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The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list (Read 21559 times)
Steve Deckert
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The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
02/10/16 at 03:30:36
 
The Decware Pills are getting ready to go on tour around this forum so we can find out how many people they work for.  

Both a pair of PAC-G's and PAC-S's will be sent so that you can experiment with both and report the results.  

I will send them to the first person on the list, who will receive them, use them for a week and then send them to the next person on the list by contacting me for the sender's name and address.  

To get on the list email me directly at Steve@Decware.com. Be sure to include your shipping address in the email. Use this thread to report the results.

I'm going to build a fresh set and burn them in together and on the same material so when they leave here there are no differences between them other than the design itself. That's going to take me 30 days, so the tour will start in March.

Steve

P.S.

For those who are unfamiliar with the PILL's, you can find the page here: http://www.decware.com/newsite/PILL.html

Also, as a side note, there was a time during the final weeks of voicing the TORII JR before it's release that I had a eureka moment while experimenting with the concept of digital specific inputs on the amp. Since the discovery is somewhat recording dependent and because it works so well when it works, I decided not to include it in the TORII JR and make it an amp specific thing. Instead I wanted to package it to work with any amplifier and refine the design which resulted in two models. So this is what the PILL's are.



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« Last Edit: 02/17/16 at 02:06:12 by Steve Deckert »  
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Palomino
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #1 - 02/11/16 at 14:18:46
 
Hi Steve,

I will give them a listen.  Sign me up.

These can go between a DAC and Torii/Rachael, right?
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« Last Edit: 02/11/16 at 14:21:03 by Palomino »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #2 - 02/11/16 at 18:10:14
 
Wow, I wish I was not that far away... Smiley
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #3 - 02/15/16 at 00:32:54
 
Hi Palomino,

Yes, they can go between the DAC and amplifier, or anywhere in a line level signal path.

Steve
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Auguie
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #4 - 02/16/16 at 22:31:33
 
Steve...sign me up please!!!

Dan
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maddog07
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #5 - 02/22/16 at 19:33:34
 
Lovely.....

I sent an email to "Steve@Decware.com" to get on the list as directed in the opening post of this thread... only to get a bounce that my email has been rejected as SPAM....!!!!

but sign me up please....
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Lon
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #6 - 02/22/16 at 20:27:55
 
Try steve@zenamps.com
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maddog07
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #7 - 02/22/16 at 23:23:16
 
thx for the suggestion Lon - but still No Go.

Apparently the company hosting Decware email, believes that the company hosting my email(a major telecom) is a spammer.  I can't really tell exactly what it's trying to say.  This is perhaps why I don't get forum notifications either.... but Decware.com is the only email I have any problem sending/receiving from.
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Lon
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #8 - 02/22/16 at 23:27:48
 
Weird. In your shoes, to be sure, I'd call Sarah and have her put you on the list.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #9 - 02/23/16 at 04:09:45
 
This sort of thing is right up my alley. The one rub that I see is that they are long enough to have leverage inside of the RCA jack. If the interconnect cables are too heavy, then leverage does it's job, and may spread the internal connection of the RCA jack. In this case, I am planning to use a very short cable for things just like this.
"weeell, Greg, you have done it again." Misreading the printed word is a specialty of mine. The Decware Pill will be just fine using a special short IC that I made just for such things. I am now fully anxious to try these.
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« Last Edit: 02/24/16 at 01:35:14 by 4krow »  

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Steve Deckert
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #10 - 03/01/16 at 23:56:58
 
decware.com and zenamps.com get 17,000 spams an hour. This is what happens when you've been online since 1996. I'm simply NOT going to use Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, or any other web or cloud based email system. We own our servers, they're dedicated and secure, and the reason for all this is that we take our customers privacy very seriously. I have paid several hundred dollars per month for over 10 years just for the spam filters that are protecting our servers, money that by now would exceed $40,000.00. I can promise you that If I ever run into a spammer, his house or office will be a smoldering pile of rubble within days.

Recently I have created a secure online form for contacting me and it is available on our Contact Page. I get every e-mail from that form without exception.  Soon I will be deleting my many prior e-mails and the form will become the ONLY way to contact me.  That includes PM's from this form which I have never utilized.

CONTACT PAGE for Steve's EMAIL:  http://www.decware.com/newsite/contacts.html

Please use the form.  Please just use the form.  

I am going to repost this as it's own post somewhere here on the forums too.

Thanks,

Steve Smiley
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #11 - 03/02/16 at 02:34:46
 
Just wanted to thank everyone so far who has gotten on the list, and mention that there's room for more.

The first quad of PILL's has been sent to WILL who should have received them by now, so we await the results. Both the PAC-G and the PAC-S have been sent, and both have been pre-burned in to save time.

I chose Will to be the first to send PILL's to because he represents a "worst case scenario" in my mind relative to the design intent of the PILLS. By this I simply mean based on his system, extensive tube rolling, and digital manipulation it is clear from his posts that he has personally solved the same issues that the PILL's solve only by different means. Specifically, he has accomplished the same result digitally as the PILL's attempt to accomplish without a computer.  

My guess, and I could easily be wrong, is that with his intensive focus on tweaking his system to the last degree, and last I knew all based on a 16bit NOS source, the only thing the PILL's could do is screw it up.  

For those who do not use computers, or even for those who do use computers but do not engage in signal manipulation, the PILL's should have a very similar effect to what WILL probably already achieves with software.

This is why it will be most interesting to hear his impressions of the PILL's.  Also, if he finds himself in a quandary about what to post, I hope he feels OK to say that both models in the end completely ruined what he had going on in his system.  IF, by some  chance either of them had any positive effect in his environment it would be particularly
interesting.

So, Will, have you received them, and what are you hearing Wink

Steve



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will
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #12 - 03/03/16 at 21:20:23
 
Steve,

Good thoughts. I appreciate getting a chance to explore the pills and as you suggest, for me, in my system/room, it has been a bit confusing...really good in many areas, and some sacrifice in others....at least so far!!!!!

What I mean by that... I have been exploring the silvers most, and they appear finished now, but they continued to refine for a while, making determinations more difficult....Will they go further into revealing fine detail and transparency remains a background question as I roll, roll, roll the pills, ICs, and tubes to see where I can get them to go in this setting......Hopefully this afternoon I will have some comments.

Thanks,

Will

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« Last Edit: 03/04/16 at 07:26:52 by will »  

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TomD
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #13 - 03/05/16 at 13:51:55
 
Steve-I'd like to participate in the Pil tour but would like to try them with a .5m pair of Decware Silver Reference interconnects from source to the Pils.I have my own  high quality .5m interconnects from Pils to preamp side.My source is a Ric Shultz modded Oppo BDP-105 (1volt output stage) and preamp is an Audio Mirror T-61 tube (47 ohm inpedance)
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #14 - 03/05/16 at 13:54:19
 
Oops -meant to say 47k input impedance on my Audio Mirror T-61 tube preamp NOT 47 ohm impedance.
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will
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #15 - 03/05/16 at 22:58:49
 
Sorry for the delay. I finally have what turned out to be pretty extensive comments, putting what I hear into words being a good learning tool to help me figure these things out!

Steve had a good thought I think, that this system/room probably is a good worst-case test for the Pills. I have a very good, natural sound, with nice body, weight, dynamics, and amazingly complete detail that is smooth. Also since the whole is so tuned to specific qualities organically developed for years, one of those being very revealing, something has to be really refined to fit in.

I do still use the very simple 16/44 Tranquility NOS DAC, developed from lots of blind testing to be as close to analog as possible. Complete fine detail and inner detail were guides for helping to reveal all that is there on CD files, the realization being that 16/44.1 is in fact a lot of information if pulled well. These developers, with very good ears, could not at the time get a Hi-res DAC made by others or themselves to suit them as well.

My computer setup starts with incoming power tuned specifically for open transparency from the DAC and computer. I use several devices with different approaches for grabbing noise before it goes systemic, including the DAC Power cord being chosen to get the most from it. Damping material, weights, and feet have been chosen and placed by sound, tuning to solve noise from vibration with emphasis on balance bottom-to-top, and “awake” and musically smooth transparency. My simplified Mac OS is trimmed down for audio only, loading from a solid state drive in a Mini. The music files come in on the firewire buss, separated from the DAC's USB, also using a separate linear 5v USB power supply which reduces noise leaking over from the computer. Audirvana is my player software run on a RAM disk, reducing computer activity and therefore noise. The noise shaping in Audirvana is tuned to smooth and revealing transparency (thanks Palomino). And very importantly, my EQ is integrated with the player software with Qs very specifically fine tuned across the spectrum to get as good a balance as I can after room treatments.

AC power is managed in many ways, again, tuned for revealing and smooth transparency. Power cords, ICs, speaker cables, most I made with specific sound in mind, and most are assisted by added noise grabbers placed by sound. Cables have been rolled for the best system/room balance and synergy; vibration is mitigated by a variety of feet with different tonal qualities placed by sound; under that is vibration reduction under and throughout the cabinet; tubes are chosen for balance, synergy and musical transparency; I even adjusted my HR-1s for tighter bass, greater speed, and more complex detail…. All tuned to each other, the system/room is in effect one thing.

The sound is live, balanced and authentic...likely better than the recordings due to minimized noise, great gear, nice room attributes, and thanks to carefully implemented TUBES. Beginning with a refined average tonal tuning, “riding the gains” between the CSP3 and Torii MKIV can solve a lot of recording variability issues. Complex information is conveyed with lucidity and without pain for the most part, requiring good liquidity, especially within the context of unrestricted detail.

Like Steve thought might be the case, the combination of all these ways of addressing noise and tonal refinement goes a long way into accomplishing what I interpret as the design intent of the Pills… But I am always surprised how it can get better, so I knew Steve's Pills could easily be good here.

In my 1st experiments I liked the more complex sound of the Silvers over the more focused sound of the Golds, and since the Silvers were designed for resolving front ends and Gold more for streaming radio, compressed files, front ends that need more cleaning up (things I don't have)….I have explored the Silvers, these comments about them.

As with my system, transparently reducing noise from the signal, digital and otherwise, this alone can do loads toward smoothing without notable micro detail sacrifice. The Silvers do this and more...Smooth and a touch warmish while retaining good micro detail; fast micro and macro dynamics; musically clarified definition and space across the spectrum with associated pace refinements (sounds to me like what Steve suggests as phase angle correction); reduced edginess; enhanced musical body and tonal density…….

I tried DAC > CSP3 > pills > Torii for a few days to get a feel of them while experimenting with a small selection of my most transparent ICs.

The Silvers sounded a little "off" at first. I thought...”this does not make sense coming from Steve for front end treatment...if something is lost there, you can't get it back!" But they were a little uneven, and just not transparent and refined enough. I recalled that caps, like many power tubes before being fully burned in, they can sound like this. The bass to low mids can be a bit sluggish and undefined while the mids-up tend toward rigid. With more play bass gets more powerful and defined while midrange focus spreads out and gets more complex, textured and revealing of subtle information. So I played them a lot a few days and they did refine further... continuing day by day.

I asked Steve about this and he thought a lot of cap burnin is from the metal “seating” with the dielectric. Something like the electron flow causing wire/foil integration with the dielectric on the path of the signal. After seated, if they get hot and cold, like these did in travel, expansion and contraction offsets this integrated pathway and they need to reseat. I hope you will elaborate if I got that wrong Steve.

Now, pulling fine information without audible anomalies, they do sound really good to me, but experience causes me to suspect they will continue to refine, something that could matter here with micro information being pretty critical for completing my sound. Also, if it is not squashed elsewhere, fine detail only comes out fully after the rest of burnin/sound issues resolve.

Under the circumstances Steve thought I should keep digging in to see where the Pills go, but I wanted to get some first impressions up. I will post further before I send them off to the next person midweek.

Quite revealing now, the Silvers show that everything matters...their signal chain position and the ICs used clearly shift qualities of their influence. This offers a good range of tuning choices but is also a good indicator of their quality.

I also find that the Silvers are directional. Can't say why, but I hear it with ICs made in a way that it shouldn't matter and fuses also.....Right now each direction is different enough to make choosing one way or the other a real choice.

