Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
04/27/17 at 21:51:13 







Pages: 1
Send Topic Print
TABOO MK4 is HERE! (Read 2168 times)
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2907
TABOO MK4 is HERE!
01/25/17 at 03:59:10
 


I have taken the Taboo design to a higher level of refinement and operation by basically re-designing lucid mode, and changing the entire chassis layout. Bottom line, this is a better sounding Taboo and it's far easier to use.

The original lucid mode that was on a switch, had to be ON in order to use 1/4" headphone jacks otherwise you would drop the ground on one of the two channels. This was because a Taboo has no real ground reference in it's output stage design, instead it uses a virtual ground which floats above real ground. If you just went into Charlie Brown mode and all you head there was "bla bla bla" I apologize
and this is the reason for the redesign... to have something that needs no explanation whatsoever to operate.

One of the best features of the Taboo MK3 and UFO, was "New lucid mode" which can take recordings to a place where not even the mastering engineers were aware it could go. It was by far the coolest thing I've ever invented and since it had to be tuned to the headphone impedance we set it to 50 ohms meaning if your headphones were higher or lower than that, this cool new feature would not work properly and therefor be unusable. In addition, the feature is recording dependent, so while it has a positive effect on 2/3rds of your music collection, it will wreck the other 1/3rd. So, between these two things the greatest feature of the Taboo has gone largely undiscovered by most.

Lucid Mode is now a simple switch, ON or OFF and a level control which determines the effect. New lucid mode is seamlessly integrated into the mix all you do is turn one knob until you like the sound. With this design change, Lucid mode will likely be used by 95% of people 95% of the time which is as intended.

No longer are there going to be 4 headphone jacks on a Taboo. Now we have only one, and it is a 4 pin XLR jack, and that is the ONLY option. To use a taboo, your headphones must be equipped with this kind of cable.

No longer are there input level controls next to each input jack. In the past these went largely unused, and if they were used it was to adjust balance between channels. Now we have DUAL volume controls, one for each channel so that you can make fine channel balance adjustments. We feel STRONGLY that this is the best way to control level on a reference headphone rig, which this is. If you feel anxiety about using two controls, rest easy it's a wonderful experience compared to a single control... BY FAR.

Also, there will be no stepped attenuated options, even though we would likely sell a TON of them, the steps defeat the infinite adjustability that is so important with headphone listening, and in this case would also make it impossible to make fine balance adjustments defeating the purpose of having dual volumes in the first place.

The HI-LO option that has been so popular in the MK3 and UFO is now standard and on a switch right next to headphone jack with all the other controls where you can easily visit it.

The amp is still a kick ass speaker amplifier and drives a pair of efficient speakers with all magic you would expect from any Decware amp.  Unique is the fact that it is and has always been a single ended pentode amplifier giving it a touch better extension on both ends and more speed.

We are using the new UFO transformers in it and the tube compliment remains unchanged.

As far as options, the only one I can think of is the coupling caps, i.e.. beeswax or copper beeswax, both of course are cryo treated.  The wood base, knobs, and the caps are the only options on the new taboo.  Oh, and yes I almost forgot, there is now an option for XLR transformer balanced inputs.

Price is being set as we update the web page starting next week.

Everyone with Taboo's on order is being contacted when their amps are started to find out which model they would prefer. Those individuals will not pay more should the price of the new amp be higher since they already have budgeted for what they had on order.

Steve

In summary, the most exiting part of this re-design is that Lucid modes will work across all headphones and loudspeakers for that matter, is fully adjustable and has a bypass switch so you can A/B the effect.  

Having the full output of Balanced XLR driving the taboo with it's 4 to 10 volts, will negate the need for a preamp to achieve best sound.  That alone can be a real game changer to your budget.

The device is so simple to use, no directions or even labels are required to understand it within minutes.

I have been developing a re-mastering process based on the taboo's lucid mode design for the past 4 years, and making it adjustable was the key that made it finally work.  


Steve






...
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Senior Member
***




Posts: 92
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #1 - 01/25/17 at 16:53:13
 
Steve,
Is this adjustable New Lucid Mode able to be added/retrofitted to my Taboo MKIII?  I am ok with all of the other features on my MKIII, but like you just mentioned, it is often un-utilized.  It generally does not jive well with my headphones as it is currently set.  I would love the option to be able to adjust it and make it work when it normally would not.

