hold.

I have never seen this happen before, but it's pretty damn impressive demonstration of how different the this cap is from stock.  Can't wait to see if the Mundorf does this.  I'll probably have to make a video of this.

I know I wouldn't want to go any bigger than this, because I'll be honest with you, as a man who sticks his fingers into high voltage on a monthly basis... the stock ZMA caps might kill you, but these Nichicons will kill you.  It's just too much energy.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #454 - 06/20/18 at 02:57:25
 

Isolation platforms - Yes, I have been enjoying the prototypes for both the large and the small amps since last year.  It takes a lot of time to know if what you have developed is really as good as you think it is.  Sure it can all be measured with lab grade piezoelectric sensors but how does it make the stuff sound... how easy is is to use properly... how long can you use it before you wish it was just a little different so it would...  

We're at that point now, where I've used them for almost a year under a variety of conditions and do not want to change anything so I'll be submitting drawings to Bob Ziegler soon with the specs for the types of wood, and general shapes so we can hopefully get them on the site sometime this winter.

Steve
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #455 - 06/20/18 at 03:45:15
 

So now while my mind is on ZMA caps, I have to say these Nichicons look menacing as hell installed in the amp. You'll see when I snap some pictures. But as you know they weigh double what the stock caps weigh and when you tap on them it's like a solid concrete block, just completely dead. The stock caps have a resonance.  I think this mechanical resonance or lack thereof is absolutely crucial.

I thought the red Mallory caps from the surplus Nuclear Power Plant was impressive, and it is but this is taking it a giant step farther, rated at 85C instead of 65C and with over twice the capacitance it starting making me wonder how the two caps would have compared on the fateful night a few years ago when we blew one up!

Yes, believe it or not we actually blew up one of those giant red caps in a ZMA during testing! No it wasn't intentional, but it was a testament to how TUFF these red caps were and why you would want one in a nuclear power plant.

What happened was somehow a cap rated at 350V instead of 500V was mixed into the inventory of caps and other than the markings, looked identical. This cap got installed in a Mystery Amp on a Thursday and went into the test rack at the end of the bench in the build room where it played 24/7 on the radio until late Sunday night...

I remember it well, about 8:30 P.M.  I'm alone in the shop at my desk upstairs working on my computer when suddenly I felt the air pressure in the building suddenly change with a pfoomph sound followed by an eery silence that seemed to last forever while I tried to figure out in my mind what in the possible hell could that have been????  Then a loud crash... something with a lot of weight just crashed... not only was it loud but you could feel that too.  While time slowed down in reality it was only 2 seconds before the loud crash.

Now I realize that if someone didn't just drive a car into the building one of those damn UFO's have just scraped the roof off, either way I now have to get up from the desk and go investigate.

I ran into the build room (funny how I knew to run in there) with fire extinguisher in hand and whipped open the door to see what looked like a volcano had erupted and filled the room with ash.  There was so much smoke I couldn't see, so I opened the door and put on a fan.

I then saw that the Mystery amp that was on the end of the test bench was no longer in it's wood base!  One of the caps exploded and lifted this 40 pound amplifier out of the wood base and at least 30 inches up in the air (the 2 seconds) and then dropped it back down about 6 inches off to the left.

If you ever want to completely destroy a piece of property, this is the way to go.

Can you imagine this cap ran at 100 volts higher than it was rated for nearly 4 days before it melted-down and exploded. Then the energy it takes to throw a ZMA three feet into the air...  and some people probably think when they read the web page on the ZMA that the lightning bolt illustration was just hyperbole...  I wish a lightning bolt would have came out of it, because what did come out of it was a million times worse.

I found myself thinking about this while installing these Nichicons that just created a plasma welder out of my bleed-down resistor, and now completely understand I wouldn't have heard a "pfoomph" had a Nichicon been in there and rated at the same 350 volts, instead I would have head an explosion that would have probably made me deaf and God only knows how high the amp would have been tossed, I can see it getting embedded into the roof and being removed with a prybar...

Makes one realize how much trouble a person has to go to to get 40 watts to sound as good as 2... and how much easier it would be for all of us if people would just own high efficiency speakers.