As I struggle to “learn” the subtler qualities of the Pills, I realize I am slow in discerning the deeper character of some things, especially when they break new and unfamiliar ground like the Pills appear to do. They offer a refined window into signal enhancement that has familiar qualities...but altogether, from one device, the Pills have their own special sound. They share some qualities with the CSP3... but they also reflect what combined methods of noise mitigation can do...what rolling ICs can do...what careful EQ can help do...and they do this all in their own way...complex and compelling to me. Then there is integrating them fully into the system which usually takes me a while. So I don't have a full handle on them yet, but I may have come to a few relatively solid observations:

1) The overall effect is similar to the CSP3 in terms of noise reducing clarification, enhanced tonal density, and dynamics.... Also a little different than the CSP, they work well with it, but their similar influences make the CSP3 adjustments more powerful, especially with the Pills after it. For my tastes, the CSP master volume needed reduction to more closely match previous tonal density while integrating other Pill qualities. And for gain riding between the CSP3 and Torii, it was notably more sensitive with the Pills after the pre. The combination can more quickly take density to a point of too much in this system, shifting from tonal density to overall thickness/density in the mid/bass and bass areas….something I am really sensitive to. Also, even with sound stage and musical articulation remaining very good, if density was too high, on some material especially it could contribute to the sense of sounding more like a filter, unnatural and homogenous. But this was several days ago, and as I hear them open, I suspect this was at least in part from needing more burnin, though definitely associated with being after the pre.

Trying to figure the Pills out, I put them where they probably should be for ultimate transparency, between DAC and the CSP3. I think either way could be a valid choice though.

2) Also several days ago, I was trying to do direct AB's as much as I could while adding a pair of ICs and the new Pills. But no matter how transparent something is, everything has its own way with the signal information, and being so accustomed to specific sound balance, the pills had a little too much “color” for me on many recordings while being very nice on others. With focus on smoothing and tonal density enhancement, and in association with a slightly warmer tone, and shifting the balance a bit lower I think, there was a reduction in spaciousness and the finest detail in the balance. It made AB'ing too limiting. This continues to change though as they become more transparent and neutral.

3) I found the best cables to bring them out first, and so far these are my more powerful but very revealing ICs. One is a Grover which to me is a little in the face on its own, and the other a DIY 24 gauge VHAudio silver recipe with the best KLE RCAs... a nice smooth and revealing cable. So far, the subtly more powerful signal push from these ICs seems good for pulling what the Pills have to offer, but this could change...Daily I am hearing transparency refinement and a milder cable here or there might win.

4) Dropping AB'ing, I started tuning a little to get the most from the Silvers. Opening things up a bit, without the Pills the sound was a bit too revealing, but with them, quite nice. Tuned more carefully to them, their quality warmth and other more mysterious qualities bring a subtle, but complex richness to a lot of recordings I have not gotten before by other means and really like.

5) This helped me notice more things better, like phase angle refinement...the more I hear the Pills, the more I hear the effect. More noticeable on some recordings than others, it is important. Here, particularly for the difficult area of getting the best bass from a range of recordings, the Pills can help the bass come into greater “alignment” with more focus and space. It does not appear to stop at the bass though with subtle and musical improvement in overall differentiation of instruments and space around them. This is a quality from noise mitigation also, but it seems this phase thing can indeed bring better musical articulation, at the same time giving a better feel for the nuances of pace, a subtle area that has become of notable importance in reading a system/room for me.

6) Now several days later, they are sounding even more transparent while revealing more fine detail than they did in my earlier comments. I do hear some reductions in fine detail on a quick AB, but the Silvers shift the balance less. I hear this in ambience and space, but also in subtle areas like pad hits on horns and pianos, drum hits, cymbals, wood, air around reeds and voices….It seems the detail is all there, and sounds really good, so I am thinking a lot of this may be due to the tonal density focus filling the sound space more, reflecting an emphasis choice. Micro detail is there, but a little less emphasis on it.

7) Steve spoke to this in the manual (or web page), how their influence is variable on different recordings, and I definitely hear this. It seems that the Pills play with subtle mastering decisions a little differently. My challenge for the next few days is to see if I can get them integrated to where improvements are notable on all recordings. We'll see...

8) These are cap based and you might wonder about increased dynamics. Also something the CSP3 can enhance, I think it is there, but quite tasteful. And aside from a cap's potential for increased punch, other Pill qualities of noise reduction, smoothing, phase organization, these all can contribute to tonal density, differentiation, the space around tones...they effect everything, including the sense of dynamics.

9) Also like the CSP3, and perhaps more, the Pills combined qualities seem to even up recording qualities nicely. So far I don't seem to need to gain ride as much to adjust recording preferences to my tastes. These are areas I need more time with, but Steve's choices seem quite good so far for this system.

10) An aspect of smoother/quieter, even with really good dynamics, there is less tendency to go over the top with midrange spikes like hard trumpet blows, taking us back to the reason for this exploration as I understand it...to solve issues of recording and playback in order to make the music more enjoyable.

I have worked a long time to resolve all recording/playback issues before the Pills, and with success, but the Silvers take it further while imparting compelling qualities themselves.

As Steve suggested, with all my tuning I have gotten to a smooth, fast, revealing, balanced, and musical sound. Do the Pills make my system better at this point...yes and no, but I have done a lot of work to get here, and the Pills sound to me like they would do a lot on their own.

Being “on the fence” is fading for me as the Pills change and I learn them. My system/room being so revealing and fine tuned to my preferences, it is demanding of anything coming into it, but with loads of ways to fine-tune, it is also pretty flexible for tuning in good things. My guess is that with more time discerning their subtle nature, I might well "need" a pair...hopefully without any notable sense of “trade-offs.”

More on that in a few days.
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« Last Edit: 03/05/16 at 23:24:28 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Decware-Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1-all modified; DIY Speaker Cables; feet-Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY
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Lon
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #16 - 03/06/16 at 01:35:57
 
Thanks for sharing your impressions Will! Seems as if they are very interesting "components."
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will
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #17 - 03/06/16 at 18:30:53
 
You are welcome Lon. They are interesting "components." They continue to open up...I am guessing at least 150 hours play time so far between me and Decware. I don't know how the "unseating" from contraction and expansion in travel effected this, but since I can hear changes daily, I am guessing they will keep going a while! I hope I get to hear how far they can refine before I have to mail them on.

Doesn't burnin on ICs work if run from source into a turned on pre stage and the amp off?
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« Last Edit: 03/06/16 at 18:32:39 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Decware-Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1-all modified; DIY Speaker Cables; feet-Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY
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Lon
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #18 - 03/06/16 at 19:14:50
 
Yes, in my experience that will work. . . should allow more "seasoned" listening time.
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will
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #19 - 03/06/16 at 19:18:05
 
Good. Thanks Lon. I tried this for the first night, but burnin was less clear then.
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« Last Edit: 03/06/16 at 19:19:52 by will »  

PSA P5/modified Brickwall/Shunyata Defender/more; MacMini/Audirvana>Jitterbug/Regen> modified Gustard x20pro DAC; DIY + Pi Audio PCs; DIY ICs + USB; Decware-Jupiter CSP3, Torii MKIV, HR1-all modified; DIY Speaker Cables; feet-Madscientist, Archie's, isocups, DIY
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #20 - 03/10/16 at 05:38:18
 
I have to say that winter is a hard time of year for shipping audio gear.  The freezing temperatures traumatize the signal caps and in the old days would make some adhesives brittle and fracture during high G impacts during transit.  It's possible that most of the burn in we do here is lost when the caps freeze in the UPS truck on their way to you.  So it is good news that the PILL tour will be just picking up steam now as the temperatures increase!  Thank God it's almost Spring!

Thanks Will for your well crafted evaluations and comments and the amount of time you have devoted to digesting the pills... I think everyone here greatly appreciates it.  Warning to the next recipient, the Gold Pills will not be fully seasoned, but the Silver's will be.  Guess I better check the list and see who that's going to be!

Stay tuned.

Steve
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #21 - 03/10/16 at 15:50:21
 
Winter? What winter?
We'll hit 80F today and the pool will turn green if I don't turn on the chlorine generator! LOL.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #22 - 03/12/16 at 03:02:25
 
There was snow on the ground here when they shipped to Will. Smiley

Steve
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #23 - 03/18/16 at 05:40:32
 
Will is now preparing to send the PILL's to the next person on the list.... person #2.  I recommended Will keep the PILL's a couple extra weeks to get them fully seasoned so that the following auditions will take less time.  Basically after 24 hours once they arrive and settle in your system, the sound you hear is what they are... you won't have to wonder if they're going to get better, etc. etc.


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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #24 - 03/20/16 at 22:42:41
 
Silver Pills from more thorough Testing:

Context: My system rides fine lines of many things (noise reduction, resolution, dynamics, tonal density, definition, liquidity, frequency balance…. Etc) in order to arrive at what I find the best musical balance without limiting subtle information. A beautiful territory, but challenging and easy to throw off balance.

As I talk about adapting the Pill's interesting character, adjustments are relatively subtle based on important and specific needs and results. After burnin, I would call the Pills pretty transparent within the context of how they work with the signal. At the same time, how they work with the signal can be variable depending on settings/setups so it is hard to guess just how the Pills will balance into different system/rooms. I can try to convey what they did here though and hope these observations help.

Here, the Pills in a transparent and revealing arrangement brings out the best of them. One cable, or one tube that is too dark and/or less transparent could throw off the Pill balance, the problem perhaps appearing to be the Pills. Also, here, with my system already tuned to a full, smooth, warm and dynamic density, the relatively minor tonal shift from the Pills, amped up a touch by their clarification and a slightly increased signal pressure, they could take the warm/dense too far.

Having been tuning as if my DAC, CSP3, Torii,  EQ were all one thing, I ended up needing to get more calculated to fully integrate the Pills. Each needed to be approached individually and matched to get the most from the Pills, especially making the CSP3 more open and neutral into the Torii.

Signal Path: I have the Pills between the DAC and CSP3 using very transparent cables.

For me, the more I add to the signal path, the more each part has to be very transparent and often tuned a little toward open/revealing to compensate for an addition in the path. It all matters. For example, I found the more powerful (slightly bigger 24 gauge wire) VHAudio Silver recipe with Silver KLE RCAs, and Grover ZX+ ICs (both quite revealing) helped to pull the sound best from the Pills (as opposed to slightly calmer, but also very transparent 28 gauge VHAudio recipe ICs). I have a pair of Belden 8402 ICs with Eichmann gold on copper RCAs that are also big sounding with a strongish signal and wanted to check them in the Pill path. With my most transparent Silver IC going to the Pills, and the Belden between the Pills and CSP3, there was notable transparency reduction compared to using two pair of VHAudio Silver recipe ICs with silver KLE RCAs (or one of those with the Grovers) particularly in micro detail and complexity. This made the Pills flatter and less interesting to me. Or I could change a tube and shift the bass, texture, body, sense of transparency or whatever, and this also conveyed clearly to the Pill sound, and visa versa.

For these tests, I tried for transparency with the CSP3 tonally very close with the Torii, but with just a little more space, texture and less body to help the Pills integrate. This more easily accommodated what might be subtle compression and associated warm density from the Pills without a notable shift away from a sense of fine detail and texture. This also made gain riding more transparent and flexible…

Tubes: Before Pills, the MKIV had a warm/dense/dynamic, but revealing tube set….Mazda GZ32 rectifiers (Phillips/Mullard like ST shape), Phillips E188CC (Mullard made), British made 75C1 (Euro OC2 type), Dumont labelled OB3s, and Tungsol 6L6G for power.

In the CSP3 I had been running a Telefunken E88CC in the input, some early 60s D getter Sylvania gold pin 6922s outputs, and either a Mullard GZ32 or Tungsol 5R4GY. All of these tubes but the OB3s are warmish, powerful, extended, dynamic but also spacious.... All together, I had found a balance that was warm with dynamic tonal density, but spacious and lucid.

After using the Pills a while, in retrospect, this tube set was pretty maxed out for me in signal and tonal density. With a lot of listening I noticed the Pills notched that up a little making it borderline on the ears more than the mind.

Burnin: A big deal in my Pill saga, I estimate over 200 hours needed to really hear these Pill's ability to convey refined bass and subtle complexity. I wish I had kept better track, but did not expect to have them this long. Steve wanted me to wait to send them on until I had them sorted out, and now we know they sound right, but it took a while. Knowing what burnin issues sound like, I was pretty sure they were giving me problems, but with an unknown, you can't tell where it is going until you hear it get there! Trying to learn and tune to the Silver Pill's during burnin, I realize I had been chasing my tail to some degree, the per-burnin sound too variable and unrefined in different areas at different times.

After 100 hours or so they were sounding pretty good, and the sound was more into “warm” density than I had gone previously, but the Pill's way of doing it was compelling...quiet with a great sense of pace, density, liquidity, richness, presence, and complexity, so I was adjusting here and there, but mainly enjoying.

