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DECWARE UFO MOD (Read 25206 times)
Steve Deckert
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DECWARE UFO MOD
03/22/15 at 01:21:28
 
Hi everyone!

Now that we're approaching our 20th year selling the Zen Triode Amplifier, I wondered if despite it's revisions would there be any more room to improve it? I mean, the Christmas Comes Early Mod took the amp to a new level of delicacy. The Christmas Keeps Coming mod gave the amp a bump up in dynamics and detail. The Cryo Treated Beeswax caps let you hear deep into the layers and doubling the thickness of the chassis to increase mass improved focus. What else is there?

I wondered what would happen if we wound an exotic output transformer. Of course we already build fairly exotic transformers... but I'm talking something crazy good. I mean, are we really at the point of diminishing returns? I really wanted to find out.

What for example would it sound like if we doubled the lamination's? What would it sound like if we increased the interleaving? What would it sound like if we used silver wire? Can we really hear a difference when a transformer goes up to 80kHz? Would the difference be bigger than the cryo treated beeswax caps or would it sound exactly the same but with more extension in the frequency extremes?

These were all questions running through my head along with the potential costs involved... and as the saying goes: "You'll never know until you try it." So, I did... I tried it. A single pair of extended bandwidth transformers were installed into a SuperZen Triode (model SE84CKC).



The video that can be found here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J08omdtaUDk happened when I decided to take some pictures of it after the first listening tests! Thankfully I remember what it sounded like. I will be pursuing it further so keep an eye on the web site or this tread for more news as it happens!

Steve
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« Last Edit: 04/05/15 at 23:03:37 by Steve Deckert »  
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4krow
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #1 - 03/22/15 at 01:33:48
 
 Like, POOF! My head just exploded
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #2 - 03/22/15 at 01:41:18
 
But seriously Steve, I cannot find the video that you are talking about. The link just comes back to right here.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #3 - 03/22/15 at 01:51:34
 
Damn Martians, they would steal the stink out of shit if they could!
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #4 - 03/22/15 at 02:10:39
 
Well, there isn't enough air on Mars to transmit sound, so I rather doubt it was Martians!

Steve
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #5 - 03/22/15 at 02:33:02
 
I think it was the Russians! Or maybe the Chinese?...
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #6 - 03/22/15 at 02:50:00
 
I'm sorry. I base all of my scientific knowledge of Mars from Marvin the Martian cartoons.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #7 - 03/22/15 at 05:56:00
 

Steve, you know we don't see the forum the way you do when you log in? It's white and blue for us - not the fancy black with images and all that.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #8 - 03/22/15 at 05:57:07
 
I was just planning my DAC upgrade today, then Steve drops a bomb on me.  How much is this gonna cost??
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #9 - 03/22/15 at 16:51:17
 
Quote:
Steve, you know we don't see the forum the way you do when you log in? It's white and blue for us - not the fancy black with images and all that.


Actually I didn't know that. I thought I had configured the default template to be like mine. Well, it is now. Sorry to those of you who loved the white and blue but it's just too hard for me to keep track of more than one template.

Steve
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #10 - 03/22/15 at 16:55:59
 
Quote:
I was just planning my DAC upgrade today, then Steve drops a bomb on me.  How much is this gonna cost??


Since the forums are a real time platform, I often share information in real time, meaning you get to watch things develop.  I have no idea on the price or availability of it, I posted this thread (and video) to let you know I was going to pursue it.  

My guess is I'll probably have some answers by August or possibly sooner.

Steve
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ProggRob
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #11 - 03/22/15 at 16:58:03
 
Ok great.  I'm relieved to have some time to plan if it ends up being released.  Thanks Steve!
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #12 - 03/22/15 at 17:09:13
 
Well,  mine has always been dark brown/black with stars.  I've never seen it Blue and white.  As long as I can read the words and see the Pics, any colors are OK by me.  Mark.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Core32
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #13 - 03/22/15 at 17:18:15
 
Same here. Always dark brown and black with tree outlines and stars.
And apparently the glow of that UFO obscured over the hill!
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« Last Edit: 03/22/15 at 17:19:15 by Core32 »  
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #14 - 03/22/15 at 17:49:43
 
