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S3HOXRS (Read 17786 times)
JOMAN
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S3HOXRS
03/04/17 at 04:49:11
 
Just got my Omega S3HOXRS.  This my initial review, 1st impressions of fit and finish.  IMPRESSED!!!

Theres a number of 1st's for me with these:
1st speaker I've owned finished with a laminate veneer.
1st speaker I've owned with 4.5" drivers
1st speaker I've owned with a magnetic grill

I chose the laminate veneer for a couple of reasons. Somewhere I read that the laminate veneer is less prone to dings and scuffs.  I think Steve may have pointed this out.  Very little upsets me more than when I get a new wood veneered item and in the process of moving it I accidentally ding or scuff it, this can initiate a volley of descriptive adjectives.  So the above comments registered with me.  I also hate it when wood veneer checks because the environment in my space is dry.  Hard to see from a distance but up close looks terrible - ugh.

My concerns were that laminate veneer can look fake and cheap and the joints can be very evident.  This laminate definitely does not look cheap and it does not look fake.  I think that most people would not even think it was laminate.  The joints barely visible and have a pleasing appearance because of the excellent fit and the color match is also excellent.  I had absolutely no reason for concern.

The appearance of the 4.5 inch drivers is going to take some getting used too as the smallest drivers that have been in speakers I've owned were 8" with the exception of one set that had a pair of 6".  Then there's the missing tweeter.  I actually find this amusing in a good way.  Of course when the grill is on you can't see the drivers any way.

The magnetic grills go on one way and pretty much centre themselves - NICE!  The look is somewhat retro and that is perfect for me.

I noticed that the specs on the labels indicate that these are 99DB not 87.5DB, and 4-6 ohm.  No biggie just interesting.  Steve's comments about these being of a size suitable for smaller spaces is right on.

So when it comes to fit and finish and value for the money - 10 out of 10.  Very, very pleased so far.  I have to wait to get my Zen Select and put a couple of hundred hours on both before I can comment on the performance.
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Acetone
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #1 - 03/04/17 at 17:32:23
 
Sounds like good things are in store. Enjoy the ride!
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SE84-CKC & UFO25, ZP3, Zstage, ZRock2, ZSB, DM947-(946)Monoliths, VPI-Traveler-2M black. Philips CDR-880. Audio Envy/RAC-PC's & IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+ Spk wire & jumpers, Blue Circle PLC FX2X0e. Herbies tube dampers, Tenderfoots, GIK, PI Audio, DIY panel
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #2 - 03/04/17 at 20:16:39
 
Will just alerted me to a typo in my post.  Steve specs are 97.5DB not 87.5DB.  That was typo.

Thanks
Will
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pursuitofnow
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #3 - 04/02/17 at 19:22:08
 
You get your amp yet? Any update on the performance of these speakers?
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ANALOG: Thorens VN-150, 2M Black, ZP3, ZSTAGE
DIGITAL: Apple TV, Moon 230HAD, ZROCK2
AMP + SPEAKERS: SE84UFO, Omega Super 3 HO XRS, DeepOmega 8
CABLES: Zenwave D4, ZSTYX
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #4 - 04/08/17 at 12:06:20
 
Hi Pursuitofnow,

Just noticed your question.  Not yet.  The amp is now on the bench so I guess that I should get it in the next couple of weeks.

I'll post my initial impressions and follow up from there.  Steve did advise me to give the Super 3's at least 250 hours before comparing them with my ERR's.  

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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #5 - 04/28/17 at 04:10:23
 
Just got back from a business trip and the SE84UFO2 was waiting for me.  Unpacked it and hooked it up to the S3HOXRS.

Based on the fact that the SE84UFO2 is new and the S3HOXRS are new, the space that it is in is a temporary and far from ideal, the reviews and warnings that the SE84UFO2 is very transparent and detailed, and the reviews of new Omegas needing time to burn in to be their best I was bracing myself for less stellar results.

Also I am tired from the plane ride back during which we encountered a fair bit of turbulence as we flew into a cold front.  I was reluctant to start listening tonight in view of the above but like a boy with a new toy I couldn't resist, all the while expecting a fair amount initial disappointment.

Well...  the initial result was far from disappointing in fact it was far better than expected and far better than it should have been given the above.  I actually sat down and started to listen and still am.