Fatigue: Trouble was, it was hammering my ears, progressively causing fatigue. It took many days to really set in...also indicating I was not far off. I have always associated fatigue with low range intensity/density here. When it shows up, I can calm/define the bass a bit and fatigue goes away, which I did with the Pills using some bassy recordings as reference. But because the Pills improve bass definition, they allowed me to push bass deeper without the usual muddling signs of excess. It took a while to figure it was excessive. Then, assuming it was my usual fatigue pattern, I adjusted things a little and did not look further at first.

Next day...though compromised by earlier fatigue, my ears seemed pretty good and listening to a compressed guitar recording, “one guitar” by Ottmar Liebert, and the first Yo Yo Ma Bach cello solos, I got minor fatigue. These recordings go lowish but are not about bass, so something else was going on. I recalled I had been sensitive in the past to mid/bass darkness and reduced clarity there. Though less physical, I wondered if subconsciously working to “modify” or clarify any tonal area is tiring, potentially contributing?

Then thinking about folks who associate fatigue with higher frequencies, the lightbulb began to come on about signal pressure and vibrating ear drums, no matter the frequency. That it could also be from signal pressure beyond the bass range was new to my experience.

The MKIV can be very fast and powerful, as can the CSP3, and the Pills also. I can't really tell that enhanced micro dynamics are there with the Pills, but I do hear more power to the signal. Also, as Steve points out, computer noise and software can contribute to fatigue. I think I have solved most of those things he associates with computer fatigue, but as we were talking, I realized that in my case, where EQ is necessary to get the most from my system/room, I do have to run the software volume at -4dB to compensate for some high energy areas of EQ I use otherwise causing distortion on some hot recordings. I am also doing cuts, mostly in lower bass (but mid/highs too), but I am adding some density and signal strength with EQ in some areas and this could contribute.

Finally I realized I had been close to an edge of powerful signal density anyway, and adding the Pill's shifted my sound enough that way that I needed to compensate a little for the comfort of my ears! I think it was a little excess bass and darkish low mids, but associated, it was slightly enhanced signal power and how this effected everything, including the ear. Especially after full burnin, these effects were relatively subtle, but in the context of my already powered up signal, and my sensitivities, the signal pressure and warmth needed to create the Pill sound defined a borderline for me.

Similar in ways of effecting signal/sound, the CSP3 can contribute depending on tubing and cables, and if it has an amped up signal, the Pills can accent this and visa-versa. In this setup, with many contributors to clarification and signal power, each doing a little in their own ways, the CSP3 and Pills together took it a little further, making the effects of changes with tubes/cables etc. more apparent, their traits more obvious, specific and powerful. It took me a while to figure out how best to tone down the power of the CSP3 and Torii while staying within my window a beauty.

The Story: Earlier in burnin, I had cut the low bass a little further than usual when I started using the Pills. Then later I tried different bass EQs and lots of different tubes, trying to solve a lot of what solved itself after burnin. I called Steve and talking helped clarify notions. He thought I was on reasonable conceptual tracks. But we were hunting solutions. After he asked if I had worked with the EQ, even though I had and thought it was pretty good, I did more exploring mid-bass down. I could have been fooling myself in my conditioned state of enjoying the balance I had without the usual hallmarks of bass muddle or thickness...cues I normally identify with fatigue here.

This was when I discovered the Pills were allowing more low end without muddle (no mean task!), and I liked it, but it proved to be too much pressure for my ears.

Fine lines, but I realized that the way the Pills arrive at sounding good can mitigate a number of audio foibles making my usual cues for issues lesser references. And not only do they resolve bass, they resolve everything if “in tune” (depending on the rest). To a degree, they can make abrasive sounds like hard trumpet blows, or higher singing notes sound more natural while still being quite forceful, even over the top. A clue to my fatigue not being limited to bass.

I suspect this Pill associated signal pressure was mostly due to where I started, my specific system tuning and sensitivities. But to integrate the Pills qualities best I could, especially with the CSP3, I needed to reduce bass, open the sound a bit, and reduce signal power some.

Tube Changes: I love the warm but open Phillips ST style Mazda and Mullard GZ32s I had been using. But dynamic and powerful, I looked to them first. Not wanting to change the Torii reference, in the CSP3 I tried a RCA 5Y3GT knowing it would tone the whole down more notably than any rectifier I have. As usual, I found it flattened dynamics too much for my tastes. Same with a more open Bendix 5Y3WGTA.

Apparently the relative dynamics I find musical was close with the CSP/Pills. This pointed further to part of my problem being the clarity/resolution and powered up signal pressure from the Pills addition. With the greater power, everything is delivered a bit more, and if the rest is tuned for warmth and density, this shifts the signal a little darker/denser. But I always found OA3s in my Toriis too much, preferring the reduced power and more open signal with OB3s, and most stay with OA3s. So I am sensitive.

In the CSP3 I ended up with a more open/less deep GE GZ32/5V4GA. For outputs some open and extended early 60's Valvo 6922s, and input, a very nice Teonex labelled PCC88 that looks like it is Telefunken made. Overall this is less powerful, a little less extended, but revealing, and with very musical, open mids.

Not quite enough signal reduction, I changed the Torii replacing the powerful and dynamic Phillips E188CCs for a calmer 59 CBS labelled Siemens ECC88, an unusually good 6DJ8 type. I tried replacing the Mazda GZ32s, and that reduced warmth, density and punch a bit, but I lost too much of what I depend on them for….warm articulation with very open mids, atmospheric and textured, and powerful but well organized bass. So they stayed.

All together, still warm, but more open than the original sets...AND as important, less powerful/pushy, the Pill/CSP3 influences balanced nicely.

Burnin Effects: As the Pills reached a more refined resolution from use...tones and edges are more complex and definition is throughout, the bass coming last. This really helped me refine, the Pills tone stable.

Now needing lower key EQ, the amount of bass was reduced in some areas, but as much, it was better organized. At the same time, I kept refining mids up, little shifts again, reorganized more than anything else.

Also interesting, for a while I had to tone down the CSP3 volume settings to calm the signal power and clarity. I came back into the range of my relatively powerful standard settings (the area I have found to pull the best sound from the CSP3).

Even burned in, tuning with Pills added was trickier. In my already cleaned and powered up system, and with the Pills taking this further... the cleaner/smoother/more powerful signal focused whatever was there with less “fuzzy” distractions (distortions) making it more clearly what it was, more apparent and specific. I really liked this once I got used to it due to enhanced clarity that was pretty comfortable.

CSP3: The Pills smooth and resolve with density and the CSP3 can do these also. Depending on the balance of the CSP3, the sum of the two can be greater than the parts and this effected everything. After burnin there was less tonal difference introducing the Silver Pills but in their interaction with the CSP3, some tunings having more profound effects and others less, this is still a little mysterious to me. At the same time, it is compelling with the richened complexity the two together can offer.

Before full burnin, with my penchant for fine-tuned sound, and as I worked to figure out what was causing fatigue, it was a bit of a nightmare. But this taught me what the Pills brought to the system and how. Finally, they integrated pretty easily into my normal window of beauty, and it really did not take much to do it.
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« Last Edit: 03/20/16 at 23:38:54 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #25 - 03/20/16 at 22:45:05
 
Silver Pills more thorough Testing Part two:

What I hear with the Pills/CSP3/EQ:

- Stronger signal pressure and density
- Slightly increased sense of body and weight
- Dynamics – not sure, perhaps enhanced, but with smooth and natural feeling power more than speed
- Smoother, more liquid
- Reduced subtle noise and emptier background
- Sense of resolution improved
- Differentiation/articulation improved throughout the spectrum (phase correction?)
- Really good texture in the mids especially
- Rich complexity
- A little warmer/darker - Note: the amount depends a lot on tubes/settings. After tuning to the Pills, with amazing beauty here, when I pulled the Pills yesterday to send them on, the sound actually darkened a little (the opposite of my initial tests). Loss of Pill improved bass articulation was most of this I think. But dark/warm levels seem variable, and related, an occasional slightly darkish/receded/duller feeling in quieter passages on some darker recordings depends a lot of tubes and settings. With slightly more open settings, I stopped noticing this! The moral...explore a little.
- Slightly softened mid/upper-midrange peaks
- Speed/micro dynamics may be just a little slower/smoother
- Pace - more relaxed and comfortable feeling
- Fine detail seems all there and quite complex, though a little more deeply integrated in the balance, the balance tipped a bit toward tonal density, body, warmth and midrange ambience
- Nuanced delivery feels heightened
- A bit sweeter, but no syrup or saccharine
- More emotional feeling

All in all, I think the phase correction, signal cleaning and resolution aspects are the most impressive traits, improving lots of things. Reduced subtle noise and smearing, and associated enhanced musical clarification...a real triumph I think!

Finally, with potential for pronounced effects with the Pills and CSP3 together, though the low-mid/bass and pressure were fine-line areas for this system/room, it is impressive to be able to pull more warmish density and smoothness while being so resolving. To me so many attempts in audio for “liquid warmth” or “analog” sound electronically manipulated, darkened and veiled, dulled down and lacking natural complexity. Notable smoothness, especially in the presence of warmth, can sound like reduced detail, but without dumbing down resolving detail and complexity I find it welcome and quite beautiful.

Within this, tuned to higher levels of warmth especially, different recordings can respond pretty differently to the Pill effect, and this was not acceptable for me if I could solve it. So another level of fine-tuning came into play to get the most from a broad range of recordings. I got very close to that with the Pills, perhaps better than before them which was really good. Though I have not had time to listen to a lot of my music, with a broad range of test recordings, the challenge I gave myself to have the Pill/CSP3 combo benefit most recordings seems like it is working for the most part. For me, roughly speaking, this seemed to involve using really transparent ICs, revealing tubes, and generally finding a frequency balance of open and neutral settings that were “just enough” into warmth and density.

With really good power treatment, tuned for sound; great cables and tubes; amazing gear source to speakers; room work; natural sounding vibration and noise control etc, I have proven to myself that we can make recordings better, like music, individually and as a group.

As I gave the Pills a final listen before sending them on yesterday, I can say that in this setting, and by my tastes, the Pills can contribute to a heightened level of beauty, the beauty of natural music beyond recordings.

Whether I can live without them will become clearer in their absence. I already miss them but have not fully readjusted my system yet and it is really, really good without...more lucid...both ways are better in some ways! And there is another goodie on the way that adjusts density also, so I am stalling.

A few more Tests:

PILLS direct to TORII MKIV- Without CSP3...Same EQs.
All the Pill traits are still there but I will comment on the more notable differences without the CSP3.

- Easier and comfortable fit with less pronounced Pill character traits
- Balance seems in proportion, but with the current CSP3 tuning the pre helped resolve things a touch better. Without it, the bass is a little bigger and a little less defined.
- Musical pace is similar, but a little less relaxed feeling
- A little faster feeling
- Less density and liquidity, and associated, more apparent (though not particularly more) fine detail
- Less lower mids and more upper midrange in the balance.
- Generally helps even up recordings, but not as much as with the CSP3 and gain riding.
- Signal is powerful, but less than with the CSP3.
- I miss the CSP3's additions to spacial lucidity and tonal density, and how its similar but different traits add tonal complexity, but like how the Pills fit more easily in the blend.

If I were to pursue this, I would do a little tube and/or EQ refinement, and this would quickly solve slight imbalances, and improve presentation across recording styles more. But plug and play seems quite good here for the most part.

PILLS and TORII MKIV - NO EQ/NO CSP3

I turned all software EQ OFF other than the -4dB overall volume cut used to solve distortion brought on by my higher energy EQs with hot recordings (just to be more surer of a good comparison to the above). With EQ tuned to the system/room Pills direct to Torii is better across the spectrum, but without, the sound is relatively close and good, in part indicating how subtle my EQ is, but also how good the Pills are at doing what they do. I like the sound the way they enhance the signal.

What I did not anticipate, the phase correction does some very nice work toward clearing up lower bass excesses I started using EQ in the first place in order to solve. Bass was still a little too strong for me, but more articulate and pretty close...actually quite good on many recordings! Starting to tune from here with minor EQ and/or Tubes could no doubt net a beautiful sound.

I am pretty attached to my CSP3 and EQ, so won't go further into these areas of Pills and Amp only.

I guess some folks will be working with Source>Pills>Amp mainly, and others with preamps, so I really look forward to impressions as tour participants try the Pills. I have no doubt that many of my challenges were burnin related, now a non-issue. But since everything effects everything, and the Pills contribute to this in ways still a little mysterious to me, it will be very interesting to see how they act in different system/rooms!

