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After a few months... (Read 6125 times)
dvl
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After a few months...
01/08/16 at 17:30:43
 
i have had my system now for about three months. i don't listen to it every day. i will go three or four days without turning it on, but every single time i have the opportunity to sit down and listen, i am amazed all over again. i leave my listening room shaking my head, not really believing what i have heard and what i paid to get it. Torii Jr., Monoliths, Zcd240, Scout turntable, ZP3, assorted Zu and Decware cables.

i was starting to think i had lost a sense of perspective. i mean this stuff is great, but i've owned good stuff in the past and i never really marveled at my system the same way. Maybe i had been away from the high end too long to really know what was good, what was great, and what was sublime. Maybe i needed a reality check to put this Decware gear in proper perspective.

So, i took some time to visit a high-end audio store nearby that has been around for decades. It sells some of the best, most expensive, audio and video equipment you can buy. i found the audio room with the most expensive set up they had. They sell more expensive gear, but this was set up for auditioning purposes. $14000 speakers with built-in subwoofers, $13000 CD player, $10000 amp, and an $8000 preamp. All tied together with cables that cost much more than my car. Now this system would put my cheap little system in its place! Just for reference, i paid around $5500 for my Torii Jr., Monoliths, and ZCD240. Good timing got me the amp and speakers on sale. Cables and power cords for those three components probably cost another $500.

i played a mixed disc that someone had put together at the store. It had a lot of the typical audiophile stuff, some of it was very familiar to me. The sound of the system was beautiful, detailed, warm, big, lots of bass, amazingly coherent and very easy to listen to. Wow, this is great, i thought. i kept listening and an interesting thing started to happen. i got a little bored with the music. Nothing unpleasant, it just didn't hold my attention, and it sounded just a wee bit hifi to me. i also started to notice on the songs that were familiar, i wasn't hearing the same things i heard on my system. The store's system had much more bass with those powered subwoofers. The sound was a touch more dynamic and more refined than mine. i certainly understand why people would want that sound and pay a hefty price for it. But mine had more detail, much, MUCH more speed, and with some types of music sounded more real and interesting. There are nuances in the music that the Torii Jr. seems to capture that i wasn't hearing in that megabuck system. i think i remember reading in the Tone Audio review of the ZMA how the reviewer found that to be a strength of the ZMA. The store's system was beautiful, it made luscious and wonderful music, but the Torii/Monolith combination does something that it doesn't, i just can't quite seem to put it into words. That expensive system started to sound polite and finally, a little dull. That's not how i would characterize the Torii Jr./Monoliths at all.

So i walked out of that store again marveling at my system! No, it's not perfect, i could get some better cables in certain places that might help me refine the sound a bit, my room is a tough room, and i could certainly work more on that. There are times i wish i had a bit more low end grunt. The bass is there, it is tuneful and agile, you hear individual notes, not just a generic rumble or thump. But there are still times i wish for just a touch more weight behind those notes. The store's system had great bass without it being overbearing, that is one characteristic i came away wishing i had. Might need to check into a subwoofer or bumping up to Torii Monos! i could and want to at some point, upgrade the turntable as well.

My system certainly has it's limitations, i know that. i've written so many positive words about this gear i don't want people to think i don't realize that. But given the price of this gear and what it would take to match it out there in the "mainstream" high-end world, i just continue to be slackjawed by what i am hearing. i know i'm preaching to the choir, but i wanted to be on record about this gear. Decware gear is stupidly good for the price you pay. My goodness...

Usual qualification: All these opinions are mine, made with my ears, my gear, set up in my room, my sweatshirt of choice with acoustically correct holes in it, my choice of beverage to properly lubricate my auditory nerves, you know what i'm saying...

David

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DrN
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #1 - 01/08/16 at 17:43:49
 
Yup, I know exactly what your talking about.

It's known as being musical. You have a synergy going that the high buck system did not have and you can't just buy with dollars being the only consideration going into a place with a pocket full of change and expecting perfection. AND the sad part is most people don't know it and drop all that money , just because they are wowed like on a car lot. Sad

ENJOY!
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« Last Edit: 01/08/16 at 17:44:42 by DrN »  

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Lon
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #2 - 01/08/16 at 17:45:50
 
Bear in mind though that this is not your room, your system, and you didn't set it up. I bet you could make that system sound better if you were to set it up in your room and live with it a while. Better than the Decware? THAT I'm not saying. . . .

Congrats on happy listening! It keeps getting better, too.
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« Last Edit: 01/08/16 at 17:46:19 by Lon »  

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DrN
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #3 - 01/08/16 at 18:55:16
 
We go into the local Audio Advice here and they look at you with four heads if you bring in any CD's to listen to. All they have is Oppo, umm no. Yes they have the mega buck systems but more interested in selling you 30k Home theater. The rooms are set up terrible. I stay out of retail.
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Pathos Classic One mkll Usher Cp6371 CA Emotion CMB Carbon Satisfy Arm Falcon PS Heed Quasar AT33PTGII Cambridge CXC Schiit Yggdrasil Itona Curious link
WE16ga SC Belden 8402 Int Wywires Litespeed SPDIF Juice "Silver" Series SC and interconnects out for now
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dvl
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #4 - 01/08/16 at 19:09:58
 