I won't get into details now.  Far too soon.  Also it would be far to difficult as I'm trying to wrap my head around what I'm hearing.  What I will say is that yes the Omegas are FAST!!!  Shades of good electrostats. I would like to say that this is what I was hoping for but this goes well beyond what I could and should expect from a dynamic speaker and the SE84UFO2.  That's why I need time to wrap my head around this combo.

Initially I would sum it up by saying that I'm more than pleased and very surprised.  I'll keep you posted in 50 hour increments.

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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #6 - 05/02/17 at 03:23:59
 
It's been 23 hours and I was supposed to wait until the 50 hour mark before giving further comments...BUT...  The speed of these speakers is disarming in a sneaky sort of way, like they're playing mind games with you.

Listening to "famous blue raincoat - 20th Anniversary Gold edition" was, well, disarming.  Cut 10 Night Comes on, the guitar was unreally real. The faintest plucks had texture, resonance and sustain and relative body.  Cut 11 Ballad of the Runaway Horse has all kinds of things happening in the background at very low levels.  The faintest of these and the layering were clearly discernible and once again had proportional detail, texture and sustain.

The SE84UFO2 is burning in nicely and daily the changes are evident.  I did roll the tubes in it, I know, too soon, however The Fivre 5AR4GYS is excellent with TAD EL84 STR and Siemens E88CC in the input position.  Can't say that this will be final set up and it all still has a ways to go.  I do believe the SE84UFO2 is a great match if speed, detail, transperancy and music are the goal.

From the very beginning the speakers did a disappearing act, now they simply vanish.

I believe Steve said that these speakers were "headphones for the room".  That was no exaggeration!
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atran1234
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #7 - 05/09/17 at 23:55:21
 
Will, hopefully you have had time to further burn in the system.  Any significant changes / improvement you had noticed?  Thanks!
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #8 - 05/11/17 at 15:03:55
 
I have about 45 hours on the S3HOXRS and SE84UFO2.  I wouldn't say that there have been significant changes yet other than the two continue to improve.  The top end edge has diminished while the detail remains in tact.  In my wife words "it's richer".

When I say that their haven't been "significant changes" that doesn't mean that the result isn't significant.  It absolutely is!  It's somewhat annoying to try to describe what's happening because the pair is a study in contradictions.

Convention dictates that to get the kind of mid and mid bass response that I'm hearing you MUST have large drivers.  These are 4" drivers that are outperforming all and I mean all of the previous speakers with larger drivers that I have had, and... I'm just have a hard time believing what I'm hearing and writing what I'm writing.

These perform like eloctrostats with solid mid bass, how's that possible with a dynamic speaker???

I'd like little more low or lower bass but I'm told that I have to wait until I get to about the 200 hour mark.  Normally that would be hard to do if the overall sound was "thin", it's anything but.  The detail, holographic soundstage with exceptional imaging, and palpable images, well you have to hear it to believe it. Above all, theres music coming from the pair.

A friend was over last night and we played a few tunes.  He just sat there in disbelief, it was written all over his face, didn't say word for a while and then he would interject remarks like "that guitar is there, I can see it and I can see her playing it" and point in the direction.  At one point he looked at me and asked "you don't have speakers hidden around the room, do you?".

Now at this point I feel it's necessary to point this out, I spoke with Louis of Omega and when I described what I was hearing he said "it's not just the speakers, it's also that 2 watt amp that you have.  Steve knows what he is doing".

That statement emphasized that these speakers are extremely transparent and will delightfully reveal all that is upstream good or bad.  You'd better have a decent source.  When rolling tubes the differences are immediate and obvious.  These speakers will only output the input.  If what I'm describing isn't there, look elsewhere.

Want more bass?  Put an E288CC in the input position and see, I mean hear what happens BUT the trade of on the highs is just as obvious. The system is VERY transparent, so take that into account.

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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #9 - 05/13/17 at 01:40:28
 
OK, hit the 50 hour mark...  Every thing I said before stands only the bass has started to kick in to a greater degree.  I have doubts that I'll need more, so to speak.  Resolution and detail that is nothing less than superb.  Still a little edgy but less so than at first.

