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amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode (Read 6065 times)
KenzieM
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amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
03/11/15 at 12:22:59
 
RE Mini Torii Model MT2 vs 2x Zen Triode SET Model SE84CKC

Newbie and not audiophile tech so please be kind.

I have read the online amp vs amp comparisons with interest but I am wondering the pro's and con's of the fully dual mono configuration using two independent power supplies VS 2x mono blocks with individual power supplies.

Thoughts please. [No stupid and Not a valid question are acceptable answers but please explain - in plain english].

regards KenzieM
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seikosha
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #1 - 03/11/15 at 15:30:59
 
There is some information in this thread:

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1393186285
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Mini Torii, SE84CKC, Omega Super3XRS, Oppo95 as Transport, Shiit Bifrost UBER Dac, PS Audio P3 Powerplant
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Lonely Raven
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #2 - 03/11/15 at 15:33:11
 

Quote:
Thoughts please. [No stupid and Not a valid question are acceptable answers but please explain - in plain english].


I see from your post above you've seen to other more douchey forums in the past. LOL  No worries about that here - I'm probably the worst one around these forums, and I only occasionally rib a few regularly here and there. Mostly people here are very helpful and knowledgeable.

To even start on your question - we'd need to know more about the gear you have, and the room it's going in. In the end, it's all about your goals, and synergy between all the equipment. In short, if you're looking at 2 watt amps, but your room is massive, you like near concert level listening and you're speakers are really inefficient (e.g. needing 25+ watts just to get going), then you're already off to a bad start.

While I've heard and enjoy the Mini Torii, and I own one of the early SE84 and I think they are great amps - if you can push you budget a little bit more, I'd look into a used Torii MKIII - it has more power, is more flexible about what you drive with it, and simply sounds great!

But your best option is to go straight to Steve and ask him. Give him a call, spend 30 minutes on the phone with him, tell him what gear you have and what your goals are, and he will help dial you in. Even better, if you're anywhere in the area, stop by and give the gear a listen!
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Raymundo
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #3 - 03/11/15 at 23:26:38
 
Dear KenzieM,

In the spirit of "the blind leading the blind", I will attempt to help.  The audio world has taken a bit of a split.  In one camp, you need 100 to 400 watts per channel to drive speakers well and make great music.  The other camp is represented here and just for variety or cross section at, http://www.commonsenseaudio.com/.

This second camp uses SET amps and uses 2 to 40 watts to drive very efficient equipment.  Decware is a bit of a pioneer in this "efficiency" world.

There are many satisfied listeners using and experimenting with high efficiency equipment.  For one, it does not cost an arm and a leg.  The speakers can even be so simple that a crossover is not required - thus a more pure delivery of the source material.   Steve, owner of Decware, has a motto of - paraphrased: "if the first watt sucks, why go for more"

So for spending short money, you get a crystal clear "single digit" watt amp into a very affordable, simple speaker that sounds wonderful - why do you need to spend your personal (hard-earned) fortune for a large triple digit wattage system that sounds worse/the same/promises to be better???

So hopefully that gives you a first division to consider.  This is a good place to pursue the "high efficiency" camp.

The high wattage camp can be visited at Stereophile or Audiogon forums.

Does this get you a tiny bit more informed?  

I am trying to start out on this journey.  In addition to finding it hard to right a check with very many zeros, I am absolutely amazed at how many listeners in the triple digit watt world keep changing equipment to find pieces with synergy.  I am theorizing, Decware gets some "synergy-like stuff" by having a volume control on each device in the chain. So 'up the pre and lower the amp' etc, until it sounds best to your ear.

And most of all --"we all have different opinions of what sounds good".  All humans are different, as I am sure you have discovered!

Like suggested above, I am going to visit Steve in Peoria and listen and talk.  Maybe even write one of those checks:)!!

BTW, the larger speakers on this site are custom made by artisans (nickname Ziggie)  These are my ultimate speakers - -don't want a Corvette, but I dream of HR-1s

Raymundo

ps:  as a new guy here, I invite constructive comments to be added.
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KenzieM
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #4 - 03/12/15 at 04:12:34
 
Thank you one-and-all for the openers.

Context: small space with adjacent neighbours, small budget so [1 only] small system but with a view also to handing on to young'uns who are so accustomed to compressed sound.

Also I'm in Melbourne Australia, so I can't drop in to listen and talk. So I would be buying unsighted and not listened to which is a risk I'll have to take if importing. [And the Aussie $$$ has tanked 25% so imports just got more expensive !].

Working from my space backwards to my ear then the speakers: was looking at Decware small units so either Trapezium or the more efficient Monitors DM945 or probably the 946 as the room is carpeted but untreated. [I like the model HDT but too big I'm thinking].

Re the DEBATE yup Ive got the massive VS very little but effective stuff, at least in english.

Thanx for the link to the Decware Forum: Mini Torii sound compared to ...  Super Zen model SE84CKC. I still have my amp vs amp query to see if  there is any substantive difference between a 1x dual mono vs 2x mono blocks, part for sound [voice?] and part for range of speaker options.

For the system backwards from the amp there will be CD collection transposed into Flac files on a NAS with a DAC [Shiite] leading to amp. Also a headphone for when I want to play louder than the neighbours would appreciate.

thanx all from KenzieM
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seikosha
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #5 - 03/12/15 at 19:36:18
 
I wouldn't be so concerned about the topology of the amps.  In my system, there's nothing about the dual mono nature of the Mini Torii that makes it special.  The differences in the tubes used in the two amps has a significantly greater impact in how they perform.  At the end of the day, you have to decide what kind of sound you are looking for.  Any reason why you aren't considering the SE34 if power is a big concern?