The room i wrote about was actually set up decently. i think they were really trying with that room. i went into another room that i didn't mention in my original post. Godawful. 10k speakers that sounded thin and anemic. Listened to the same disc and the sound was horrible. i couldn't believe they actually allowed people to listen to any gear in that room. i'm guessing that all they had to say was, "We sell more of these speakers than any other we carry," and enough people would buy them. They certainly tried that line with me.
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hdrider
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #5 - 01/16/16 at 00:03:18
 
dvl - Great write up, you sum up the feelings that most on this forum experience I think. I know I do. DrN said it best...musical. That's what we have this stuff for, music (and maybe video). Until someone spends some time with this type of gear, they really don't realize what it can communicate to the listener. I worked in the retail audio business in the late 80's/90's at an upper mid fi / high end shop and then again a few years ago for a short while. Yeah they Krell/Focal set ups can do somethings very well...but after work I seldom sat around and listened to those toys. SET/single driver rigs flew in the face of what we had been taught and raised with. It took me getting my ZEN 2watter and some pretty efficient Klipsch towers that I started to see the potential. Lose the crossover...better driver....less stuff in the path. Took a year, sold off all my stuff except my turntable and got my Decware/Omega rig and have not looked back, and never will I bet. Now I just hunt for music, some tubes and enjoy. 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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IanO
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #6 - 02/08/16 at 15:47:31
 
Good write up.
I'm considering ordering a Torii Jnr and wondered what specs you have. I've heard a lot of good things about the updraded Jupiter caps and will probably go for those if I order one. I have a few other things to listen to first but the jnr seems like the best value for money, even taking into account shipping it to England!!
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Brian
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #7 - 06/02/16 at 13:10:44
 
dvl said:  "The store's system had great bass without it being overbearing, that is one characteristic i came away wishing i had. Might need to check into a subwoofer or bumping up to Torii Monos!"


Hello, David.  You may get the sound you are wanting by adding a Decware preamp (probably the ZBOX Buffer Stage) behind your ZP3 and maybe behind your CD player too.  
Benefits mentioned on the ZBOX page are:

•Restores proper frequency balance though better impedance matching.
•Improves tone and weight.
•Relaxes and opens up the music for better detail, imaging.
•Reduces listener fatigue.
•Enhances the 3D effect of better recordings.


Brian
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Mr.Dynamite
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #8 - 06/02/16 at 20:58:51
 
@dvl:  I'm about to pull the trigger on my first Decware item, the Super Zen Triode 2 watter.  My budget and a phone call to Steve are leading me to the Monoliths.  I'm concerned about the bass response I'll get in my 15' X 22' room. You weren't thrilled with yours, and you had more watts going to the Monoliths.  I hear nothing but great things on Decware stuff, I'm just a little nervous.  
Any info you could give me would be much appreciated.
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dvl
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #9 - 06/04/16 at 15:16:19
 
Sorry i've been away for a bit and didn't notice these messages.

As far as the bass of the Monoliths is concerned, i think saying i wasn't thrilled with it is going beyond what i think. Remember, in that original post, the store's system i listened to had 13k speakers with powered subwoofers. So yes, the bass of the Monoliths doesn't match a speaker with a powered subwoofer! But as i said in the original post, the bass of the Monoliths is tuneful and agile, not muddy and thumpy at all. When my son listens to rap and hip hop on my system, he comments quite often on how much he loves how clear the bass is and how he can follow all the notes. It isn't just a generic thumping under the music. With those powered subwoofers in that store's system, i just got more weight and grunt behind the notes. That SHOULD be the case given the price of what i was listening to. i suspect 2 watts won't give you that grunt, but the glory it will give you might make you forget about that grunt.

i love my speakers, i'm considering going the open baffle route at some point, but these Monoliths do a lot right for the price you pay. And Brian's suggestion about adding a preamp is a good one. i've thought of that as well. Putting a Decware preamp in the chain and playing with the gain could add some authority. Right now, i'm in the middle of selling my house and moving, so adding or changing gear at this point would not be the smartest move on my part. i'll just have to wait a bit until i get settled again.

i never, not once, have regretted buying Decware gear. i find it to be amazing, and just plain silly good for the price you pay. i understand being a little nervous. i was when i jumped in, but i'm glad i did.
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Mr.Dynamite
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #10 - 06/04/16 at 21:08:21
 
dvl,Thanks for clearing that up.  I'm not knocking the 2 watter in any way when I say this, but considering my room size and having more options of speakers to pair it with (hopefully the Monoliths), I made a great choice yesterday by ordering a Zen Torii Jr.  The more I think about it, the more I believe it was the right decision.  It will take a little while to get, and during the wait I can research some speaker options.  Like I said, I'm leaning towards the Monoliths.....a lot.  Or, I keep my current speakers, (Floor standing two-ways with Scanspeak Revelator tweeter and Revelator woofer, Mundorf silver/oil caps.  

Like I told Steve, I'm not a bass freak.  I don't need subterranean bass but I do want it to have some body and weight.  Otherwise all I hear are mids and highs which make the speaker sound bright to me cuz there's nothing else to focus on.  

I can't wait to officially join the Decware club in a few months!  If the Torii Jr. is half as good as the reputation Decware has received over the years, Mr. Dynamite should be a very happy boy.
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dvl
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #11 - 06/04/16 at 23:22:08
 
i am completely and utterly biased about the Torii jr. i am amazed at what that amp can do for the price i paid. i think you'll be happy.

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rahul
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Re: After a few months...
Reply #12 - 11/08/16 at 09:42:17
 
I used many audio devices but We go into the local Audio Advice here and they look at you with four heads if you bring in any CD's to listen to. All they have is Oppo, umm no. Yes they have the mega buck systems but more interested in selling you 30k Home theater. The rooms are set up terrible. I stay out of retail.
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