The sound stage is expanding, fills the room to a greater degree. The "interesting" thing is that I can walk into it as I approach the speakers.  As I walk toward the speakers mid way between, it's as if I'm walking onto the stage and the performers are still in their places, as if I'm walking onto a real stage.  Only once before have I experienced this with planar speakers and not to the same degree.

However, I have found one thing I absolutely cannot stand... removing the grills and looking at those miniature drivers against the backdrop of the sound stage. The scale of it and the images does not correlate with the size of the drivers, makes no sense. Unbelievable! The grills stay on! Perhaps they should be the full length of the speakers. Wink
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Steve Deckert
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #10 - 06/14/17 at 04:26:34
 
I think the demo would be to make some 24 inch x 60 inch frames with black grill cloth stretched over them and stand them in front of the speakers so that it looks like you are listening to a large pair of planers.  


... then remove the frames : )


I think the fact that you can get two four inch drivers per side to do this is pretty much proof that transparent amplification with solid recordings will transcend the physical every time.  One of the reasons why the 2 watt Zen and these speakers go together so well is that both create the ultimate illusion of impossibility on their own, and together the combined effect is more than double.

Steve
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #11 - 06/18/17 at 02:46:44
 
Please, don't encourage me, it doesn't take much.

Some of my friends wives are already PO'd with me.  It seems that they get into... "discussions" about a new system and budgets after visiting.
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #12 - 06/30/17 at 12:19:36
 
I've lost track of the hours because life's gotten in the way but I'm probably around the 80-90 hour mark and there have been further developements...

Everything is more real, more present in my space.  My own personal invitation to a private event, is the best way I can summarize it.

The natural decay of the whole instrument or the smallest inflection or modulation of a voice is more complete.  The layering and harmony of a group is more detached from the room, even though the room acoustics are terrible.  

I thought I knew all about this and had experienced it before (I'm no newbie to this) but this combination has set a new benchmark for me and I still have 100 or more hours to go!

I feel that it's important to emphasize that my comments have to be taken in the context of the synergy of a system and not just the speakers themselves.  If the upstream components are not half decent you probably will be disappointed.

I'm not suggesting that you have to spend a ton of money, realatively speaking.  In fact this is the disconcerting part.  A 2.3 watt amp with speaker cables that attach with no fancy, triple plated, mega dollar connectors.  Bare wire ZSTYX cables into the 2.3 watt amp.  The speaker connectors are Swiss CMC silver BFA type, about $4.00 ea.  This into speakers that have no complex external shape, no tweeter and a pair of 4.5" drivers.  

As you can tell I'm still having a challenge getting my head around this.  This is one aspect that you should be prepared for.  By the way, I do have a CSP3 and would highly recommend one.  Being able to adjust the gain structure is a contributing factor.

I'll keep you updated as developements occur.
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #13 - 08/16/17 at 01:53:26
 
I now have about 150 hours on the amp and speakers.  At the risk of belaboring the point, please take this as an update of the SE84UFO2 and the S3HOXRS combined.

I was in the mood to listen to the Cowboy Junkies, The Trinity Sessions and I listened several times because 1.) I was completely absorbed in the music/sound and 2.) I had to hear it more than once to make sure that I wasn't imagining things, or that I wasn't being honest with myself.

And every stinking time I tried to maintain stoic, anylitical objectivity, within seconds (and I mean seconds) I was absorbed in the presentation and immersed in the music.  Like trying to arm wrestle a Grizzly Bear.  Did I really go down in a micro second?? Can't be, let's try this again.

The interesting thing was I didn't have to strain to hear the incredible detail which was presented in the context of music.  Okay, take the cymbal, the leading edge of each rhythmic strike could be clearly heard, no matter how soft or loud, along with the following transients.  No matter how the rapid the rhythm there was no blurring and at the same time the leading edge of every pluck of a guitar string could be heard and the blossoming of the reverberation of the building that followed, with every pluck no matter how soft or loud, never blurring!!!

Accompanying instruments could be clearly heard, leading edge to complete decay no matter how softly played.  And all of the the vocals were completely intelligible no matter how restrained or how intense, being totally seductive.

Nothing ever competed with the other.  Instead there was total harmony.  As a result the music was sensed immediately, and the sound was the cherry on the topping.

Evidently I have at least another 100 hours to go before the system is nicely burned in, I wasn't expecting this in the first 150 hours, don't know what's next.  Maybe a ZROCK2???

