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The Adventure Continues! (Read 7407 times)
Steve Deckert
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The Adventure Continues!
07/03/15 at 05:23:20
 
The adventure continues...

UFO transformers for this amp are getting responses out to 100K with lightning speed which naturally make the amplifier somewhat unforgiving both sonically and electrically.  Electrically the penalty is parasitic oscillations of which I have not been able to measure any evidence of... but since this amp reproduces a laboratory reference square wave at 722Hz and uses 100% F&T German electrolytic (The Decware standard in all our amps) the speed is uncanny.

It would seem that that digital streams that have aliasing in the sine waves, is actually able to be heard with this insane microscope on the music. The amplifier is reproducing the aliasing causing it to start and stop dozens of times during the reproduction of the digital approximation of each note in the sine wave. With no global negative feedback to time smear (a rude but effective form of anti-aliasing) the waveform, you can actually hear variations in digital streams as they happen. At least this is the conclusion I came to  after hearing strange distortions during audio streams over the internet vs. analog.

After a couple months of listening to this phenomenon,  I realized that on digital sources time may have to be stretched to fill the gaps, a sort of mechanical anti-aliasing if you will that can occur naturally in the right type and value capacitor.  So right now I'm experimenting with dual inputs... analog inputs and digital inputs where the amplifier is being voiced differently for each.

Also I am experimenting with input tube plate voltages which can be varied by up to 75 volts by simply tube swapping the VR tube feeding the input stage.   I started with the VR75 (oA3) and am now on the other other end of the window with a VR150 (OD3) and as predicted the sound is much more relaxed an natural sounding if you're not pushing the amplifier by pairing it with non-efficient  speakers.

6N1P's as predicted still largely do not work in this amp, needing more voltage to  keep distortions away.  It some cases where the user has high efficiency speakers and does not push the amp, the power limiting aspect of the 6N1P may not be an issue, and the warmer sound may prove to be a benefit with lower end digital sources.  6922, 6N23P, 7DJ8, 6DJ8 are the tubes currently being tested.

I guess the reason behind this post is mainly to point out that this is by far the fastest TORII ever produced, and that brings some new challenges to the voicing.  Since this amp is Ultra Linear a treble control is not being considered.  Regardless of the type of speaker if the speaker is not peaked in the treble, the amplifier has flat treble response.

So far all testing is direct from the source, which is ZDSD, ZCD240, VINYL RIG, 3 OTARI REEL TO REEL machines.  Also some bench testing is done using a Gen 2 IPOD touch.  This is to say that no preamp is being used, and clearly a preamp like our CSP3 would be a blessing with this amp and almost any DAC.

Basically I'm thick into the things customers will try, and pretty much on the tail end of circuit modifications.

At this stage I can already see the reason for getting a TORII mk4 vs. a TORII JR, is a more forgiving, more bodacious sound... but - the hard core audiophile, especially analog-philes, will have the holy grail of resolution and exquisite timing at a much lower price in Torii Jr.

Soon I'll have two Torii Jr's on an AB switch so I can figure out the best tube compliments and power transformer designs in real time while listening to music.  That should be all I need to write the web page.

Steve



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« Last Edit: 11/11/15 at 00:22:08 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #1 - 07/03/15 at 12:15:32
 
Very interesting stuff, Steve. I may be interpreting this the wrong way, of course, but now I'm concerned with the digital source not being the best for this amp, so far. I for one will never get into true analog sources (TT or R-to-R), as these represent the highest level of operational complication and expense, requiring a high dose of dedication and specific knowledge.

All other source means, including CD players or Transports and Digital player streaming from a computer or network, require a DAC before getting into the amp and are therefore essentially digital sources. What is the prognosis for this market segment, which I believe represents the vast majority of audiophile enthusiasts out there, with the Torii Jr? Would the final voicing handle optimally both types of sources?

Thanks!
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« Last Edit: 07/03/15 at 12:32:23 by Fireblade »  

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #2 - 07/03/15 at 19:58:57
 
Unless I misread Steve's post, it looks as though there may be separate inputs, one for digital, and one for analog. That would make good sense in this case, AND the ability to use a tube that suites your particular needs caps it off.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #3 - 07/06/15 at 19:34:34
 
Thanks Steve for the update.