Steve


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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #456 - 06/20/18 at 19:08:50
 
Been away for a few days, my son graduated from SU on Sunday!

Love visiting northern California. Had to have my muscles at Hog Island Oyster Co./San Francisco, in the Ferry Building! Hanging in town/Palo Alto & Mountain View...fun too.
But, good to be home in Mpls/St. Paul.

Great STUFF....over the last few days: ZMA Enhancment talk w/Steve, bandrade & Jeff! Plus, an Decware Power Conditioner, ah YEAH?!! + the Isolation Platforms....good to be caught up here..... .

Wow! The Plasma ARC. Lars here, will not be going under the hood/and has not. What I don't know will kill me.
YES! Picks of the Plasma Arc and the menacing Nichicons. Please.

Steve said:
"Makes one realize how much trouble a person has to go to to get 40 watts to sound as good as 2... and how much easier it would be for all of us if people would just own high efficiency speakers."

I remember when you blew up the Red Mallory! These Nichicons, wow!
Much respect to you Steve. ...designing for us 87 to 91db @ 1 watt/1 meter Speaker guys!
(Single cap, of course, in each Speaker. X-over's gutted).
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Palomino
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #457 - 06/20/18 at 19:24:32
 
Was just there last week Stone.  Always stop in when I am in SF.

Love the cap talk.  Educational.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #458 - 06/20/18 at 19:28:33
 
Love SF Pal & HIO.

Look forward to sending my ZMA to Steve if I can't squeeze out the road trip for delivery of... .
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Brian
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #459 - 06/21/18 at 04:56:07
 
Wow! What a Bitchin' story [Cheech & Chong taught me to say that] about the capacitor explosion.  
I am glad you do such an extensive burn in before selling your products.  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #460 - 06/23/18 at 06:13:00
 

UPDATE:  ZMA Anniversary Mods...

I have been listening to the amp for a few days now with the Nichicon caps (still waiting for the Mundorfs) and the effect was so drastic it simply isn't the same amplifier...  at least that's the overwhelming sensation I've been having.  I believe the stock amp is "liquid honesty", and honestly all week as this thing breaks in it has been a little over the top, somewhat pressing, somewhat invasive liquid honesty.  The best way I can describe it is that the sound is so real it feels like real people are in your private space, literally.  Suddenly the dynamic of your listening experience changes.

Don't worry, a lot of this most people would piss their pants the first time they heard it... it's that compelling.  Problem is the ease went away and it became the recording, not your stereo.  So it is a win, but also like coming home to a different wife...  so how do we get our loved one back... with this super deep look into the recordings...

Change to the 4 ohm tap, makes a big change. Before the mod, the 4 ohm tap on these same DNA2 speakers was never as good... that tells you something right there.

Then I decided to treat myself to a master tape copy of Supertramp and coming directly off the playback head into the ZP3 (with tape option) and then into the ZTPRE turned all the way up to compensate for the low output from the tape head, then into the listening room on a balanced line into the ZBIT also turned all the way up into the ZMA and suddenly we were getting somewhere.  The sound was at that level beyond a good LP, because the dynamic range has not been compressed for LP.  

Now I'm getting excited, for the first time since the mod, things are starting to break-in and I begging to love my amplifier again.  Then I am left with the realization that the recording is coming off a bit dry and a touch flat compared to the fantasy I have in my mind of what it could sound like...

I knew right away... if I put a ZROCK2 in the chain I might just see God.  Well, with that incentive the little magic box was connected between the ZBIT and the amplifier and as conformation that the tape was a bit dry, the ZROCK2 had to be turned up a 1/4 turn higher than normal but then holly crap!!!

Yes, it for the first time made me forget about the UFO25 which up until this moment had rewired my brain so bad nothing else I could stand to listen to, even the stock ZMA could no longer get my attention.  Now, I'm having an experience that I would find hard to believe could be reproduced on the 2 watt amplifier.  It feels so completely live.  Majestic SLAMB comes to mind... Bottomless power and bottomless headroom come to mind,  with the signal feeding the amplifier about as good as God will allow, the sound coming out of these speakers is insane.