I have also settled on a tube set for the amp and I do not expect to be making any changes:

Rectifier-Mullard CV539/GZ32, Output Tubes-Svetlana SV83 (original production) and the Input-Siemens E88CC, gray shield, w/splatter plate and halo getter.

Stay tuned, will update after the next 100 hours.



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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #14 - 09/26/17 at 17:28:24
 
Hi, JOMAN

Have you tried to listen on this speakers complex music material (i mean classical large orchestra recordings)?
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #15 - 09/26/17 at 20:10:01
 
Hi Joman,

Thanks for the updates!  It is great that you are enjoying your SE84UFO and S3HOXRS combination.  I am enjoying a new SE84UFO myself these days with B&W DM630's at 91dB, much less efficient than your Omegas.

I have been experiencing some very nice action with incredible detail, soundstage, air, bass, etc. (also very similar observations to yours); but somehow my G.A.S. for looking into ways to improve the sound even further never goes away, so I am definitely interested in the S3HOXRSs.  At one point, you mentioned that you would not need more bass from your setup.  I understand from that statement that you are hearing quite some satisfactory bass.  After almost 200-250 hours or so (I guess, right?), would you mind elaborating more on the bass you hear?

With my Hoyt-Bedfords (also by Omega) driven by SE34I.2+ or TORII mkII, the bass was there as everything could be heard in amazing detail, but it was not as prominent as the mids and treble.  And whatever I did (including tube rolling and a subwoofer), I could not get around that.

I wish I had time to attend the DECFEST this year to hear the combination at the spot!

Enjoy...

Alper
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #16 - 09/27/17 at 02:38:26
 
Hi Artem and Alper,

Artem, yes I have listened to large orchestral recordings.  One of the more challenging that I have is Hi-Fi a la Espanola - Frederick Fennell, Eastman-Rochester POPS Orchestra.

This recording is dynamic, dramatic and all of it comes through.  No blurring of instruments all presented in harmony.  The speed and resolution can be distracting at first.  Take the tambourine for example... the attack is fast, very fast and the decay is fast.  Nevertheless you clearly hear the timbre of the skin when struck and in conjunction the response of the zils or "jingles" no matter how fast the rhythm all of this comes through and sounds "real".

The problem at first is that this level of speed and resolution is unexpected and it becomes somewhat distracting because it takes a bit of time to get ones head around this "surprise" all the while the orchestra keeps on and it's hard for me to take it all in and keep up, that is until I get somewhat accustomed expecting all of this to be thrown (in a good way) at me.  The system is still a little on the hot side but not strident and it continues to improve.    

Music that is somewhat more intimate or slower in pace is easier to keep up with.

As far as the bass is concerned Alper, I cannot conclusively say that I won't be looking for more bass at this point.  I barely have 200 hours on the system and I was told to give the speakers at least 250 hours and preferably 500 hours.  What I was surprised at was the bass that was available in the first 100 hours and on that basis felt that I would not need more but the jury is still out on that.  In fact I was dreading the first 50 hours and was pleasently surprised.  In fact it gave body to instruments like the cello or piano IF it was in the recording.  

But it is not the deep extended, wall of bass.  However as the speakers continue to burn in I notice that there is more extension and more of a foundation to the music IF it's in the recording.

The system is very, very transparent and resolving to a degree unforgiving.  That's what I want, right into the bass.  The system is also very responsive to different tubes.  I put a E288CC in the driver position of the UFO2 and indeed there was deeper bass and over all the result was "smoother" at the expense of the resolution to a degree noticeable to me.  There's always a trade off and I'm an uncompromising sort.  I wan't the resolution.  

What I mean by that is that on the system now you can hear the leading edge of the drum skin when struck, very clearly, (super fast, another  "surprising" moment) as well as the following lower timbre of the drum clearly resolved.  Makes it more "real" to me.  I would like the lower timbre to be deeper and a little more enveloping, if that makes sense, but in no way do I want to trade off the leading edge.

Will I get all that in the next 200 hours? What if I don't? Over the years I've learned the importance of patience, which still is not one of my better virtues.  But not having it in this case can makes things worse and more costly.  