I'm interested in hearing any resolution characteristics the Junior might divulge compared to the ZMA. Granted with less power/not an issue at lower SPL's for me with the Jr. vs. my ZMA. I bet the Junior might surprise me though, on the SPL issue.

Please bring her on, with  6922, 6N23P, 7DJ8, 6DJ8, clearly a preamp like the CSP3 would be a blessing with this amp (as you mentioned/and it is for the ZMA) and almost any DAC (I'm covered for both) and give me/(us), digital input where the amplifier is being voiced differently for analog & digital. I want the digital voicing (both inputs). I also have clean dynamic power, with the P3.

I look forward to ordering the Junior.  
.....gives me three nice ranges of your Amps. 2.5/ch (SE Pentode in Triode) , 20/ch UL/UFO MOD & 38/ch UL (no neg feed global or otherwise for all three).
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« Last Edit: 07/07/15 at 14:24:52 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #4 - 07/09/15 at 07:42:01
 
DURING THE FINAL ROUND of Development with the TORII JR something wonderful happened.

I had a discovery that effected the single biggest change to the sound and imaging of an amplifier that I've ever heard. It's even bigger than the differences between all the Decware amplifiers. I know I must have said "Holy Crap!" more than a dozen times! I'm just in disbelief. I'm just posting this to document it in time since it has only just happened moments ago. If a Mystery Amp is better than this I'm going to be somewhat surprised.  Seriously, I had a moment when listening to a Redbook CD where I was thinking it sound better than a 1/2 track broadcast tape, which is generally better than vinyl... then I started to think I was hallucinating so I switched back to normal and it instantly sucked. A lot has happened since my last post.

I took several pictures during the last tweaks. Turns out the higher temp transformer style (similar to the original zen amps that run at 139F) proved to not be the better sounding after all. In fact after tonight I can't believe I was even focusing on different transformers... trying to squeeze out that last few % when the things I did today made at least a 100% improvement.

Holy Crap!

I'll document the process and explain what happened when I get time to post the pictures.

Wow, what a good night... I just can't believe what I'm hearing on the AB switch between last post and this post!  It should be impossible, this combination of insane clarity which usually spells "clinical" and extreme musicality I have never quite heard before.  It has dripping wet tone, startling focus, the pace... it just sounds real, actually it probably sounds better than real... Holy crap... I just remembered I'm listening to digital.

Pause...

I had to hear it on my Vinyl rig.  I choose a recent purchase I was unimpressed with because it sounded like a CD mix transferred to vinyl.  Now it sounds real.  ZP3 into TORII JR.  Un Friking Believable!

Well I now know that there won't be two different input voicing on the amp..   Still, as good as the ZCD240 sounded playing both CD's and streaming internet radio really makes you wonder.  The combo has the sound that drives people like me to spend stupid amounts of money on analog just to almost have it.  If my CD player/amp combo sounded like that when I started Decware I have to wonder if I would have been driven to vinyl... probably not.  

So back to the record... and before I have any more treasonous thoughts like that... side B is playing and what I hear is beyond what I thought was liquidity. "Jucidity - with organically grown fruit" would be a better word to describe it.

The sound is so dimensional.  It swells.  It breaths, There is grand scale behind it.  Total believability.

This post started at 11:54 P.M.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #5 - 07/09/15 at 12:04:12
 
Well, Steve ...  what can I say, other than what I wrote in a previous message: " ... there has been a huge leap in the know-how evolution at Decware, in the last 12 months or so ... An exponential time function of improvements".

It seems the trend continues and I'm particularly eager to learn more about this amp's features and strong points, the reasons behind those results and, of course, the offering introductory price.  ;)

Again, congrats, Master!
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« Last Edit: 07/09/15 at 12:05:21 by Fireblade »  

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #6 - 07/09/15 at 15:09:36
 
Same here Steve, what can I say. I knew when you first posted about the Zen Mystery Amplifier, that it would be something special and it is!

I have your Amps at points in time. I refuse to modify my SE84CS using NOS SV83 Svetlana's as an ode to the fidelity of this Amp and you. I will not have my ZMA modified either. It stands at its point in time, and an ode to your magic/prowess with fidelity.