Putting the Pills back between the DAC and the CSP3 with EQ, and listening to Olafur Arnalds “Livingroom Music,” I found myself repeatedly close to tears, the beauty and expression…..This is a special event that happens for me with breakthroughs in the musical experience, but fairly rarely.
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« Last Edit: 03/20/16 at 23:48:23 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #26 - 03/21/16 at 02:13:33
 
nice.....
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #27 - 03/21/16 at 12:41:00
 
Will, thanks for this really detailed account.

As this "density" is something that I already have plenty of in my system, imo, and as I prefer to have the DirectStream run directly into the Torii Mk III--the CSP2+ adds a bit "too much", and have found with tube complement and with the bass and treble controls a sound that mesmerizes me, I can easily conclude that right now I don't need the pills (and the considerable expense they would incur with interconnects). Thanks! Loved reading your impressions.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #28 - 03/21/16 at 16:40:41
 
You are welcome Lon.

I get it. With all the work you have done to refine your system, your having a mesmerizing sound with great smoothness and density makes sense! You would probably fit nicely into what Steve thought about me being a worst case test for the Pills for similar reasons!

If the Pills just added density and smoothness, without the also tasteful and meaningful clarifying aspects (sounding like phase organization and enhanced sense of resolution) I likely would not have been seduced by them. Finally it is so hard to describe the sound of something characterful too. They put me in mind of a period in the 70s when I recorded LPs to reel-to-reel, preferring how that tape machine and the tape medium conveyed the music with seemingly limitless resolution, smoothness, tonal density, and detail. It is that kind of tonal “density” I think. That was a long time ago so who knows...but the Pills sparked that feeling and “memory.”

I did not like the idea of needing one more set of ICs either. I have extras around though. And once I got the Pills in, I heard things that made me want to see where I could take them. Finally, the choice for what ICs I used was important here, so I understand the design concept of flexibility from not integrating them.

I get where you are coming from though. I too am in a brilliant place with many of the subtle qualities the Pills impart. But then...once tuned, they added an atmospheric and compelling musical complexity to the sound that I have not otherwise heard in this room…..

It is give and take though at this level. And who can say how they would fit with other systems and tastes! Thus the tour!

I really enjoy hearing how refined your system is, and more, how much pleasure it provides! Admirable effort and I bet it is beautiful!
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« Last Edit: 03/21/16 at 20:32:55 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #29 - 03/22/16 at 15:21:19
 
A lot of what you describe as benefits of the Pills are in fact benefits I found when stepping up to both the PS Audio DirectStream and the VooDoo Cable Stradivarius interconnects. I have this difficulty in that I am trying to both bring out the best sound of the system and make it overall the best sound for all the material I listen to, and like you I've spent so much time and money trying to get to a certain level of wondrous playback. I don't doubt that with more tweaking and attention the Pills would bring a bit of benefit. But the CHEAPEST I could get myself rolling on the Pills would be 500 for a used pair of the cheaper of the Stradivarius interconnects I'm using plus the cost of the Pills, which would improve the sound of one of the inputs into the Torii--and possibly diminish the sound of the other input a bit by repurposing the next tier up interconnect I use from the CSP2+ to the Torii to the second interconnect needed for use with the Pills. Just not sure it's worth near 1000 dollars for this situation. And so far I have not put myself onto the "tour" list. I think I'll just continue as I am, happy with the great sound I have.

Especially as this "density" thing is something that I get too much of when using the DirectStream and my best interconnects in conjunction with the CSP2+. It becomes. . . unnatural, not accurate when comparing with my reference material directly into the Torii. It just seems like a compression thickening that isn't on the source material, subtly there, but better without it in my system.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #30 - 03/22/16 at 16:22:07
 
I think this is all good logic Lon.

With the many very refined tools that help you get amazing sound in your particular system, and all the fine-tuning you have done to bring them all together for your tastes and music collection, I understand the fine lines of balance this level of beauty requires. Especially being close to or over tonal density edges, and having some aversion to "tweaking," the Pills may not be right for you.

It is amazing to me how good it can get, but also how delicate the range of balance can become from refining a system over years! All things considered from what I know of you, your sensitivities, your sound requirements, and your long efforts....being very considered, even cautious about how you go forward makes sense to me! The indescribable sense of truly great musical presentation at home is an amazing and subtle gift!
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« Last Edit: 03/23/16 at 01:35:13 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #31 - 03/22/16 at 23:33:03
 
Ok, so the little white truck came today, and shazaam. Hey, nice wooden boxes, with 'pills' inside. One set silver, one set gold. Yes, I hooked them up, and yes, I listened for a few minutes, and no that doesn't count. But I have to say there is something going alright. I plugged in the silver devices first, and they will remain there for a time. I figured, go for the biggest difference first, to get the idea of what you will be listening for. I even had a set of AN speakers that I built awhile back hooked up, because they are in the sweet spot still. Listened a bit and then switched to the ZOB speakers. Not a fair comparison at all, because in my room, position is critical, and where the ZOB speakers sit right now sucks. They are too close together, and in the morning, I may well swap their position with the AN cabinets. It is not much fun because I have made both sets very heavy. More tomorrow.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #32 - 03/23/16 at 03:23:35
 
steve,
are you planning to publish the list of who is next in line to get these babies?
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #33 - 03/23/16 at 18:05:15
 
Sheesh, it's crazy how much sound is affected by speaker position. I moved the ZOB speakers to their proper position, and it is like a different set of speakers. Mostly the bass is affected by becoming three times better in the lowest regions. Ok, so that is a reset for the pills. On the first listen, I am going to bet that I will be changing to the gold pills soon, as these silver pills offer an overdose of purpose. But that is just for a moments worth of listening. I have to pull them out again and hear the difference, if any to the presentation. I am going to write these impressions blow by blow so that they will still be fresh in memory.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #34 - 03/23/16 at 18:55:58
 
The difference between the Gold and Silver pills is that the Silver pills have a bypass cap to speed up the top end thus resolving more detail.  Other than this bypass, the two pills are identical.  Again, Gold is intended to make things that suck, listenable.  Silver is intended to makes things that don't suck, better.

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #35 - 03/24/16 at 21:58:45
 
Well, I'll be damned. I spun up Breakfast in America, an album that I just can;t stand due to the harshness on the CD, and yes, it was actually listenable. This is my "oh yah, I got a harsh recording for ya" test. I don't even listen to it because it is sooo anoyying. Now the gold pills have taken most of the ragged edge off that shrillness that makes me walk out of the room.

 Let me make a confession here, for it 'tis the season. I planned to not swallow these pills easily. I've about had it with every little tweak that comes along. Surprised? From the tweaker guy himself. Freakin' special this and special that costing buttloads when money could be better spent almost any other way for better sound. Change for change's sake is not so impressive to me and I have seen my share.Yes, get it right, tweak a little bit if you must, but don't make magic cubes,disc's,and magic wire be your center.

 It is fair to say then for my system, I have all the resolution, and pollution that I need...for most recordings. Then there are the BIA recordings that sit flat on the desk, under a cover of dust unless I use this gold device. Ok, you win that round. Silver, well, I can safely pass, and if I had a brain, save the money for a decent TT project. THAT would change everything! This I know from experience. But that is for another buttload of money sometime in the future.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #36 - 03/25/16 at 19:18:40
 
I'm enjoying the reviews on the Silver Pils bit want to remove myself from possible inclusion on the list for trying them.I jist don't have the time for careful evaluation/proper burn in for awhile.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #37 - 03/26/16 at 02:28:34
 
Hey Tom. A lot of my Pill saga was burnin related whereas now they are burned in for the most part. So trying them from now on would likely be pretty simple. Also, due to my system "demands," and my interest in seeing how deeply I could get with the Pills, I explored a lot of tuning options. I imagine this would have been much simpler had the Pills not lost their "seat" in cold transpor. Adapting at each subtle stage of burnin was interesting, but starting fully burned in, even if you want to tune to see fully where they can take your sound, should be pretty straight forward I think. And of course, plug and play could work for a lot of folks I imagine. Wink
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« Last Edit: 03/26/16 at 17:25:34 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #38 - 03/29/16 at 19:12:22
 
TUBE SOUP, amp upgrades, and more, have prevented me from making the type of accurate evaluation that I would like. In a way, this is not bad news, since the thing to happen in some time is the upgrade to Rachel. And that, is the biggest sticking point of them all. When you have an increase in performance like the Rachel upgrade, it can make it hard for a guy like me to discern the benefits of the upgrade and the additional benefits of the Decware pills. Yes, of course, the 'new amp' makes things more noticeable than ever. So then, is it the album, the tubes that I roll, or the pills that make these new differences? Most of these new sounds are welcome, except those which just can't be helped (I am speaking of a recording that should have never sold a single copy, Uriah Heap, Sweet Freedom? Not sure). In any event, I have got to get a handle on this new set up and the pills need to get in the hands of the next person to review them. I will say this, that the pills have a definite effect, and that for some of the digital recordings that I have, it would make sense to have them included to an input on Rachel so that I could choose them or not.
The best answer for me would to put some money behind an analog rig to feed this new worthy amp.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #39 - 03/29/16 at 23:58:19
 
I'll see who's next on the list...
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #40 - 03/31/16 at 23:59:00
 
The pills were sent out today.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #41 - 04/07/16 at 01:16:36
 
4krow,
I received them today.  Thks!
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #42 - 04/08/16 at 03:29:13
 
ok got started on the silvers tonight.... i'll give them a good hard listen and a more formal review later, but initial impression is very nice!!  
put them between my schiit bifrost multibit and CSP3 using belden 8402/switchcraft ic's.  
source tonight was my toshiba sd9200.  
cd's supertramp somethings never change and avenue blue.
for me to sit down and listen to an entire cd without fiddling with something is very rare, but i listened to both all the way thru!
detail was wonderful, highs nice and lingering, mids very punchy and quick, with good solid lows.  no distractions.  full range was very enjoyable with great instrument distinction and black background.

going to try some itrax high definition flac downloads tomorrow.

signing out....

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« Last Edit: 04/08/16 at 03:29:40 by Tripwr1964 »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #43 - 04/14/16 at 17:41:21
 
been listening to the silvers for the last week between DAC and CSP3. With 3 sources (OPPO103, Toshiba sd9200, homemade media player running Daphile OS).  file formats: CD's, ripped CD's (using dbpower amp), downloads HD tracks and iTrax.  44.1/16 to 96/24 flac files.

i am not noticing much incremental magic with the "higher definition" iTrax files.  i have several reference downloads that i play all the time when making changes and with the pills in, the sound almost goes the other direction...(i.e. sound worse).

now the standard redbook stuff both cd and flac files are wonderful!! everything is there for me and can sit and listen for hours without moving.  i mean really really like the sound.  and i am 95% confident that i'll notice a difference when i pull them out.

going to remove the pills sometime this weekend to see if i miss them and confirm what i am hearing between redbook and high def files.

also plan to try the golds in my 2ch or other lesser quality system.
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« Last Edit: 04/14/16 at 17:42:05 by Tripwr1964 »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #44 - 04/16/16 at 14:30:01
 
did some a/b comparison with the silvers in and out.

music
cd: bob james + kirk whalum joined at the hip (via sd9200)
network player: the latin jazz trio (2002) 96/24

my previous conclusions were confirmed.  the pills seem to have very little to no noticeable impact on the hd files.  the cd redbook a completely different story, very positive impact. the detail, dynamic, depth of stage all improve.

I like what they do in my system for my cd's and cd rips.
for couple hundred bucks, i could see myself picking up a pair.

I may play around with this a bit more this weekend and also put in the golds.

Steve, please provide me address for next on list and I'll get them out next week.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #45 - 04/21/16 at 16:59:28
 
it would be nice if the "list" was published somewhere... so we know what our place in line is.  Like... do I need to check soon/often, or not worry about this for awhile....
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #46 - 04/22/16 at 03:32:10
 
Agreed, I will post the list next chance I get.  I do recall the list is pretty short.

Steve
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #47 - 04/25/16 at 22:57:50
 
Here are the remaining people on the list.  If anyone want's to get on the list, I'll edit and add them to this message.



BVictor

Mike D.

Tom H.

Rich H.

Astro-Chris

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« Last Edit: 04/28/16 at 22:32:41 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #48 - 04/26/16 at 14:32:00
 
Help me out.
I've read the post and the pill is some kind of interconnect, correct?

If not, enlighten a lost soul.