This is very encouraging since a few hours ago I didn't know if I was ever going to like the ZMA mods.  I listened to this tape on the ZMA when I first got it so I have a reference.  i was frankly a somewhat disappointing sounding tape.  Now with the correct gain structure and the bionic upgrades to the amplifier, it's the best sounding  - well it's frustrating when there aren't words.  GOD BLESS THE ZROCK2.  Before I hooked it up I would have sold the $250 tape for $75 because that's all I heard out of it. Now you couldn't pry it out of my cold dead hands.  

I realize there are multiple points here, but the conclusion is that the ZMA mods are probably going to be legendary when it's all over.  Trust me.  And EVERYONE needs a ZROCK2.  You just do.

Steve
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Archie
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #461 - 06/23/18 at 17:28:40
 
Quote:
I realize there are multiple points here, but the conclusion is that the ZMA mods are probably going to be legendary when it's all over.  Trust me.  And EVERYONE needs a ZROCK2.  You just do.


This is great news and I 100% concur about the ZROCK2!  Best addition by far.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #462 - 06/23/18 at 17:46:17
 
Why I need to visit and dial in the input & output of the ZDSD with the ZROCK2.
Plus, if "the ease went away", most definitely need to visit.

I will be the first to report what worked and didn't for my ears.
Gladly come home and sell a thing or two on Audiogon, if need be. Will see and hear?

I can't bring my treated Listening space/Room. However, we can dial in nine tenths of the law in Steve's great treated space. Some Listening, just outside nearfield, etc... . (Read: I have a small room treated to sound like a big space. I could be in my big space downstairs/with high efficency speaker's...Stone no like. I'm in a small room by design.....).




Road trip to the mother ship!

...by appointment.
(When Steve has the enhancement done to his satisfaction/ZMA).

Audition:

UFO25th     Single
UFO25th     Strapped Pair
UFO3/25th  Mono's
ZMA           Enhanced
CSP3/25th
DNA2's!




Pack and carry:

(Modified) Acoustic Zen Adagio's
The only heavy items at 78lbs. each...but, still no bother to carry really and they fit perfectly in the back seat, with grills face to face/wrapped in a blanket.....Spikes on off with ease

ZMA (in Pelican case~leaving Amp with Steve if I'm doing the enhancement/ship back)
Kimber KS6063 Speaker Cable
Kimber KS1030 IC
My additional KS1030 IC (for CSP3/25th audition)
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)

...use Steve's power conditioner (when done).....so, I won't bring my P3
...use my simple isolation devices, first...
...then Steve's platforms....

Might be a lot to cover in two 8 hour Listening sessions (one night hotel stay)?! I'm up for the task and a lot can be learned....and decided.
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Stefan
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #463 - 06/23/18 at 18:01:06
 
Hi Steve,
any chance of making the ZROCKs filter an option on the CSP3? Would be nice to have it all in one package!
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- Stefan
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Rega rp6, Lounge Audio phono pre-amp, Torii IV, ERRx, Woo WA-3, Senheiser HD800S
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Steve/Decware & Company.....Developments?
Reply #464 - 06/23/18 at 18:09:32
 
I'm reminded, to reiterate what Steve mentioned "the ease went away", and what that entails/he describes... .
Do I want to change my ZMA when I've enjoyed its beauty and power for 4 years and five months and counting. Careful what you wish for..... .

Further point being: Maybe I'm coming home to sell things and I just purchased (on order to be shipped to me) the UFO25th & DNA2's. I have no problem with that...or, maybe other Gear variations of..... .

I continue to be open minded about taking a 180 to a UFO25th with DNA2's. I have owned an SE84CS for 13 years and have experience owned: ZU Speakers, Tekton & Decware Monoliths. However, I'm so spoiled by the ZMA thru the best cabling and my modified Adagio's....I have the live sound...direct from ZDSD.

Or, I could see myself with an CSP3/25th on order to drive my ZMA, after the visit..... .

A road trip to the mothership is the only way!
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