Jeff
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//ZDSD//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//ZP3//Zen Head//TEAC X-2000M//OPPO 103 (Modded)//Monoliths//ZMF Omni Blackwoods//Ultrasone Signature Pro's//UM Miracles CIEMs
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2907
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #2 - 01/26/17 at 02:53:01
 

Haven't gotten that far yet, but I think so.  Probably one of the rear headphone jacks could be removed and replaced with the control.

Steve
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Senior Member
***




Posts: 92
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #3 - 01/26/17 at 04:47:17
 
Yeah, I know I jumped the gun a bit but that is the only feature on my Taboo that I don't use, but the one I was (and still am) most excited about. Although I have not gotten it to "work" for me, I absolutely see the potential in how it - without a shred of a doubt - influences the sound.  

I know you have your hands full rolling this thing out, but when you are able to come up for some air, I would love the opportunity to send this puppy back for this feature upgrade.  

Jeff
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//ZDSD//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//ZP3//Zen Head//TEAC X-2000M//OPPO 103 (Modded)//Monoliths//ZMF Omni Blackwoods//Ultrasone Signature Pro's//UM Miracles CIEMs
  IP Logged
amw1011
Verified Member
**




Posts: 2
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #4 - 01/26/17 at 13:44:07
 
Seems very interesting. It was recently recommended that I look into the Taboo, so I guess my timing is right.  I admit, my technical knowledge is poor so I may be asking a silly question.  Does this new design work with headphones greater than or lesser than 50 ohm?  The new 300 ohm ZMFs come to mind as a pairing.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Senior Member
***




Posts: 92
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #5 - 01/26/17 at 15:43:53
 
The Taboo works beautifully with ZMF's.  I have the Ori's which is Zach's planar version and subsequently, the hardest to drive in the ZMF lineup.  The Taboo does it effortlessly.
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//ZDSD//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//ZP3//Zen Head//TEAC X-2000M//OPPO 103 (Modded)//Monoliths//ZMF Omni Blackwoods//Ultrasone Signature Pro's//UM Miracles CIEMs
  IP Logged
amw1011
Verified Member
**




Posts: 2
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #6 - 01/26/17 at 19:22:32
 
My question is more about the "since it had to be tuned to the headphone impedance we set it to 50 ohms meaning if your headphones were higher or lower than that, this cool new feature would not work properly and therefor be unusable" Statement.  I was wondering if that still holds true with the MK4, since the new ZMFs are 300 ohm.

Zach is the one who recommended that I look into the Taboo originally so I have no doubt it matches well with his planar lineup.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Senior Member
***




Posts: 92
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #7 - 01/26/17 at 19:31:07
 
I see.  Well in general, regardless of any mode switch, my ZMF's sound amazing on the Taboo.

As far as the New Lucid Mode on the MKIII, I can say it does not work well with my ZMF Ori's.  Not sure if this would be different with his new Eikon or Atticus models since those our house-made proprietary drivers and therefore, my observations have no relevance.    

Steve will have to chime in as to what the adjustable range of this New Lucid Mode is to see how the 300 ohm ZMF's fit in.  Im curious myself.
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//ZDSD//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//ZP3//Zen Head//TEAC X-2000M//OPPO 103 (Modded)//Monoliths//ZMF Omni Blackwoods//Ultrasone Signature Pro's//UM Miracles CIEMs
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2907
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #8 - 01/27/17 at 00:02:21
 
The Taboo Mk IV's lucid mode works with all headphones.  It is infinitely adjustable.  The difference between a 50 ohm phone and a 300 ohm phone is simply that the you would turn the control up MUCH LESS for the same effect on the 300 ohm phone vs. the 50 ohm phone.
Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
davestamper
Verified Member
**




Posts: 2
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #9 - 01/31/17 at 05:21:34
 
Received my Mk4 tonight.  Can't wait to play with it.  Steve, you mention the Mk4 has a switch to turn on Lucid mode, a switch to by-pass and a hi-lo switch. What does the fourth switch do?

I must admit I have not turned it on yet.  I am out of town until Thursday
so the wife took a picture and sent it to me. It is killing me!
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 01/31/17 at 14:46:19 by davestamper »  
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 11828
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #10 - 01/31/17 at 13:37:20
 
If the new model still has two inputs, perhaps the fourth switch is to toggle between them.
Back to top
 
 

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2907
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #11 - 02/01/17 at 05:23:10
 
The switches for input selection are located directly in front of the input jacks.  One switch for each channel.