I canceled my Yggdrasil DAC order, not because of their production issues....but, because I'm so pleased with your mod on the ZDSD for PCM.
Last but not least, the CSP3 with Jupiter Caps running into my ZMA from my ZDSD is a Masterpiece.

To be in the Mystery Amp league.....or best it?! I can't wait to get the Junior!






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Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)/Sandwich weighted for Isolation
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Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder (@ -20 Ref Level @ 16/176.4)

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Kimber Select KS1030 IC RCA

Decware Torii Junior coming!
*************************************************

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier (NOS/Platinum/Matsushita/National PCC88/7DJ8.....in A12 an B12 Input Tube positions)

***NOS/Platinum/Ediswan's CV2492/6922 pending in my A12 an B12 positions***
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« Last Edit: 07/09/15 at 15:31:52 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #7 - 07/09/15 at 15:56:32
 
Steve wrote:
"I'll document the process and explain what happened when I get time to post the pictures".

I can't wait is an understatement.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #8 - 07/09/15 at 16:39:52
 
Wow, I think you have our collective attention.  It certainly puts me into holding pattern until I hear your final opinions and cost of the Torii Jr.  Thanks for sharing this, Steve.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #9 - 07/09/15 at 16:41:58
 
Ho hum.

Just kidding. Wink

Listening to my Torii Mk III right now and just loving every second of sound. This company makes great products!
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #10 - 07/09/15 at 17:11:05
 

That sounds great Steve! I guess I'll be swinging by for a visit sometime soon to bask in the musical bliss.   Smiley

So you know what my next question is going to be...

Can this circuit, or whatever the trick is that got you here, be incorporated into the Mystery Amp?

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #11 - 07/09/15 at 17:34:36
 
Blasphemy Eric........blasphemy!  The ZMA is not aloud to be altered I tell you!   Grin  ;D  ;D .

Hey, you never know. Right now though, you can't touch the ZMA!

.........bring on the Junior!  0001!  Naw, however, I did make the 10% off list... .


PS - yes I've gone mad, well not exactly. I just picked up Stealth Audio Indra v8 IC's. Using them in conjunction with my Kimber Select or used direct from ZDSD to ZMA..........lets just say they are arguably the best IC's in the world. Music Music Music producer's!  If they are not all that and a bag of chips.....I got them for what I can resell them for. So, Steve's news and my Indra's, just made my month!
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« Last Edit: 07/09/15 at 17:46:34 by stone_of_tone »  

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Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #12 - 07/09/15 at 18:43:26
 

The latest DirectStream OS/Firmware made me feel much like Steve feels about the latest Torii Jr tweaks - so between that and hoping to be able to squeeze more transparency out of the ZMA (hoping!) I'm pretty stoked.

I'm not really sure I'm in a place where I could afford another amp - and I don't think I'd ever sell the ZMA. And I'd only mod it if Steve said he would do (whatever) mod to his.

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #13 - 07/09/15 at 19:09:00
 
I look forward to the next 12 months of comparing the Jr. to the ZMA. Driving them both direct, via ZDSD & PS Audio DSD DAC (all PCM), and with CSP3 etc....and my Stealth Audio Indra v8 IC of course  8-).
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Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
Kimber Select 1030
Zen Select #76
Kimber Select 3033
Polk Audio LS-90
Tri-config/TipToes & Vibropods underneath Speakers
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #14 - 07/09/15 at 19:15:04
 
Toshiba Laptop (64) - Schiit USB cable - Yggdrasil - Belten UF1800 XRL cables - ZBit - DSR RCA's - Mini Torii - ABB1 Difussors - DIY Absorption Panels

What else can be better!  Just need the ZBit and Yggy to get here ... pronto!

But, if all this hoopla on the Torii Junior is for real, well, I may make some adjustments  ...  [smiley=43.gif]
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #15 - 07/09/15 at 19:48:55
 
The day started out with a transformer update and some oddly formed since waves followed by some interesting distortion measurements on one channel.



I got my medical camera out and started checking things out again but found no issues.  I then decided to change the input switch wiring, something else that needed done, while I continued to ponder what might be going on.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #16 - 07/09/15 at 19:58:19
 
While cutting a wire off the switch, I found it broke off one of the tabs by hand.



You can see the three white marks on the solder tab where the wire was "almost" connected. This created a velocity modified resistance on the input signal feeding one channel resulting in very difficult to put your finger on...intermittent distortion. Interestingly with an analog signal the problem did not manifest itself, only with digital.