I'm betting this will be the amp that uses tears from a clown as it's main upgrade!
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #15 - 03/23/15 at 00:27:01
 
 Dang man, you're gonna have to fess up to All that this new project is about. I have wondered many times how far a transformer can be transformed.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #16 - 03/24/15 at 16:59:06
 
Funny video/cool. Thanks for changing from the blue signed in too!
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #17 - 03/24/15 at 18:34:27
 
Hmmm....upgrade Zen, or go with New pre-amp due out in Oct?....great video!  My Background has always been dark style.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #18 - 03/24/15 at 20:28:11
 
That was fun!  I can't wait to see what comes of it ... Looks like Steve has a few things in the pipeline, a new Preamp, a new Super Zen Mod, and perhaps a set of 6C33C mono blocks (if they're still on the table that is???).  At any rate, this should make for a very cool Decfest 2015!!!

p.s. Speaking of Decfest, I really want to attend one time ~ if people really pitch tents on Steve's lot, where does everybody get cleaned up at?  Does anybody know if there are any Navy or Army Lodges in the area?

p.p.s. my forum background wallpaper is also (and always has been) starts at night. Cool
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #19 - 03/24/15 at 20:59:33
 
Quote:
Hmmm....upgrade Zen, or go with New pre-amp due out in Oct?


I hope the UFO mod doesn't cost as much as a new pre-amp! Though I'm sure exotic silver-wound output transformers don't come cheap.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #20 - 03/26/15 at 22:32:00
 
I pulled my Super Zen CKC off of eBay. I said to myself, if this dual transformer output is any thing like what Steve has done with the output of my ZDSD.....well then I want the mod! Keep us posted indeed Steve. Shame on me for having a momentary lapse of reason an possibly letting my CKC leave my Decware family stable!


I was going to relist my Adagio's too with better pics. I pulled them as well. I will sell those locally.
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« Last Edit: 03/26/15 at 22:36:49 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #21 - 03/26/15 at 23:30:46
 
I was tempted Stone.  Got to pay taxes though.  Thanks for removing the temptation.

I wonder why the same mod couldn't be done to Rachael?
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #22 - 03/27/15 at 11:19:53
 
I hope Steve offers the transformer upgrade for all Decware products.

Silver has a wonderful sonic clarity as compared against other metals.
I'm using it for my interconnects and speaker cables.

It would be cool if all Decware internal innards were made using the same anti-werewolf anti-vampire technology. Wink

Cheers!
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #23 - 03/27/15 at 13:07:58
 
I was waiting for the Tori5 upgrade but was disappointed. This mod added to the Tori3 to Tori4 upgrade could change that.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #24 - 03/27/15 at 20:31:58
 
Funny LS, anti vamp an werewolf. ;D

Preachin' to the Choir here (Silver rules). I thought adding my KS3035 a couple of years back, to my System would be to much of a good thing with my KS1030 IC's. It turned out to be bliss. I just ordered a pair of ERRx. My 3035's could be to much for these though-will hear. I have my Zen Styx, Audioquest Rocket 33 an Kimber KS3033 with 9033 Jumpers for the ERRx too, if needed. Running them without the caps will have to be experimented with too (w/9033's).

I decided to keep the stuff I was going to sell (see Classifieds). Expecially, my Cable Stable. I'm selling my Adagio's locally-good lesson learned there. Also, my surplus of Svetlana SV83's. These should not sit. Cheers indeed.

Furthermore, yes, IL, Pal an LS! You guys just made me think to ask Steve when I send in my CKC....can we upgrade my legendary SE84CS too! I can box them both............ . Hopefully, Steve will let us know here soon.

PS-I sold 2 pair of Svetlana SV83's (6N15NM) to Acetone an a pair to Lonely Raven. They will ship on Monday guys. However, I'm bulk posting the rest of them in two lots on eBay next week. They will be gone (except for my personal stash of course). If you have an original C, C+ or CS....you might like them better than the EV EL84 types, or maybe not. I love them an use nothing else in my SE84CS. I call them the Tube that started it all............ .
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« Last Edit: 03/27/15 at 21:21:14 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #25 - 03/27/15 at 21:47:20
 
You didn't give me your Pay Pal address! I might take two pair now, I sold one of my laptops I have for sale. Give me your address and I'll send you some $$$ for those tubes brother.