The lucid mode switch is on the right of the headphone jack.  It is the lucid mode bypass switch that you can use to A/B lucid mode which is essential to getting the variable control set right.

The switch to the left of the headphone jack is the HI / LO switch.

The two volume controls are each located under the bias meter for that channel.

And apparently I forgot to install the front screw Sad



Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
davestamper
Verified Member
**




Posts: 2
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #12 - 02/03/17 at 03:26:42
 
I listened to my MKIV for the first time today.  It is a stunning piece of equipment.  Not just beautiful with the feel of quality workmanship but sonically gorgeous.  

First listen was with ZMF Ori headphones and AK380 as the source. The new knob for adjusting the Lucid effect was easy to adjust.  Using the Lucid on/off switch to A/B shows a dramatic affect on the sound.  The dual volume adjustment is something I suddenly can't live without.  My old ears appreciate the fine adjustments I can make.  

I am not qualified to describe the sound presentation in terms that the audiophile wants to hear.  All I can say is the MKIV sounds better than any of my other equipment.  I own Ray Samuels Raptor, Red Wine Audio Audeze edition and other headphone amps. With Lucid off the sound is similar to the Red Wine Audio setup which is wonderful.  When I turn on the Lucid mode I feel as if I've moved from the front row to onstage. I hear everything in the recording.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Senior Member
***




Posts: 92
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #13 - 02/03/17 at 03:33:03
 
Steve,
When can I send mine in? Smiley
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//ZDSD//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//ZP3//Zen Head//TEAC X-2000M//OPPO 103 (Modded)//Monoliths//ZMF Omni Blackwoods//Ultrasone Signature Pro's//UM Miracles CIEMs
  IP Logged
chengdigger
Verified Member
**




Posts: 4
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #14 - 03/02/17 at 18:34:30
 
Sweet Christmas! I finally unboxed and fired up my Taboo MK4 - SN #3.

Gorgeous build. It took me a bit to figure out all the switches (and how to select the XLR inputs).

Yesterday, I was running a Cavalli liquid carbon and schiit mjolinir 2 at the same spot. The current source is a balanced schiit gunginir multibit dac. I went to Taboo for different sound and to be able to run a pair of omega desktop speakers at my desk.

At the moment, I'm using a pair of mrspeakers Ether Flows. They are the cans I've been using the past couple weeks. I also have the closed version, some ZMFs, fostex, beyerdynamic, and sennheisers I plan to run through, but for reference I want to spend the first week on the same headphones.

Lucid mode is screwing with my head. I'm grateful for the knob and bypass. The impact of the feature is indeed very dependent on source. For example, Doxy on Bags' Groove doesn't seem to benefit much from the technology.  Gregory Porter and Allen Toussaint had some cool results. My 20 minute impression is that naked, clean, well-produced tracks are really fun with this. On the right track, the effect seems to be like throwing on a pair of corrective lenses or using a high-quality pair of binoculars.   The rock tracks I tried didn't do much in lucid. I suspect the compressors and other engineering diminish the effect. The variability of the effect b/t tracks is so great that I can't imagine not having the adjustable feature and bypass. I'm going to have to reorient the amp to be able to 'tune' track by track.

This is an impressive amp. I look forward to getting to know it better. I'll try to update my impressions with some time.

Congrats, Steve. This kicks some ass.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/02/17 at 18:36:20 by chengdigger »  
  IP Logged
chengdigger
Verified Member
**




Posts: 4
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #15 - 03/07/17 at 12:46:12
 
I wired in my Omega desktops to the Mk4 this morning. The taboo runs them quite well. After trying a single-ended source, I'm really grateful for the extra voltage provided by the balanced inputs. It's a great option

With the headphones, I noticed the mk4 much less forgiving of marginal recordings and sources than the liquid carbon and to a lesser degree the mjolinir. As much as it brings out the good, it shines a harsh spotlight on the bad.  It seems a bit more forgiving with the loudspeakers. The lucid dial and independent volume controls are a real trip with speakers in nearfield.

I am, however, wishing for a speaker bypass switch. Being at my desktop, it's pretty inconvenient to have to mount/unmount the heavy duty spades every time I want to run speakers. I guess I could go banana plug, but a bypass switch would be nice.

Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 03/07/17 at 12:46:37 by chengdigger »  
  IP Logged
Steve
Verified Member
**




Posts: 19
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #16 - 03/15/17 at 02:19:53
 
Any updates on upgrades?
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 2907
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #17 - 03/29/17 at 04:08:32
 
Indeed...

The bypass switch would have been nice and I admit probably the biggest reason besides not having another contact in the signal path, was that I only use bananas in my world so it is just so easy to lift one... you only have to lift one.

So, I have finished the web page. I'm sure as always there's plenty of humbling typos but as anyone knows it is difficult as hell to proof read your own copy.  The same is true with amplifiers.  If you build one with an error and it doesn't work right, it can take you in some cases days to find it, whereas someone else could see it in ten minutes... happens a lot around here.

Here is the link the to the new web page for the Taboo Mk IV, and hopefully soon an owner's manual will follow.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/TABOO.htm


-Steve  


Back to top
 
 
WWW   IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 11828
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #18 - 04/01/17 at 20:04:22
 
I did something reckless. I ordered the Taboo Mk IV amp. I have fallen in love with the Taboo Mk III that I bought from pale rider, and now have it in the main system and darn it. . . I know that the Mk IV will be a big step up and I took it. Now I just have to figure out how to pay for it. Ah well, there's always something to sell and this will force me into selling stuff, an action I really don't like to do but should.
Back to top
 
 

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Senior Member
***




Posts: 92
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #19 - 04/01/17 at 21:40:29
 
Hey Steve,
Had a moment to think about a potential upgrade option(s) for MK III owners?  I have had my MK III for less than two years.  I do feel the UFO and adjustable New Lucid Mode option, amongst others, would improve my listening experience, but the thought of selling such a new amp to repurchase the MK IV doesn't.  If not all features are upgradeable, may still be worthwhile for some of us to choose the features that are upgradeable.  

Inquiring minds want to know...
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//ZDSD//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//ZP3//Zen Head//TEAC X-2000M//OPPO 103 (Modded)//Monoliths//ZMF Omni Blackwoods//Ultrasone Signature Pro's//UM Miracles CIEMs
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 11828
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #20 - 04/09/17 at 15:19:47
 
I am eager to hear the new Mk IV, but realize I have three months or so to wait!

In the meantime I have the Mk III in my main system, powered by the PS Audio P10 and an PS Audio AC-12 power cord and boy does it shine! I rolled some tubes yesterday and I've settled on a 5Y3 bottle type rectifier as clearly being the best with all the input tubes I tried, and I found a tube that I have lost track of and is either a 6N1P or a 6N23P and is not cryo'd. . . this one gives me a really accurate and dynamic sound. I'm using the Military Russian output tubes that came with the amp.

This coming week I'm going to get to know Lucid mode better, the old and the new. . . I haven't listened to these much and it's time I explored them, in advance of the new New Lucid Mode that is adjustable.

To think I was once so tired of headphone use and spent a few decades avoiding them! If I had this amp and these headphones (Audeze LCD-2, Oppo PM-1) in the past I'd have not given it up!

Back to top
 
 

Decware:HR-1,ZP3,CSP2+,Torii Mk III,ZBIT,Taboo III;PS Audio DMP+DS,P10,PowerBases,AC-12 pcs,Mapleshade spkr cbl;CambridgeAud CXU;Rega RP3,TTPSU,wh belt, Groovetracer upgrades+Exact2;VooDoo Cbl:Stradivarius+Cremona,Iso-Pods; Mplshade:Samson v3;Oppo PM-1;Audeze LCD2
  IP Logged
alper_yilmaz
Senior Member
***




Posts: 83
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #21 - 04/13/17 at 21:02:42
 
So, what is the verdict on upgradability?  Can we have our TABOO mkIII's (from 2013-2016 period) upgraded to mkIV?  Since the layout has changed, I assume this would be a bit difficult and pricy...

Best,

Alper
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
alper_yilmaz
Senior Member
***




Posts: 83
Re: TABOO MK4 is HERE!
Reply #22 - 04/17/17 at 21:10:33
 
Being the impatient person I am, I gave a call to Steve regarding if an  upgrade from mkIII to mkIV was possible.  Steve told me that he has not looked into this in detail as of yet, but from an ergonomic perspective it would be difficult.  I understand that the new design is more practical than the older one.  After giving it a try, he will post his findings here...

Best,

Alper
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1
Send Topic Print