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #17 - 07/09/15 at 20:02:51
 
As a point of reference, here is what good solder joints look like.



Taken during a routine inspection of a Hazen built Zen Triode Amplifier while it was in Quality Control.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #18 - 07/09/15 at 20:27:04
 
With that fixed, everything is starting to come together.



Here's the square wave output from both channels of the amplifier, which remains solid through the entire spectrum.


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« Last Edit: 07/09/15 at 20:27:33 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #19 - 07/09/15 at 20:38:55
 
Fine tuning the input stage by looking at the harmonics.



Adjustments to the current draw and voltages of the input stage get everything just right... What you're seeing is an FFT response during a full frequency sweep out to 100KHz, and the corresponding harmonics.

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #20 - 07/10/15 at 13:29:08
 
Tell us more..... .

I do look forward to your email, with the Link for purchase!
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Sony as Transport
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Audio Alchemy DTI-Pro
Audio Magic Mystic Reference I2S
Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #21 - 07/11/15 at 00:28:30
 
Well, after your post of 08 July, this is the amp I want!
Very happy for your success.   Smiley
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #22 - 07/12/15 at 04:54:31
 
Lots of listening to every kind of music on multiple sources... still trying to wrap my head around the "discovery" as it were... seeing what it does across all types of recordings etc., and am making the evaluations using strictly EL34's which are generally harder to get perfect than most other tubes it would seem.



The "discovery" is a new type of capacitive input vs. direct. So far if I had to pick one over the other , it would be the new input design. There are however, occasions when the direct can actually be more forgiving in a crisis. But, running worse cases scenarios as I usually do, I found that the new input design was far quicker to sound the alarm when something is wrong - which is actually a nice thing.  

I have no idea yet how much of this is connected to the UFO resolution or the circuit itself and if any of it is applicable to our other amps but in good time all those questions will be answered.

With top-drawer parts throughout it looks like the price of this amp is going to be 2795.00. We will put it on the site with an introductory price of $2495.00 for a period of time. Those who are on the list (email me zen@decware.com to get on the list) will get theirs for 10% off the introductory price and each amp sold to those on the list will be hand signed by myself on the bottom.

I had to buy the Original half speed mastered recording of Crime of the Century by SUPERTRAMP LP just for this occasion... Admittedly I'm somewhat emotionally attached to "Dreamer" on the album, since I used to play the cassette tape as loud as it would go in my 70 Monte Carlo through a pair of Becker 6x9's and a couple 8 inch woofers stuffed in the rear deck.  I remember a few great parties in the woods with the doors and trunk open just letting it rip for all it's worth...  this was 1978/79... oh to be young!

Anyway, I did a trial run a few hours ago (before dark) and it it got me off pretty damn hard.  Had hairs on my head standing up that aren't even there!

God Bless and have a great weekend!

Steve Smiley



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« Last Edit: 07/12/15 at 05:02:16 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #23 - 07/12/15 at 15:34:32
 
Very, very nice.

Oh yeah, 1978/79. 79 the summer of Pam..... . Oh, to be young again indeed.

....and my Alpine Car Stereo's!
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« Last Edit: 07/12/15 at 15:35:46 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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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #24 - 07/13/15 at 01:41:19
 
Lol. That brings back GREAT memories Smiley
Mine was a 1973 Grand Prix SJ 455, Craig PowerPlay 8 Track and Jensen 6" x 9" TriAxials. With that engine it's a miracle I'm still alive!
That GP was huge. Park in the woods, open the trunk and let the Craig rock.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #25 - 07/13/15 at 02:52:13
 
Sent my name to get on the"LIST" for the 10% off today!

Kevin

Roll Eyes
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #26 - 07/14/15 at 03:16:21
 
I am sending out the special price order button today by email. If you wanted to be on the list and didn't get my e-mail of Jul 13th around 10 p.m. then email me directly at zen @ decware.com and I'll send it to you.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #27 - 07/14/15 at 07:43:58
 
Steve,
The Torii Jr. sounds like a ground-breaking product, even following the ZMA's amp of the year award from Tone.  Questions:  What is break-in time likely to be on the Jr.?  The 500+ hours on my ZMA was an eternity (now 1000)!  And given the Jr. development experience, is an upgrade to the ZMA and other amps likely?
Thanks much!
Dave Sturdevant
Juneau, Alaska
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #28 - 07/14/15 at 15:00:55
 

Yeah, having to listen to great music on the ZMA for 500+ hours was just torture!