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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #26 - 03/27/15 at 22:27:03
 
Ditto here Stone...also sent you PM.  Thx
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #27 - 03/29/15 at 00:26:23
 
You bet guys. I sent you both PM's.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #28 - 03/29/15 at 15:09:37
 
This UFO mod is somewhat nebulous at this point. Steve might well decide that it is not worthwhile or not commercially feasible.

What about really pushing the envelope; using a Rachel chassis for a dual mono ZEN with OC2's for the inputs and 0C3 for the output tube; dual rectifiers?
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« Last Edit: 03/29/15 at 15:10:23 by Rivieraranch »  

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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #29 - 03/29/15 at 15:32:01
 
Technically that would be two regulation tubes. Probably would be nice to have dual rectifiers too!

I'm not that interested in the small amps any longer (though I'm enjoying a modified C right now, playing Max Bennett). But this would be an interesting "dual mono" amp.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #30 - 03/31/15 at 00:35:33
 
This mythical dual mono tube regulated ZEN should also have meters.
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #31 - 03/31/15 at 00:43:52
 
NO,no meters unless there's an option not to have them. I don't like them, and I personally think they ruin the look. Wink
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #32 - 03/31/15 at 21:22:44
 
Maybe not meters...BUT we do need more cowbell!! Sorry, I just couldn't resist. I fired up my SE84CS the other day driving my Stax Gamma headphones, what a crazy good amp that is. I can wait to try it on my new speakers when they arrive. Back on thread. Happy listening, Chris
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #33 - 04/06/15 at 00:09:24
 
I have decided to proceed with the UFO transformers for the Zen Triode Amplifiers.

As of today, they are now an option in the shopping cart for the model SE84CKC and SE84CKCS. We have after almost 20 years, stopped production on the original transformers, so once our inventory runs out - these amplifiers will only be available with the UFO transformers and the price of the amps will increase by around $200. Once the original inventory is depleted and UFO's become standard, there will no longer be an option for different transformers in the shopping cart.

What is a UFO transformer? UFO stands for Ultra Fidelity Output which is simply a wider bandwidth and better sounding transformer with even flatter frequency response. They are the same physical size as the originals except that the winding now completely fills the core window. You can see the two in the picture below. Top one with the blue bobbin is the original, bottom one is the UFO.



These transformers feature a lamination that is half as thick as the original so there are twice as many to create a core that is more efficient with less saturation. In addition, the copper windings feature considerably more paper interleaving and more precision in how their made. These two things are what make possible 3 times the bandwidth of the original Zen Triode transformers. Also improved were the lead wires. We doubled the thickness of the wire, changed from copper to silver, and use a Teflon insulator and now run the leads from the bottom rather than the top of the bobbin.

We will be offering the UFO mod to existing Zen Triode Amps built back to 001 in 1996. Cost of the upgrade will be $300 parts and labor and take between a week and ten days on average.

UFO transformers are hand made in the USA with USA wire, USA steel and USA labor.

Operationally the 2 watt UFO transformer used in the Zen Triode Model SE84CKC and SE84CKCS will replace the two prior models. In the past, the stock transformer was a 9800 ohm primary against a 6 ohm secondary. This makes the amp capable of driving speaker loads below 1 ohm, which very few if any other SET amps can do. An optional transformer was offered with a 3300 ohm primary against a 6 ohm secondary to better accommodate speakers above 8 ohms. You could have your amp built with one or the other.

The new UFO transformers achieve both ratios by having a 6600 ohm primary against a dual 4 and 8 ohm secondary.. the trick being to hook 8 ohm speakers to the 4 ohm tap and 4 ohm speakers to the 8 ohm tap and let the reflected impedance change the primary impedance to nearly match original specs.
The beauty of this is that we now have a switch to go between the two secondaries so now you no longer need to worry or care what impedance your speakers are, you simply move the switch to the better sounding setting. The advantage of this is that both settings will usually sound good, the difference will be power. For many who don't need every drop of power the amp can muster, this switch will be like having two different sounding amps. In fact, when used with the front located bias switch that adjusts the voicing of the input tube, you can effectively say you have a choice of four different amplifiers at your fingertips.