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #49 - 04/26/16 at 14:34:37
 
No it is not an interconnect, but fits between two interconnects, one pill for each channel.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/PILL.html
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« Last Edit: 04/26/16 at 14:35:34 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #50 - 04/26/16 at 18:06:03
 
Will, thanks for the link.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #51 - 04/26/16 at 18:33:18
 
Ok, interesting.

So, let me ask this.

I have an Amazon Echo.  I have it next to my PC and in the morning I get the news, and listen to some quiet music before I get ready to work.

Well, Amazon released a product called The Dot, I think.

This Dot will connect to my sound system.  So, now I can stream music to my system  I would love to get one of these Pills and put it between the Dot and the CSP.

So, now, I can say, "Alexa, play me some jazz," and Alexa will output jazz to my system.  

What do you think?  Is this a good use for the Pill?
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #52 - 04/27/16 at 01:25:28
 
Matchstikman wrote on 04/26/16 at 18:33:18:
Ok, interesting.

So, let me ask this.

I have an Amazon Echo.  I have it next to my PC and in the morning I get the news, and listen to some quiet music before I get ready to work.

Well, Amazon released a product called The Dot, I think.

This Dot will connect to my sound system.  So, now I can stream music to my system  I would love to get one of these Pills and put it between the Dot and the CSP.

So, now, I can say, "Alexa, play me some jazz," and Alexa will output jazz to my system.  

What do you think?  Is this a good use for the Pill?


The Dot has a 3.5 mm audio cable.  You would need a 3.5mm to RCA male adaptor and then you can plug the 3.5 end into the DOT and the RCA ends into the PILLs.  Then run a second set of RCA cables from the PILLs into your CSP.  Yes it seems easy enough to do (as long as you have the DOT within a few feet of your audio system), but I'm not sure how good it's going to sound though.
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« Last Edit: 04/27/16 at 15:50:48 by beowulf »  
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #53 - 04/27/16 at 12:49:58
 
Bvictor - you're next.  they'll be going out USPS today.  Cheers

Update:  will be there by Sat.  usps priority
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« Last Edit: 04/27/16 at 20:48:40 by Tripwr1964 »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #54 - 04/27/16 at 16:34:02
 
Beowulf, how different or inferior would it compare to FM Radio?

I would think a stream and a PILL may sound better than otherwise just straight through.

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #55 - 04/28/16 at 01:38:02
 
Matchstikman wrote on 04/27/16 at 16:34:02:
Beowulf, how different or inferior would it compare to FM Radio?

I would think a stream and a PILL may sound better than otherwise just straight through.



That's a good question, and I don't really have an answer for you as there are a lot of factors that come into play.  I've heard McIntosh FM receivers that sound pretty amazing with the right antenna and station signals, etc.  I've also heard some streaming services that are pretty close to Redbook quality as well ... in particular I subscribe to Tidal and think it's pretty great sounding.  There's a good chance the PILLs would work for one (or even both) of these mediums, but only experimenting in your own setup will tell.
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« Last Edit: 04/28/16 at 01:38:46 by beowulf »  
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #56 - 04/28/16 at 02:13:37
 
beowulf, which do you think would be a better bet PILL; gold or silver?  

Are these in production or still in beta?
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #57 - 04/28/16 at 06:30:01
 
Matchstikman wrote on 04/28/16 at 02:13:37:
beowulf, which do you think would be a better bet PILL; gold or silver?  

Are these in production or still in beta?


Steve mentioned this:
"The difference between the Gold and Silver pills is that the Silver pills have a bypass cap to speed up the top end thus resolving more detail.  Other than this bypass, the two pills are identical.  Again, Gold is intended to make things that suck, listenable.  Silver is intended to makes things that don't suck, better."

From the description it seems as if Gold may be more forgivable to bad sounding recordings, whereas if the recording is good the Silvers would enhance it even further.  So my guess would be that if the sound you're getting from your source already sounds harsh the Gold may be a better fit and help smooth things out ~ if the sound you're getting is pretty good already the Silver may help you dig deeper into information retrieval to flesh out more fine details?  But that's just a guess as I've never heard them myself yet.

It looks like you can purchase the PILLs already from Decware's website: http://www.decware.com/newsite/PILL.html

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #58 - 04/28/16 at 22:42:53
 

Regarding the suitability of the Pill for FM, it depends on the tuner and the station.  When I started Decware we had a  college jazz station that sounded great.  Flash forward to a few years ago when I just couldn't take another day of Pandora and similar compressed music streams, I decided to get another FM tuner!  I bought a MacIntosh MR71 and a good roof antenna.  On the night of testing I discovered that my favorite jazz station was long gone and the only stations I can receive are playing internet streams.   I finally removed the MR71 and replaced it with a much more modestly priced Sansui so that when it sounds like shit it won't annoy me as bad.  Since one of the favorite "Streaming" tricks is bass manipulation, the MR71 made it unbearable.  The Sansui is more dry and less effected by this.  Adding the Gold Pill to this tuner has made it possible to listen to it.  It's probably the best application for the Pills that I have here at our shop.

Steve
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #59 - 04/29/16 at 15:32:33
 
It sounds like their may be a home for a gold PILL on my setup sometime in the future.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #60 - 04/30/16 at 03:33:18
 
Got the delivery tonight.  Thanks!
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #61 - 05/01/16 at 02:21:50
 
 Steve,

   I know exactly how you feel with having an old friend/medium go over the cliff. FM is another lost art these days. I miss the romance of that spirit in my system.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #62 - 05/07/16 at 09:29:12
 
After reading through the thread again I've got a couple of questions.  How much difference should I be able to hear with an un broken-in set of Silvers?

Also, how much impact does the "Emperor's New Clothes" possibly have?  I want to be as clear as I can be that I'm not in the least implying anything negative about anyone or about the Pills by asking.  I'm asking from personal experience.  I've found myself at least a little bit vulnerable to believing stuff I want to be great really is great in spite of reality.  I really like the idea of what the Pills do and since the difference I'm hearing is so subtle, what would you who've tested them think?  Should I be hearing at least enough difference at this point with new Pills (not played more than a few hours at this point) that I'm sure there is a difference?  Or is it reasonable to assume that once they have more hours on them I'm likely to notice a real difference?
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #63 - 05/07/16 at 20:23:05
 
Martin. I am the only one on the tour who went through the burnin of the Silvers, and I posted extensively on this earlier in the thread, though others have heard the broken in ones, and their comments might help. But then everything matters in a system/room, and all are different, so all of our experiences will likely be different.

I am wondering if you can get on the tour list and hear the ones going around. Comparing those to yours would tell the tale.

Here is a personal take on audio/psychology. Especially since everything I test involves the question of spending money to refine an already very refined system, I really do not understand why folks would want to talk themselves into buying something that is not an audio improvement comparable to the cost.

I can only speak from my own experience, but having tested soooooo many audio things, by appearances, I come at it with a relatively open mind. And as my system/room has improved, by additions that have passed the improvement versus value test, I hear more! This is progressive here, and the more fine information comes out from reducing impediments, the more nuance comes out, revealing more.

Either that or I am deluded enough that I continue to support the same story I originally fabricated every time I listen. And I do recheck/adjust things every so often as I tune the system. Also, if they are illusions, I am able to make my wife believe them too, and by psychic connection. I am always very careful not to tell her exactly what I have done or what I hear from it. Often I won't even tell her anything has changed, waiting to see if she will respond. Almost inevitably she will ask me what I did with accurate comments about what she hears. In the end, she always hears comparably to what I hear, and often with cursory listening from other rooms adjacent to the listening room.

But I have been working many years on tuning this system to sound as authentic to natural playing in good rooms as possible. And to me, this requires fine-tuning everything. Finally a big listening tool has been micro detail and micro dynamics...some of the things hardest to get well. And if I do get them better, it is much more likely that everything else is capable of sounding good too, except of course if any of the countless ways we can mask sound are at play.

Within this complex, if one person can't hear something in their system/room, the assumption that others can't in theirs lacks logic to me. On the other hand, the fact that a single part in the signal chain masking aspects of the sound will render whatever it was unable to be heard by anyone...this is not theoretical. And since even minor weak links tend to be many, and progressive....the thought that folks who have solved most of these issues are deluding themselves...well, my experience does not support this.

The vast variability of systems, rooms and system synergy, being comprised of so many different components (and parts), wires, tubes, sources, power quality; adjustments made by room issues with cancellation and amplification of frequencies, and other timing reflection issues....on and on, it is clearly no mean task to develop a system to be super revealing as well as musical. A single tube, cap, resistor, cable.... can sound decent while holding a whole system back, compounded by collective effects.

At the same time, creative designer/builders have been trying to solve this for decades and yet there are still as many ways to mask sound as there are parts. And if all are not up to the others, it is very difficult to get a truly revealing system/room. If the sound is masked, even lightly, those sounds will never be heard.

Here, even with my system/room being fairly accurate and revealing for some years now, my experience is that it can get better....and the more I solve issues, the more I hear.

At the same time, from years of fine tuning with very revealing parts (many I had to make or modify to get what I wanted without ridiculous costs), some additions have become less important than they were when I bought them. This is not because they didn't help, but because everything else related had gotten better making the original thing less important in the more refined system. Particularly clear with room and power and vibration here....how and what we use to filter/regenerate power, receptacles, power cables, cable ends....how mitigating vibration refines all aspects of fine information...for fine detail and definition, it all really matters in my house and my power was relatively quiet to begin with, and the room great in many ways, and not in others to begin with. But then as I think of it, my ICs and speaker cables are equally as powerful in their abilities to pull refined sound and notably better than previous ones...everything really matters here.

All that said, the Silver Pills made a notable difference in the sound here, enough that I had to work to get the most from them while continuing the ongoing thread of what I find musical. And this is not so easy with my system so revealing and heavily refined to tastes, the latitudes of "great" narrowed by countless hours of refinement. Long story short though, who knows, that the Silver Pills were pretty notable here does not necessarily mean they will be everywhere.

My take anyway Wink
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« Last Edit: 05/08/16 at 00:07:14 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #64 - 05/08/16 at 04:13:39
 

Quote:
and often with cursory listening from other rooms adjacent to the listening room.


One of the most powerful tools to evaluating the sound of a room.  I have 3 listening chairs.  One in the apex between the speakers.  One in the adjacent room just on the other side of a doorway, and one in a balcony of the cathedral listening space.  The two adjacent listening positions tell me more about a recording and an amplifier or speakers, than sitting in the sweet spot.  It's a great irony.

Steve  [smiley=10.gif]
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #65 - 05/08/16 at 14:04:35
 
Yes me too. For fine tuning I prefer adjacent spaces in the listening room and the adjoining kitchen. Final tuning to really get the mids and high presence, textures and air right, is down the hall taking a bath in a tiled space. For whatever reasons, in this house, there I hear the whole of the sound including the room really well. My wife calls me "Sammy the Seal" because I get in and out of the tub leaving wet footprints on the brick floor to the listening room to make adjustments.
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« Last Edit: 05/08/16 at 14:53:07 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #66 - 05/08/16 at 18:31:06
 
Ditto that.  I listen far more from surrounding areas.  My house is quite open and lofted and sound up in the balconey area is full and fantastic.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #67 - 05/09/16 at 14:54:43
 
Thanks much, Will, for your thoughts and the detail in your answer (and other posts).  I feel fortunate to have found Decware and the people who make the forums here so helpful.  It would be easy for a hamburger guy to feel out of place in a steak and sushi crowd, but that's not the case here and that's how I've found so much great information and help.

I can't really see myself ever having the expertise and understanding so many here do have and I'd bet there are a number of reasons why I may not hear everything that’s "there" when I'm listening.  I've already discovered things, though, that I hadn't heard before when I've listened to familiar music after upgrading my equipment.  I really look forward to more of that, and to having the improvement really be there. BTW, it sounds like you have the perfect setup for that!!!

Just about the last thing I'd expect to find at play here to any significant extent would be self deluded people.  ...Except for the one guy who's here every time I check in.  😐  I try to keep him from getting too "creative".  Checking with others is a great way to keep better perspective.

So where am I going with this?  Hmm...  Well, I'm comfortable now keeping the silver Pills I've got - both because they perform better after break-in and because they may become more important as I make upgrades.  I also hope it was mega, super, abundantly gianormously clear that I'm aware of my own ability to  give reality a tune-up at times and was referring to that, not to anyone else. 😧

Thanks again for your help!
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #68 - 05/09/16 at 19:42:23
 
Hey Martin. I think your reasoning is good. As the Pills and your system get better, the Pills will show more what they were intended to be. That said, it is hard to say if they will make your particular sound "better," or become more apparent to you in time. How much impact they have is so dependent on everything else. And what is good, or enough?