Sorry Dave, I couldn't resist.   Smiley
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #29 - 07/14/15 at 15:35:58
 
I know right?!  Such torture.

After, I cracked her open per Steve's instructions/draining caps had already done their thing. I got the Audio ground removed, leaving earth ground only......then Listening Heaven ensued!

Of course, it did need to get past 500 hours though.... . I fixed the above issue at 200+ hours.

Plus, I got to inspect her as well. She's a mighty fine Lady in there I tell ya.......... . Cool

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« Last Edit: 07/14/15 at 16:56:46 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #30 - 07/16/15 at 17:55:07
 
I have a pretty light button finger for this amp, but a short cash flow says no, not now. Guess this means that I will consider the upgrade to my Rachael instead. $6-700 and not $2500+. It's a good thing that the Rachael does what she does, but a couple of new trannies and the bias mod will be on the short list.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #31 - 07/16/15 at 19:56:57
 

Sell the Rachel and put that upgrade money towards the JR?

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #32 - 07/18/15 at 15:11:22
 
I am toying with the idea of selling the Rachael's and getting the Jr.  I don't need three amps.  I'd like to hear it, but I have made Decware leaps of faith before and not been disappointed.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #33 - 07/18/15 at 19:06:41
 
Steve said, "I have no idea yet how much of this is connected to the UFO resolution or the circuit itself and if any of it is applicable to our other amps but in good time all those questions will be answered."

Inquiring minds want to know when you answer these questions...

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #34 - 07/19/15 at 00:59:52
 
Can everyone chime in on who has purchased one? I'll start, my order is in and paid for and looking forward to hearing the Jr!

This will be my third Decware Power Amp 1. Zen Select 2. Rachel and now the Torii Jr.

The Torii Jr. will be mated to my walnut Omega Alnico Monitors on Skylan stands!

KM
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #35 - 07/19/15 at 18:26:35
 
Keep us posted KM. I bet a couple others will chime in soon. What is your timeline for receiving the Junior in the QUE?

I'm getting a Sub & Headphones next week. I've imposed a one year moratorium on myself for any more purchases after these two. I hope to bring in a Junior next year at this time for a ZMA comparison! I don't and won't modify my ZMA or 2001 purchased, Zen Select (SE84CS), ....keeping them pure.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #36 - 07/19/15 at 18:31:58
 
Ordered mine the day after I got Steve's email. My other Decware amps are Rachel and Mini Torii. Suppose I should sell at least one of them...
Also have ZDSD DAC and Monoliths.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #37 - 07/20/15 at 00:22:19
 
I think it's a contest! To see whom ever has the most Decware stuff WINS!

Kevin Wink
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #38 - 07/24/15 at 16:26:02
 
Erm, I wonder who`d win   :)

I`m now on the Torii Jnr wait list   Cool
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« Last Edit: 07/24/15 at 16:27:17 by Syd »  

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #39 - 07/24/15 at 17:38:54
 
HA! I'm sure Steve has a few customer's here and over sea's that are bigger customer's than I/you.  Get a grip.  ;D Grin Grin Grin
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« Last Edit: 07/24/15 at 17:39:35 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #40 - 07/24/15 at 18:10:10
 
lol, I was thinking of Lon who has a profusion, though maybe shedding some gear.
Yup the Junior is going to be introduced to my Rachaels I`ll tell them their kid brothers coming to stay.
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #41 - 07/24/15 at 18:13:25
 
Man I do have a lot of Decware stuff, but I'm not engaged in a contest! And I'm sure there are others with even more. I had four systems with Decware gear within at one point this year: my main one, a bedroom one, one at my parents' house, and one at my fiancee's house! Now I have just one set up, my main system now set up at my fiancee's (and now my) house. So I will be divesting myself of lots of gear in the coming months.

No Torii Jr. on the horizon for me, but will be interested in hearing listening impressions!
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Re: New TORII JUNIOR amplifier for Summer!
Reply #42 - 11/11/15 at 00:27:55
 
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