One note on bridging the SE84's is that I've noticed in my reading of those who have done it that 1.) it can create a little more hum in some systems and 2.) some have reported that you lose some of the magic of the SE84 when you bridge it.
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Mini Torii, SE84CKC, Omega Super3XRS, Oppo95 as Transport, Shiit Bifrost UBER Dac, PS Audio P3 Powerplant
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hdrider
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #6 - 03/30/15 at 21:31:01
 
Kenziem- welcome to the Decware forums, there are a lot of knowledgable people here so the info you get is usually based on real life experience. I started out with a CS84SE Kit (2 watt ZEN amp) over 9 years ago. Bought it unheard, but read enough of Steve's papers and know that this was the path I needed to be on. Amp worked good with my present gear (at the time) and a pair of Klipsch speakers. Last year sold off almost all my gear (except me ZEN amp) and purchased a Rachael amp with four inputs and a ZP3 phonostage. WOW, so happy with that. I have a pair of Omega 7 full range speakers shipping this week that will complete most of my new system. I am done with the merry go round. Ask a lot of questions, study what is written and if you decide to buy Decware, I am certain you will not be disappointed. Happy listening, Chris.
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Rachael, ZP3, ZMC 1, SE84CS, Oppo BDP-93, Sota Star TT w/ FR-64, Shinnon Red Moving coil, Omega 7XRS Mk 2 walnut, DeepOmega 8 sub, Morrow Audio PH3 and MA3 IC's, Stax Lambda Signature Pro & SRM-T1 tube amp, Gamma Electrostatic phones.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #7 - 03/31/15 at 00:38:33
 
A so called Rachel amp would give you 6 watts. Along as your speakers are 8 ohm with good sensitivity levels you will do fine.
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TORII MK IV; ZSTAGE; HR-1 SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 KAB MODDED TT; AH! NJOE TJOEB CDP; MARANTZ 2226B; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Brian
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #8 - 08/01/15 at 06:32:43
 
KenzieM asked:
"I am wondering the pro's and con's of the fully dual mono configuration using two independent power supplies VS 2x mono blocks with individual power supplies."


As I understand it, there ought to be no difference in sound between Dual Mono on one chassis, and Mono-Blocks. In both cases it is one circuit complete and independent for each channel.  
The purpose of going to Mono-Blocks instead of a Dual Mono chassis, is weight and bulk. Some of the more complicated and powerful circuits can become large and heavy if built on a single circuit board.
The reason to build Dual Mono instead of separate Mono-Blocks is cost. A single chassis being less money than Duals.

The difference in comparison ought to show itself when comparing either dual circuit to a conventional amp made with a single power supply shared by both the left & right channels. I no longer remember what the sonic defficiency of the shared power supply is said to be as compared to individual supplies.

Brian
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #9 - 10/02/15 at 12:41:45
 
Dear KenzieM,

Despite being a musician and having been exposed to some tube guitar and bass amplification, my adventure with the tubes in home stereo started when my solid-state gear (including a Classe 151 amp) along with some bass amps were stolen from my home back in 2003.  It was when a friend recommended me to check few companies' low-wattage amps and Decware was the one to go for...

At the time, I had a pair of B&W DM630's at 90-91dB efficiency (yet with a complex cross-over) and I bought my first SE84+ which was later on accompanied by another one for bridging (I never had the hum or 3D-loss in that system) as well as a CSP preamp.  As my system kept on clipping at operatic voice parts and piano material, and as I could neither change my speakers and nor treat the room, I decided to go for a TABOO mkII with the CSP still in place.  That was a very simple and affordable, yet magical system.

When I moved to Istanbul back in 2011, I left pretty much everything in my Brooklyn apartment and bought a SE34I.2+ which I coupled with Hoyt-Bedford (Omega) speakers.  Unfortunately, I always struggled from lack of bass despite efforts of using subwoofers, tube rolling, trying darker voiced preamps, etc.  The same issue continued even when I brought my TABOO back from Brooklyn to my Istanbul apartment.  

I ended up selling the Hoyt-Bedfords to a friend and bought some low-efficiency ProAc speakers but then even the TABOO was not powerful enough to drive them authoritatively, so I also switched to another 50-watt per channel push-pull amp by Copland.  The TABOO is with my friend who bought my Hoyt's but I still listen to the SE34I.2+ in my bedroom later at night and it performs beautifully a low volumes.

To cut the long story short, here is my experience regarding equipment selection...  Most friends here are more experienced then me, but please consider this as my two cents...

- I would pick the speakers first and design the amplification around them.  I find selling and buying speakers much more difficult as they are big and heavier.  You can try different amps and if you are not happy with them, my experience is you can sell them much more easily.  Also, I somehow find speakers in a single chain much more problematic, although every component in the chain contributes to the quality of the signal.

- Most single-driver speakers I have heard so far suffer from the shout effect and give me too much fatigue (unfortunately I have never had the chance to hear Decware speakers).  If you can find the right ones, they are great, but it takes some time to break them in as well; keep that in mind.  My Hoyt-Bedfords were quite fine in that sense.  Even though not a single-driver system, I had some experience with Zu Druids and somehow I found them very dry with my SE84+.  But this was years ago...

- Most single-driver speakers I have heard have huge peaks of impedance at low frequencies and therefore not even throughout the audible freq spectrum.  If you like bass (which I do, as I am a bass player), coupling a low-wattage SET amp with such speakers would require a lot of room treatment and mechanical coupling; or sub-bass or mid-bass units.

Anyway, just my two cents...  I am sure there would be opposing opinions but I would like to hear them as well.

Best,

Alper
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: amp vs amp - MiniTori vs ZenTriode
Reply #10 - 11/12/15 at 07:44:06
 
The amp I refer to as the TABOO in my post above should have been TORII, actually.  Sorry for the confusion...
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