I think I read that you have a new Rachel also, which  for a while won't reveal all of the more subtle things it will be capable of either. Though it sounds really good right off, in my experience, the new things you are discovering in your music as your system improves will continue to show up as the amp (and Pills) burn in. It may take 200-300 hundred hours to relax into "refinement" rather than burnin.

I guess I think creativity and reality are a critical mix if we really want to seriously improve our audio experience, or anything else for that matter. For a long time my wife and I made pottery and taught enough pottery workshops to explore ways of helping others to make good pots.

In the end it came down to helping folks make pots they liked, pots that excited them! Technique, intent and materials all contributed, but really, learning to trust and follow our preferences, and to be excited about where this path took us, this was most important.

Trusting our ever-developing preferences as a catalyst for exploring more, naturally sets up the creative cycle...exploration leading to discovery and discovery creating a new beginning to explore from. References and the experience of others then become better teachers because we know more of what we like and don't like. Then refining perception, technique, materials etc just comes along for the ride.

I think this is the same for any pursuit, including great music in the home. To me, it is just a fun path. As I refine my tastes/preferences, I refine the system/room. And as the sound refines, subtler "realities" can be heard, contributing further to our perceptive abilities and developing tastes.

I guess all great discoveries came this way. Folks are driven to dig deeper than they, or the collective "we," had dug in the past, discovering new experience and knowledge. It seems "real" creative process is dependent on trusting what we notice and think enough to know there is more, and to allow for it show up. The better we get at it, the more we are able to discern. Seems like everything else on Earth to me...though there are clear patterns, everything is in a state of change, including our perception and discernment skills. I guess I am suggesting that creative process is a natural part of "reality."

I see the problem you point to though. The way our world is, with the loads of psycho stuff we are "cultured" to believe as real....I don't deny the danger from delusional "reality tune-ups." Especially when so many seeking control/power work so hard to "prove" the ideology that belief = reality, and therefore reality is "relative" to beliefs. Wow! Now that is not only a cultural nightmare, but a semantics one too!!!!

On the other hand, as long as we are honest, and trying, maybe our real hope is for a lot of us to get involved in "reality tune-ups" that actually have to do with what is real! And why not practice with our audio systems!

Wink
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« Last Edit: 05/09/16 at 21:54:32 by will »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #69 - 05/10/16 at 23:35:19
 
Hey Will:

Thanks for your response.  Yes, my amp is a Rachael, and it's been playing some great sounding music.  I can't imagine that I'll ever look back.

Your thoughts about creativity and reality sound like I'm likely to be pretty much in line with where you're at with that sort of thing.  Keeping balanced is certainly important.

I feel like we ought to pull a couple of chairs up to the fire and have a chat.  ☺
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #70 - 05/12/16 at 21:07:29
 
+100 on Zenmaster Steve’s multiple listening positions.  Ever heard of the “L.I.A.R.” test?  “Listen In Another Room”.  I first heard of this a few decades ago, used by some mainstream audio reviewer, whose name I’ve long forgot.  But it is an infallible test IME.  It has never failed me even once.  I always conduct this test when dialing in my system or auditioning a new piece of gear.  

Have you ever noticed how you can be driving or walking down the street, and hear music coming from a bar & grill, blues club, concert in the park in the summertime, etc. and “Immediately” you are able to tell if it’s “Live” music or recorded music that you’re hearing?  I can tell if it’s live musicians performing or recorded music 100% of the time.  And it typically only takes me a couple of seconds to make the determination.

Now… some speculation and deductive reasoning applied to the above phenomena.  Consider:
1)      Live performances are typically amplified and dispersed via electronics, amps, speakers, etc.
2)      Recorded performances are played back via the same type of equipment

Yet, the two sound dramatically different.  And it is this “difference”, whatever it is, that allows the human auditory system to ascertain which is live, and which is recorded – even if both are experienced through the exact same delivery system.  So I conclude, that for the most part, the difference is due to something about the recording process itself – there is some significant loss in the recording process.

Like Zenmaster Steve's experiences, performing the L.I.A.R. test, for reasons unknown to me, seems to hone in on how close my system is getting me to the illusion of “Live”.  I speculate that it has something to do with removing the “visual” component from the equation, which allows the brain to “focus” only on what it’s “hearing”.  One would think that closing your eyes, would have the same effect, but for me, it doesn't - I have to Listen In Another Room.

My occupation allows me to work from home occasionally.  My home office area is adjacent to my man-cave, 2-channel listening room.  I almost always have music playing on my 2-ch rig, at a background level while I’m working in the room right next door.  Occasionally, over the years, I’ve experienced moments when something is so “right” about the “sound” I’m hearing coming from the adjacent room, that for a brief period of time, my brain interprets the sound it’s hearing as “Live” and distracts me and draws my attention to the music.  
Up until my enlightenment back in 2011, when I was converted to crossoverless, full-range, high-efficiency, single driver speakers and tube amps, particularly Decware tube amps,  I’d only experienced this phenomena a few times.  Prior to 2011, my system was always comprised of solid-state equipment, albeit very good SS equipment at times.  And even as good as it was, my brain had only been fooled a few times, and only with a few recordings.  
Since I’ve converted to crossoverless, full-rangers and thermionic valves, I’ve had this “experience” of my brain being tricked into thinking it’s listening to live music much more often…. Smiley
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #71 - 05/17/16 at 18:49:46
 
bvictor....

I think you owe us some verbiage on your experience with the Pills.... you've had them since 4/29 - 2 full weeks and then some... and not a word.  What's up?
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #72 - 05/17/16 at 23:47:54
 
It was a pleasure to experiment with the silver and gold PILLS these last two weeks.  Being somewhat low-maintenance in my listening habits, I almost always listen to music using iTunes as a server/wireless network (CD’s ripped to iTunes lossless files distributed on an airport network).  So I thought I would contribute to this thread on PILLS reviews by giving feedback using that sole music source, rather than comparing apples to oranges by also introducing CD’s and vinyl.  

I checked out the PILLS on three different Decware systems with NOS tubes and high sensitivity speakers, where all interconnects were Decware Silver Reference, and the pills were also connected to 0.5m DSRs.  To be transparent, here are the set-ups:

My main listening room, RACHELS, is:   Apple Airport – Two Rachel SE34i Amps bridged mono – Decware Zen Styx speaker cables– Klipsch Forte II’s (SPL 99, new caps & tweeter diaphragms).  Also tested with Monolith DM947 speakers.

The second system, ZMA, is:   Apple TV – ZDac –  Zen Mystery Amp – Anti-Cables L3 speaker cables – Klipsch KLF 30’s (SPL 102, new caps & tweeter diaphragms).

The third system, TABOO, is:   Apple Airport – CSP2 – TABOO Amp – Zu Libtec speaker cables – Decware RL 1.5’s (SPL 93).

I tried to listen to a variety of music (rock, classical, jazz, soundtrack) with each set up, including resonant high notes, deep base, focal vocals, depth of soundstage, and from coarse-grained through high resolution recordings:

Diana Krall – Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
Mahler – Symphony 5 (Bertini)
Bebo y Cigala – Inolvidable (modern flamenco)
Ray Charles & Bonnie Raitt – Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
Cesaria Evora – Sangue de Beirona
Jackson Browne – Your Bright Baby Blues, solo acoustic
Bebel Gilberto – Baby
Thomas Newman – American Beauty soundtrack
Allen Toussaint – You Don’t Know Me

Up next, the review with the RACHELS.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #73 - 05/17/16 at 23:48:56
 
On the RACHELS set-up, the Silver PILLS seemed to take out the harsher edges of the sound. Basically, an overall softening with a slight increase in depth of image and breadth, almost as if you had finished a beer or had 1 to 2 tokes of a J. I had the impression of being in a movie theater or a highly treated listening room. The most impressive part of the PILLS was a significant dampening of background sound. The background was quiet, but not black or a vacuum. More like there were lots of sound absorbers in the room. Upper notes lost some sparkle on the top end, but they are still present and precise. Cello & bass strings breathe rather than hearing the sound of the bow dragging on the strings. With pizzicato, there seemed to be some attenuation in the sound. Bass notes overall were a bit more resonant – almost a tad too much.

For the Gold PILLS on the RACHELS, there was less softening and less depth and breadth of image compared to the Silvers. At the same time, base tones seemed more amplified and resonant.

Cycling back to the RACHELS without any PILLS, there seemed to be a return of more midrange presence. Upper midrange and tweeter tones seemed more sonorous, for example drum snares were more sibilant and resonant. Overall the sound seemed more forward – like one was sitting closer to the speaker or to the performer on stage.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #74 - 05/17/16 at 23:51:16
 
Given that the better PILLS seemed to be Silver with this set up, I hooked them back up to take some notes on the recordings.  Here are some thoughts:

Diana Krall:  (+) removed the ringing overtones of the piano lead mid-song, (–) dampened the music too much - like Diana’s voice is less present or farther back or under a light veil.

Mahler 5:  (–) holds back some of the base resonance from the string section.

Bebo y Cigala: (+) removed the harsh scratchy sound of the lead flamenco singers voice, yet the piano was clear and beautifully resonant.

Ray Charles & Bonnie Raitt:  (+) beautiful, full, 3-D sound.  Takes the edge off piano notes yet leaves the guitar brilliant. Balances both Ray and Bonnie’s voices, Ray’s older pipes sounded less strained and Bonnie a bit more like Bette Midler in her late prime.

Cesaria Evora:  (–) the entire piece was flattened, which was surprising since it is usually bright and full of movement.

Jackson Browne:  (–) on solo guitar work, strumming, picking, and fingers sliding on the frets gave the impression that you were clearly listening through an amplification system rather than the sheer clarity like you were sitting at the edge of the stage.

Bebel Gilberto:  (–) more like you were listening to a studio recording rather than the usual unreal sense of clarity like she was singing directly into your head instead of a microphone.  

Thomas Newman:  his movie soundtracks are exceptionally well recorded and produced.  On tracks like “Arise” from American Beauty, the high triangle strikes are resonant but not “bright”.  There was a loss of sparkle and spatiality through the PILLS.

Allen Toussaint:  (–) this is a great recording, which usually gives the sense of sitting in a New Orleans jazz club with solid state amps and monitors- but the overall sound was too dampened.

After several days of back-and-forth listening, I decided that I truly liked the system without the PILLS.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #75 - 05/17/16 at 23:57:09
 
Neither the Silver nor Gold PILLS were an improvement on the ZMA system.  In fact, the setup is so clear with a broad and deep soundstage, that the only noticeable – and very noticeable – impact of using either set of PILLS was a decrement in volume and clarity.  Given that, I’ll take the occasional edginess in poor recordings or gravelly voices.

In the TABOO system in the den (granted the room is not the ideal shape – hence the radials) there was a significant improvement with the Gold PILLS.  The bass was more present and full than ever before from the radials.  In fact, opposite from with the RACHELS, the Silver PILLS really did not do much.  The Gold version was particularly good when I switched to the analog FM tuner.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #76 - 05/18/16 at 00:01:11
 
In the end, like Steve and others have noted here, the PILLS are perhaps best in evening out bad recordings, making FM sound more realistic and present, or in the case of my TABOO setup stepping up the base in the  lower sensitivity radial speakers.  

Thanks for the opportunity to review these, Steve!  The listening tour was a genius idea.  

Mike D, they will be on their way to you tomorrow.  Enjoy!!
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #77 - 05/18/16 at 00:10:53
 
One more afterthought - NOTHING beats a damn good recording. Wink
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #78 - 05/18/16 at 04:28:55
 
Quote:
One more afterthought - NOTHING beats a damn good recording.


Amen.

BTW, That was a great review of the PILLs! From what I can surmise based on your comments, with a good source it's mostly a recording dependent thing. And perhaps a digital format thing. With predominately good recordings in a truly losses or hi-res format with Decware gear, pills may not be for you. However with a lessor source like today's FM they can make a noticeable improvement in listenability.  This is part of the reason why when I discovered the idea during the development of the TORII JR, that I didn't make it a permanent part of the amp as I was initially tempted to do.

I look forward to more experiences with the PILL's because if nothing else it's some great science to see what the effects are in the real world.

I found real merit in the PILL's for me personally one night when an LP I purchased of Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett sounded disappointingly like a CD that was just dumped to vinyl. The Silver Pills made that record sound like it came from a good analog master and made it really dense, smooth, and animated. It's a great record that I would have never listened to again if not for the PILL Smiley

I guess Pills are a tool for the music lover to overcome limitations in source components, formats or recordings.  Probably a completely unnecessary invention if not for the side effect of becoming an audiophile which is that you can never listen backwards. You're too spoiled by what is possible when the recordings and gear are well done.