ZEN TIP: High Impedance primaries in output transformers can have better transparency in the top end when compared to a lower primary impedance. What I doubt many people realize is that creating a primary with a higher impedance than optimal for a given tube and then creating a secondary tap that is lower than optimal for a given speaker makes the reflected impedance adjust the primary to the ideal value for the tube and the gains in top end transparency are not lost. ;)

UFO transformer design for the SE34I.4 is almost complete... We will increasing the size of the transformer over the original for this amp as well as making some other changes to the circuit.

Steve

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« Last Edit: 04/06/15 at 00:10:09 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #34 - 04/06/15 at 01:26:07
 
Steve,

Are balanced inputs still an option for the CKC Select? I did not see that as an option in the cart.

I have an Oppo 105D with balanced outputs.
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« Last Edit: 04/06/15 at 01:27:58 by DBC »  

Main System: Oppo BDP-105D, SE84UFO amp, Omega Super Alnico Monitors, Twin Custom SLAB 15's (Low Frequency Open Baffle).
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #35 - 04/06/15 at 01:32:06
 
Excellent news, Steve. Any thoughts on doing this transformer upgrade for the Mini Torii eventually?
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« Last Edit: 04/06/15 at 01:33:14 by Fireblade »  

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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #36 - 04/06/15 at 05:01:11
 
Great news Steve. I will send my SE84CS in for the UFO MOD. I can't part with it......except for sending it in for the MOD.





Listening Room:
Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew
Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Decware DSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware CSP3 w/Jupiter Caps (NOS/Platinum/Telefunken 6922/CCa/7308 for input tube)
Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita / National PCC88 / 7DJ8 in A12 an B12 inputs)
Kimber Select KS3033 Speaker Cable
Vintage Polk SDA1 Speakers in Stereo (91db)
XLO Pro Power Cords to CSP3 an ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ZDSD an CSP3, Regenerated/118, 119 an 120v are used/Multiwave off...ZMA on HC Output)

Decware SE84CS (NOS Svetlana SV83's from 1980's-not the New Sensor knock-offs) ...when SE Pentodes run in Triode/Decware Style...needs to be in the System!


*****Sending my SE84CS in for the UFO MOD

*****Decware ERRx Speaker's coming in 3 to 4 weeks!

*****Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modded/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-on Tweets/5 or 10k cross.....should have in a week-finished

Pending: Decware Preamplifier, October 2015
Pending: ZP3
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« Last Edit: 04/06/15 at 14:25:54 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Syd
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #37 - 04/06/15 at 12:46:31
 
My Rachaels are looking forward to a great holiday Steve !
Beeswax caps.....and UFO`s.
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Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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stone_of_tone
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #38 - 04/06/15 at 14:24:18
 
Good call Syd. I want the Jupiter caps & UFO MOD. However, I want to keep the "original" of my SE84CS. So, no CCE or CKC for my CS. Staying old school/2001 with Svetlana SV83's.
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Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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Lonely Raven
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #39 - 04/06/15 at 16:07:26
 

Awesome news!
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Syd
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #40 - 04/06/15 at 22:51:40
 
I dont know what the mod will equate to in sonics. Wider bandwidth conjours up some thoughts about extension at both ends with a flatter graph, and even more clarity and realism, all of which I think I have. It`s all come out of the blue and is just the reason I was looking for to make the Jupiter cap journey for the Rachaels a must.
I love the Rachaels as they are but wont stand in their way.
And a switch for taps and some new circuitry.
And it`s about time I had a splashout on some extra Decware fidelety. Cool

It`s quite a big change, new output trannies, and voiced by Steve.
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« Last Edit: 04/06/15 at 22:58:05 by Syd »  