I use my silver's to fix certain recordings on a case by case basis, and that includes records.  I use the Golds for all internet streams of any resolution and FM radio.

Steve






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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #79 - 05/18/16 at 20:38:52
 
I appreciate everyone’s efforts so far on the sharing of experiences and impressions of the PILLs.  At this point it may be a moot point for the tour to continue!  I feel like I already know exactly what impact they will have…. However, I am always anxious to hear and play around with new “toys” - in my sandbox!

I intend to take a different approach to PILL auditioning than some of the other folks who have already.  My intention is to “isolate” the PILLs as much as possible in a purist system, so as to more easily be able to ascertain exactly what effect the PILLs have on the sound while eliminating as many variables as possible.  I’m sure I will “stray” a bit from this plan as my auditioning proceeds and because I have so many different sources, components and speakers laying around.  But it is my intention, at least at the outset, to introduce them into as pure a configuration as possible, which is my main system, which I listen to exclusively for “dedicated listening” in the man cave.  This system has been stable for over a year now (except for some cable experiments), so I know exactly how this system “sounds”.  Any difference, however slight, instigated by the insertion of the PILLs into this system, should be easily identifiable.

To remove as many variables as possible, I plan to remove my Aesthetix Calypso preamp from the chain and run my DAC straight into my Torii, which will be driving high-efficiency, full-range, crossoverless speakers.  This is the most revealing system I’ve ever owned for sure, possibly ever heard - in my life.  I will initially be using a hard-drive based server as my music source (various levels of resolution).  Once I think I’ve got a handle on the PILLs with this source, I will move to some other extraneous sources, both analog and digital streaming from the www – I do not have a vinyl rig (yet), nor a reel-to-reel for master tapes, so I won’t be providing any insight there.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the PILLs may provide the same “fix” for lessor quality sources/recordings as another “device” I’ve utilized for years for this purpose.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  I will reveal more details after I’ve had a chance to take the PILLs for a test drive.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #80 - 05/18/16 at 20:39:35
 
The gold PILLS for my FM radio are in my future.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #81 - 05/21/16 at 14:14:57
 
PILLs arrived via UPS about 7 p.m. last night (UPS working late this time of year?).  Gotta work today, I'm an I/T guy... and we have a weekend installation.  I don't expect to get to play with the PILLs till late tonight and Sunday.  I will provide initial impression updates on Monday.  Have a Great weekend all!
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #82 - 05/25/16 at 18:42:40
 
First impressions: Does the emperor have new clothes?

Using my reference recordings, which granted are some of the best recorded music I have, detectable differences so far, have been very subtle.  For the most part, much more subtle than say “tube rolling” to fine tune the sound of your system.  Each person will have their own definition or degree of what constitutes “subtle”.  More on this later….
 
I have not taken the approach of “re-tuning” my system to accommodate the PILLs, but rather to see if I can determine what “effect” injecting the PILLs into my system (as is) has – positive, negative, none – and to what degree.  My system is already finely tuned to my liking and I’m relatively happy with it – at least as content as a “phile” can ever be with his system.

My first approach to listening to the PILLs was focused on listening for “more” or “less” detail.  Could I hear something better, easier or less, not as well, etc.  This approach (with only high quality recordings so far) has turned out to be an exercise in futility.  After wearing out the RCA input jacks on my Torii and two pairs of interconnects trying to A/B, I could not reliably detect any increase nor decrease in detail resolution, with either the gold nor the silver PILLs.  But other perceived differences in the sound seemed to keep distracting me from this approach.  To my ears, here at the outset, the differences the PILLs impart, is not any more or less rez, but how the information that “is there” is “presented”.  
My initial impression, at this point, for the gold version, is that it has a soothing effect on the sound – relaxes the sound.  Some might describe it as imparting a more “distant” presentation.  All the details are still there, just a tad more relaxed sounding.
The silver version, on the other hand, seems to have a bit of an “enlightening” effect, making the sound perhaps a smidge more vivid or clear.  I’m not talking about being bright, forward, sibilant etc. – not that at all.  They do not create a sense of hyped up detail to achieve a stereotypical “high end” sound, but seem to enhance detail in a very natural way that just seems a smidge more “obvious”, easier to hear – more “there” there.  It’s hard to put into words.  

I do believe that most people, who do not listen to their system for 10 hours a day – every day, but only for a few hours in total per week or on the weekend, will find the differences fairly subtle to detect.  More extended listening to the PILLs this weekend is definitely in order.  Mostly because I have found the approach of listening to a new component/cable/etc in my system for long periods of time, and then removing it, to be more telling than the initial impressions were.  i.e. When it’s removed, do I get the “something is missing” feeling.

Another thing I hadn’t thought of until a ways into the listening tests, is the type of interconnects I’m using, which are Alpha-Core Goertz silver foil.  These have been my reference for years.  I’ve tried literally dozens of other cables on both tube and solid state components and I always come back to these.  These cables are, by design, low impedance, low inductance, and because of this tend to be more capacitive than most IC’s as I understand it.  This may come into play with the PILLs, which I believe are essentially capacitors of some kind.  There may be an interaction at play here and produce “unusual” results, or results “different” than when used with a more typical IC design.  I’m not an electrical engineer.  Perhaps Steve could shed some light here.  Time permitting, I will try some different IC’s, but that will necessitate me acclimating to the sound of different IC’s too, which would detract from my goal of isolating the PILLs as the “only” changing variable in the equation.
More extended listening coming up over the long weekend ahead.  Next audition update early next week, and then the PILLs will be on their way to the next person on the list.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #83 - 05/25/16 at 21:19:27
 
Interesting, and thanks for the report.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #84 - 05/26/16 at 04:19:03
 
Quote:
To my ears, here at the outset, the differences the PILLs impart, is not any more or less rez, but how the information that “is there” is “presented”.  


Your ears are working properly! You can't add detail, you can remove it, but that's the opposite effect we're going for. It's all about the presentation, more specifically the timing, more specifically than that, the timing of each individual note across the frequency spectrum aka phase angle changes from low frequencies to high frequencies.  And what happens when all frequencies are called upon at the same time...? How harmonious are the phase angles of all 20,000 course frequencies and all 2 million fine frequencies relative to each other? Why are these phase angles not right in the first place you ask?  Well sadly they become modified as an artifact or side effect of mostly the playback process, and most evident in the digital medium.

I really have to say so far your review captures it rather well. The music gets more relaxed because the phase angles are more harmonious which is less artificial and less artificial is more easily and freely accepted by the brain.

Outstanding first impressions and very well communicated!

Steve



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« Last Edit: 05/26/16 at 04:25:31 by Steve Deckert »  
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #85 - 05/29/16 at 02:38:44
 
did anyone else find a greater impact with redbook vs. "hd" downloads, like i did?  i found the greatest impact (in my system) using the silver pills with cd (redfile) flac rips.

why is that?  that make sense?

why did my brain and ears like that vs. anything else i ran thru the pills?
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #86 - 05/29/16 at 02:59:02
 
Are these the lowest resolution files you play through the Pills?  They may be the most flawed by nature or process, or flawed in the way that the Pills can readily improve upon/correct. . . .
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #87 - 05/29/16 at 21:48:40
 
"Did anyone else find a greater impact with redbook vs. "hd" downloads, like i did?"

Most of the 'digititis' that people complain about with CDs comes from jitter and other timing errors. If, as Steve writes, the PILLs work on reducing timing errors then their effects would be more noticeable at lower resolution recordings.

In the June issue of Stereophile Jim Austin talks with the recording engineer at 2L Recordings in Norway, Morten Lindberg:

For all the discussion of jitter over the last two decades -- and all the discussion of minimum-phase and anodizing filters -- little has been written about what timing errors sound like and how they affect our perception of music. Here was an expert [Lindberg] with wide experience doing exactly that. I kept the conversation going.

"Our perception of time smear is very similar to how our mind deals with reverb," Lindberg told me. Time smear in digital recordings -- the cumulative effect of all those low-pass filters -- creates a sort of unintentional reverb, obscuring detail in time and space. This, he emphasized, is more aural analogy than precise technical parallel: "Don't take these analogies too literally, as the converter blur is in the microseconds and early reflections of a reverb is in the milliseconds, but the modeling and effects on our auditory perceptions are comparable."
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #88 - 06/02/16 at 19:59:26
 
I’m not going to write a novel on my impression/experience with the PILLs, for two reasons:
  • 1) "hearing” is a perception, and an individual perception at that.  You will not necessarily hear the same thing as I, nor anybody else.  I can't tell you what "you" will hear, nor what you "should" hear.
  • 2) Anyone interested or curious about the PILLs, should try/audition these themselves, in their room, in their system, with their own music and reach their own conclusions.  

That said, I will conclude with the final point, that my initialize impressions held up over the period of time I’ve had the PILLs, only more so.  Or I should say that over time I became more sure of the PILLs effect on the sound of system.  
This will probably set off some BS meters, but the PILLs effect is kind of subliminal IMO - it’s hard to verbalize.  But it’s almost like the pinna, inner ear, auditory nerve, brain, etc., the whole auditory system is not working as hard to produce the illusion that it’s hearing real/live music – i.e. performers in the room with you or you’re where the performance was given.  

Listen for a while with the PILLs installed, maybe 30 minutes with some of your favorite music that you’re familiar with.  Then remove the PILLs and listen to the same music again, not necessarily in the same order, but just the same general music.  Try not to get caught up in, nor focus on “what’s different”, but just listen for enjoyment and see if you get the “something’s missing feeling” and your brain telling you to “go back to the way it was”.  Then put the PILLs back inline and play some more music and see if positive Qi returns to your own personal Feng Shui.

I found myself ultimately placing the PILLs between my pre and amp and therefore “PILLed” everything flowing through my system.  I also found that I preferred the Silver PILLs in this position.  The Gold PILLs also sound good on some material, but overall I found them to “alter” the sound a bit as opposed to the Silver’s “enhancing” of the sound – I prefer “enhanced”.  Of course YMMV.. most likely will vary.
I feel like I could probably experiment with them more and see if their effect is increased or lessened by being used at other points in the chain.  But it’s time for me to send them on to the next person on the list.

For contrast, I’ve had a Burson AB-160 buffer for a long time that I run less than stellar sources through.  I’ve been pleased with what it does and genuinely believe it improves the sound of those sources (FM and Satellite radio is what I use it for mostly).  Its effect on the sound is much more pronounced than the PILLs and also “different”.  Anyone could clearly hear what the Burson does to the sound passing through it in just a few moments.  It definitely “alters” the sound – for the better in most cases for poor sources.  The PILLs are not a replacement for the buffer in this application for me.  The PILLs, especially the Silvers, are IMO an enhancement to already stellar sound.  I would not want to add the buffer to a chain where the sound was already very good.  As good as the buffer is, for what it does, it would be "subtractive" from a hi-rez, already good sounding system.  The Silver PILLs, on the other hand, nudge very good sound, a little closer to sounding real and I did not experience any subtractive qualities by putting them in the chain - only goodness.

Overall, I think most folks would adjudge the PILLs a “tweak”, albeit a rather unique tweak.  And would use them as a “fine tuning” device, just like any other tweak.  I also suspect that the resolving capability of one’s system would need to be fairly high in order to receive the benefit of the Silver’s - but this is just speculation on my part.  On the other hand, the Gold’s would likely prove beneficial on lower quality sources used at the output of said source, upstream of a preamp or amp. Especially any source a person feels is "thin", "bleached" or harmonically thread bare.  Which.... just caused me to think of something, as I’m writing this; which is to place the Gold’s inline between a tuner/radio/etc and my preamp, and leave the Silver’s between the pre and amp… I did not try both the Gold and Silver PILLs in “tandem” - both flavors at the same time.  Perhaps the next person to audition could give this a try.  Hmmmmm…. I thought I had reached a conclusion to order a set of the Silver’s.  Now I’ve just created myself a new quandary to determine if I should get a set of Gold’s also, just for experiments sake!

Tom H.  I’ll be sending the PILLs your way by end of the week.  I will notify you when they are headed your way.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #89 - 06/06/16 at 19:22:49
 
Tom H. the Pills should arrive at your address today or tomorrow - I sent you an email.

One last word on the PILLs.  I had a chance to listen to music for a couple of hours late Saturday evening.  This was the first extended, uninterrupted listening, I'd done since the PILLs were boxed up to be sent on.  I gotta tell ya... I missed the PILLs - I'm ordering some Silvers this week.
I even ordered some male RCA to male RCA adapters that will allow me to not have to use another pair of IC's to install the PILLs.  I also have a supply of DIY Lok high copper content RCA's that I may see if I can find some way to weld a pair of them together back-to-back - might be better than adapters.....
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #90 - 06/07/16 at 02:42:55
 
maddog
iam missing them a bit too!  may have to get me a set of silvers for my redbook flac playback.
like the idea of the adapter too.  let us know what you come up with.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #91 - 06/09/16 at 03:29:57
 
USPS delivery confirmation says next person on the list got the PILLs Monday afternoon.  Hopefully we'll be getting an initial impression update from him soon.

fyi - the male rca to male rca adapters I got were Monster brand... with the split turbine barrels.  They were the only adapters like this that I could find that weren't really cheesy, cheap, nickel plated tin.

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #92 - 06/09/16 at 22:12:28
 
Pills, Pills, I got the Pills.

Unfortunately, its bad timing.  I was on the road most of the week.  But I am listening now.  Does seem smoother on some tough tracks.  I am using the silver.

Unfortunately I don't have two identical sets of ICs right now.  Took them to the cottage to use on that system, so I am using Zen silver and my DIY's.

I haven't been reading the thread but I will listen a little more and then see if my impressions match other people's.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #93 - 06/29/16 at 18:18:51
 
My apologies to the group on holding on to the Pills so long.  June is a bad work travel month for me and I kept thinking I would get time to do a proper audition and it just didn't happen.  So I kept them waaay too long.  I have shipped them to the next person who should be receiving them soon.  I retrospect, I should have taken myself off the list.  I just didn't know when I would receive them.

I did pull them out of the system last week and immediately missed them.  I do listen to a variety of digital music of varying quality and they do have an impact.   Less glare.  Smoother sound.  Perhaps fuller as well.  In general, just easier to listen to.

I have a few songs that are my ultimate harsh tests and while they didn't completely take the edge off, they did help considerably.  I give the silver a thumbs up (never got to try the gold).  Guess I better see how much they cost...
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #94 - 07/02/16 at 23:43:59
 
I received the pills yesterday afternoon.  I installed the silver pills in the following system that lives in a small 9x12 dedicated  listening room with room treatments.

Bluesound Vault music server connected to Schitt Bifrost Multi It Dac via Toslink, short Schitt IC's, silver Pills, Thuan Trinh copper reveal interconnects, SE84UFO2 amp, Audioquest type 4 speaker cables, DIY OB speakers with Wild Borro Audio Betsy drivers.
As you can tell by the components that this is a relatively low cost system that I feel still has high performance and sounds really good.

This system has gone through some changes lately.  The Dac is about two months old and the cooper reveals replaced Audioquest King Cobra IC's around five weeks back. I also made some recent changes in how I mounted the speakers. So the system is in transition which makes it hard to evaluate something new.

My first impression is that the silver pills have added some smoothness, espically with some tracks that I found sounded  harsh or brittle without the pills.  On better recorded CD's and HD downloads I'm not hearing much difference.  

I installed the gold pills in my family room Home theater setup.  On this system music is streamed from Internet radio or from the music server.
This setup has a Yamaha receiver and Monitor Audio silver 3 speakers.
It is used for background music, not serious listening.

I will give a further update after listening some more.  I will be away for 10 days starting Tuesday so it may be a couple of weeks before I can finish up the evaluation and send them on.  I'm sorry for the delay to the next person on the list.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #95 - 07/16/16 at 21:24:18
 
I'm back from vacation and have spent some time listening to the pills.  First, a disclaimer,  I'm 68 and my hearing is not what it once was.  I don't hear anything above 13k hertz or so.

I installed the gold pills in my home theater system between a Bluesound Node and a Yamaha RXA830 receiver.  The pills make a very noticeable improvement in this system.  The CD of Laura Nyro's  "Gonna take a miracle"  has some cuts with background singers sounding like cats fighting to me.  I just could not listen to this CD before.  With the pills, its not great, but it is listenable.  The pills also took the edge off a HD download of Cat Stevens "Tea for the Tillerman" and a CD of The Band's "Music from big pink", both of which I felt were overly bright.  

This system is not very revealing and I did not notice any downside to well recorded music.  My wife noticed the changes to poorly recorded music also and wants me to buy the gold pills for this system.

I want to listen to the silver pills in my SE84 system a little more before making my final comments.  
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #96 - 07/18/16 at 22:04:17
 
I mailed the pills out to the next person on the list today.  
I have been listening to the silver pills for eight hours or so over the last three days in my Zen system.  The pills did improve the sound of some of my poorly recorded music, but not enough for me to want to listen to these tracks on this system.  The SE84 has amazing resolution and detail, but this makes the flaws in bad recordings really stand out.  On well recorded material the pills seemed to soften the sound just a bit without the loss of any detail.  I think for me, keeping this system simple with just the source, my dac, and the zen is the way to go.  I will be buying the gold pills for the HT system.  
Thank you Steve for making this audition possible.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #97 - 08/08/16 at 21:51:07
 
Hi everyone,
I'm not sure where I stand on the list, but I sadly think I'll have to pass on testing the Pills, as I am just too overwhelmed with work in the foreseeable future to be able to give them the listen they deserve and be able to report back in a timely fashion.  Thanks for the opportunity and my apologies for not being able to take part.
Chris
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #98 - 08/17/16 at 04:09:15
 
Thank you everyone for the great job reviewing the Pills. As far as I know we are at the end of the list.

I found it very interesting what everyone had to report, and thought it was surprisingly consistent and in line with what I expected to hear.  

I will say that for an audiophile system it would probably be nice to have it switchable so that it could be implemented on demand.  Perhaps I should offer it as an option in the Zen Switch Box.

Steve
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #99 - 02/15/17 at 22:08:58
 
The timing of me getting my Silver Pills could not have been better. I have had them in for an hour now/yup that's all. I have been using a Dayton APA150 Solid State Amp in the absence of my ZMA to remind me of why I own a ZMA and my associated Gear.

The Dayton is what it is and yeah, it is funny to have it hooked up to $9500.00 (full retail) of High End Cables, the ZDSD and 4k Speakers, etc..... .
But, the bugger has handled it all, in a okay way, hearing from the other room as I mill around upstairs the last 16 days without my ZMA.

Anyway, I put the PAC Silvers in and I'll tell ya; they are an extension of Steve's great output transformer's of my ZDSD. It was apparent 3 songs in, the ZDSD stellar OP stage feeding the PAC-S's.....more definition was getting through the Dayton with less glare and better imaging on a larger soundstage. Just down right more palpable and as I write. Not my ZMA mind you....but if it can enhance the already great ZDSD output stage....to make this Dayton scratch your head a little?......Drum Kit palpability was better too in definition. Remember, I've been Listening, although mostly passive to the Dayton in the System and it is nasty really....but....the Pills?.....the help. I think the multiplier is the ZDSD output stage my cables and the Pills forcing some good through the Dayton for sure.
......
.........I can't wait to run them in to my ZMA. Plus, taking them downstairs to the other Rig. However, they may not be leaving my Listening Room if they do what I think they can do with the ZDSD output stage to my KS1030 to PILLS SILVER to my other KS1030 (some sort of awesome Inductance vs. Capacitance match/hand shake going on)....and then to ZMA.

.....calling to put my order in for the ZROCK soon too.....so I have the BYPASS option you mention in your above post and SonicSeeker mentioned in his post #12, in the ZROCK Thread.  

Steve, you know how it should sound. To induce some Analog semblance into this Dayton....is way wow. Oh, and I'm not playing my best recordings either and things are more listenable (but that is the whole idea right)?! I don't know what to expect with the ZMA, but I can't wait.







Current.........(ZMA returns tomorrow)

Listening Room


Room Treatments from Michael Green & Home Brew

Sony as Transport (DVP-NS57P)

Illuminati D-60 Digital Coax IC

Shunyata Research Zitron Alpha Digital Power Cord to ZDSD
{Extremely Significant}

Decware ZDSD DAC / Recorder
***************************************************************
W/Steve's Output Transformer's/kicking to the curb quite a few superb DAC'S!
***************************************************************
(@ -20 Ref Level, 0.0 Input volume and @ 16/192)


WBT regular/1st Gen/RCA Kimber Select KS1030


Decware PAC - S Clarifier's


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030


Dayton APA150 Integrated Amplifier


Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades


Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....from 8ohm Taps






Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


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PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
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« Last Edit: 02/15/17 at 22:39:50 by stone_of_tone »  

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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #100 - 08/11/17 at 22:09:02
 
Of course, with the return of my ZMA 6 months ago.....the Pills were not needed in my Listening Room System. The ZMA, NOS Plat' Tubes,.....was a Lock back in with my Cabling and ZDSD.

But, the real reason I got them, was for my other Rig. I use my PILLS running out of my Dish Network HD/DVR to my Preamp. Serius/XM Sat Radio has never sounded better. I have had them in for nearly 6 months in this capacity. I took them out yesterday.....did some Listening before going to Vinyl for the rest of the day today/evening. I could not take more than a half hour of CLASSIC REWIND, WITHOUT THEM!

Thanks Steve.....for these wonderful wonder's. I have the PILL Silver's.
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Audio Alchemy DDE 3.0
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #101 - 08/12/17 at 00:17:36
 
Are the silver pills still on tour?  After upgrading my ss amp to decware, the bar for sound quality went up "quite abit" in the fletcher household. Only vinyl tested so far.    As expected most  great recordings sounded way better, mediocre or poor recordings were a mixed bag, some sounded better some sounded worse or certainly not  better (perhaps bar raised) than cd on SS amp.  If the silvers are floating I would not mind trying them out.   I must admit in particular the challenge was my wife's Bruno mars LP.   (It's not mine I swear, talented guy live for sure though)  

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« Last Edit: 08/12/17 at 00:18:41 by Martindfletcher »  

Chain in order: TD124 mki, Denon 103R, Ortofon RS-309D, zu silver phono cable, ZMC1, Audio Art RCA, ZP3, vintage RCA 5U4G Rectifier, Gold lion signal tubes, DW silver reference, Xhadow, Bridged UFO2's, gold lion 6922, mapleshade double helix plus, zu Druid v's
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Steve Deckert
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #102 - 08/13/17 at 23:25:35
 
Hi,

The Pill tour ended some ago, but I am happy to report that the first 100 pills are sold out and we are machining the tubes for another even larger batch.

I have also made the observation that the overwhelming majority of buyers get the silver ones. The silver ones contain a high speed bypass cap to preserve enough top end detail that they can be used in your main system if so desired without ruining your hi-res recordings.

However, from what I can tell, at least half of the buyers are using them in the original intended context of the design which was to make classic rock Internet streams sound better. For this application we have the Gold version of the Pills that does not have this high speed bypass and therefor has a greater effect on Internet streams or similar sound quality challenged situations.

These come with a 30 day trial and are very inexpensive to ship.

Thanks,

Steve


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stone_of_tone
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #103 - 08/15/17 at 19:52:54
 
AH, yeah, the pill tour ended 8/2016......read back all of two or three posts Martin?!     Grin Grin Grin Grin

I posted here, for obvious reasons.....it's about the PILL's.

Anyway, THEY WORK, at least in the context I use them.

Mine, won't be coming out of my 2nd Rig; context/use, again!

PS-plus, in the capacity that I use my Silver PILLS.....AXS Concerts and TV viewing are more pleasurable...............too.
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« Last Edit: 08/15/17 at 21:35:58 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
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Corey
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #104 - 08/20/17 at 01:35:29
 
Tone,

Tried gold PAC
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #105 - 10/10/17 at 01:08:35
 
Will there be an update when they are ready?
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #106 - 10/11/17 at 02:37:25
 
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #107 - 10/11/17 at 03:27:13
 
Excellent, thanks.  Ordering...
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #108 - 10/11/17 at 14:17:25
 
I have a set of the silver pills, i got them to listen to Tidal Masters from a BlueSound note 2 dac, they make a notable difference, a positive one on my system. I am using the Shunyata Research venom interconnects on both sides and I am happy camper.
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Re: The DECWARE PILL Tour sign up list
Reply #109 - 10/14/17 at 19:35:24
 
Can't say enough about them. Rocking Zep at the O2 Arena with my Polk SDA SRS 1.2's right now! DVR recorded AXS....glass of red wine in hand.  8-)
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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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