Decware: Rachaels x 2 bridged, C. SP2+, ZP3, ZMC1, DSC i/c`s, DHC-1 pw/cbl`s Michell Orbe + SME V + M.Benz LP s , Nakamichi LX5, Lowther acoustas DX2`s, WE 16g sp/cbl`s, Isotek mains sub
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stone_of_tone
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #41 - 04/06/15 at 23:27:27
 
Along the same lines here Syd. I have a pair of Decware ERRx coming. So, I figure my SE84CS sent to Steve with the Tube compliment I like, voiced by him with the new Output Trannies and Jupiter Caps if he feels it excels with those too. Breathe some new life into her/CS! The ERRx are rated at needing a few more watts to start. However, the CS will push them well I bet. Of course, my ERRx will be run by my main System: ZDSD + CSP3 + ZMA.

Nothing against the Super Zen CKC and its CCE + CKC Mod and how it will excel with EV an EL84 Tubes.... . I just like my old CS with my NOS Svetlana output tubes and true NOS 6922 Sovtek.

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« Last Edit: 04/06/15 at 23:31:44 by stone_of_tone »  

Sony as Transport
Illuminati D-60
Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
360 degree Rm Treats
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4krow
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IMAGINE WHIRLLED
PEAS

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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #42 - 04/16/15 at 02:13:25
 
Son of a bitch! Rachel too? I am resisting even the idea, but in the end I know what will happen.
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Decware 34I.3 integrated amp/Forte' 3 bass amp/Velodyne SMS-1 bass mngmnt system/Decware ZOB speakers/BESL subs/Emotiva ERC3 CD player/BPT 3.0 power cond. PS Audio P500
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Rivieraranch
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #43 - 04/16/15 at 11:57:40
 

i'd like to talk Steve into making a pair of Zen CKC mono blocks with the UFO transformers.
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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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mark58
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Posts: 4621
Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #44 - 04/16/15 at 12:32:18
 
Riv, I guess I could send in my Decware SE84ZSM Monoblocks with CKC mod, Jupiter Caps and upgraded plate resistors, that I bought June 2014, in for the UFO mod but I love them so much just with the Mods the prior owner did, that I'm afraid the magic would change. So I probably won't. I assume these didn't sell well since they were discontinued. At first I thought I may have overpaid a little since this retailed for $2800 originally but now I think I under paid...they're that good. Mark.

http://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-decware-se84zsm-monoblocks-with-ckc-mod-ju...

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« Last Edit: 04/16/15 at 12:39:38 by mark58 »  

"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Core32
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #45 - 04/16/15 at 12:35:47
 
Mark,
You really need to stop posting that audio porn man. ;)
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mark58
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Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #46 - 04/16/15 at 12:42:25
 
Core32, Never!  I'm addicted to it.  Mark.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Fireblade
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wisdom lingers.
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Posts: 1046
Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #47 - 04/16/15 at 12:47:43
 
Doesn't the bridged monobock version lose transparency vis vis the original Super Zen?
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« Last Edit: 04/16/15 at 12:48:01 by Fireblade »  

Toshiba-Foobar2K-ASIO Direct-WD 2.0Tb HDD-Schiit USB cable-Schiit Yggdrasil DAC-Decware Silver Ref IC's-Decware Mini Torii SE-8PR Kimber Kable spkr cbls-Decware DM945's-Tekton Lore 2-Velodyne DLS 3500 SUB-BJC SUB Cbls-Tripp Lite 500 Isolation Trnsf-Jellyfish S
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mark58
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Posts: 4621
Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #48 - 04/16/15 at 13:09:34
 
Fireblade,  if that question's for me...these would not be like bridging the current CKCS, which would give you 6 WPC, I believe.   These are two separate Mono Amps each with 2.3 WPC.  I'm not good with the technical aspects of Decware gear but here's a post from Steve. Mark.

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1215205416

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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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beowulf
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Posts: 1298
Re: DECWARE UFO MOD
Reply #49 - 04/16/15 at 22:03:54
 
Yes, I think those are a different deal and not like bridging 2 CKC's, etc.  I'm still hoping that Steve isn't giving up on the 6C33C mono blocks yet. Huh
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