Also I have to factor in the matter of room acoustics.  The place we're in now is temporary with very poor acoustics.  We're moving this weekend but our new abode is not totally complete.  Which means that it will be a couple of more months before the system will be in a treated room.  I'm not going to go to the endth degree in treating the room but it will be treated to reasonable degree which for this system is a must IMO.

I will order a Z-ROCK as part of the room treatment based on the comments from the members to date.

So until all of this takes place the jury will be out on the matter of bass, but I do believe I can get there with a bit effort and "patience".  If I were to sum it up... there's a good amount of the right type of bass for me but I would like more of what is there and a little more enveloping.  So for a while yet this will be a work in progress.

I gave this "lengthy" response in an effort to put the matter of bass in perspective and in no way wanted it to be misleading.  Hope this helps.
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #17 - 09/27/17 at 16:07:05
 
Hi Joman,

Thanks so much for such a detailed and well-put response!  It is definitely not misleading at all, and it describes what I have experienced so far as well.  The good thing about the speaker I use (the B&W's) is they are efficient enough (91dB) to give me quite some volume in my bedroom and since it is a three-way design (with two woofers and one tweeter) it gives me very balanced sound at the expense of some volume (I guess) due to the cross-over design.

However, I am sure there is significantly more room to improve.  I kind of avoid full-range/single-driver speakers as most of them have this shout effect that I do not enjoy and find very fatiguing and I come across with the bass almost always problematic when coupled with a low-powered SET.  At least that is my experience with my Hoyt-Bedfords and some Zu's.  But I must admit it is mostly me, as I do not spend effort and money on room treatment (big mistake) and I am also extremely impatient when it comes to waiting for long-term results of a sound system.  Also, I do not want to give up on the Omega's or Zu's or Decware speakers, as most enjoy them to death; so it must be mostly me...

Again, thanks for the detailed explanation.  I definitely need to hear these at the DECFEST!  :)

Best,

Alper
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #18 - 09/27/17 at 16:39:02
 
Alper,

Don't give up on Decware.  I am so impressed by my UFO2 and I do have some history in this "hobby".  What I like about Decware is that you can tune a system without having to change components which can get to be frustrating and costly.

Also, take your source into consideration.  I have at times changed speakers in an effort to get "better" bass only to accomplish that by changing my source.

Cheers
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #19 - 09/27/17 at 19:12:56
 
No, no!  I am not giving up my SE84UFO!  It is one of the best amps I have ever heard, and I believe I have heard quite a few.  I would not even say it is the best for the dollar, because that would be really downgrading the amp.  It is in a much higher league than its price tag shows.

I have had it for 2.5 weeks now and it is getting better and better.  And actually, I am quite happy with the signal chain:

Apple TV --> Copland DAC215 (via optical digital) --> SE84UFO --> B&W DM630

which is fed by DH Labs cables as well as power filters by Stein Music and BlackMagic.

The weakest link, I guess, here is the pair of speakers.  But I somehow love what I am hearing.  If I did not know that the sound came through B&W's, I would not even question the integrity of the system.  I just have this prejudice that the system can be improved even further, starting from the speakers.  Maybe, I should just sit back and enjoy without further questioning.

Otherwise, SE84UFO it is!  :)

Best,

Alper
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #20 - 09/27/17 at 19:31:06
 
When you can sit back without further questioning let me know how to do it!  ::)
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #21 - 10/14/17 at 18:08:35
 
Just moved in to the new place.  The system is not in its final location but has been set up in a space that is 14’x26’x9’.  It’s an open concept with the listening position in the middle of the area so that the back wall is well behind.

No room treatment, quite live as the floors are hard surface.  Half c-tile half wood.  No problem in filling the room with lot’s of oomph to spare.

The initial change that has taken place is in the bass response.  Far more present.  Feel it in the wood floor and on the back of the sofa...  Another surprise.  I’m of the opinion that I will be satisfied with the bass once the speakers fully burn in.  Jury still out on that, however it is becoming more and more appearently that to be at it’s best the system does require attention to the room acoustics and if that is done the result could be very rewarding.

2.3 watts and this kind of bass???  Never would have believed it!

That’s all I’ll say for now.  I’m going to put another 50 hours on the system and comment at that time
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #22 - 10/15/17 at 01:25:38
 
Had to add to my previous post..

Son in-law’s brother came over this afternoon.  He’s a musician and records.  Showed him the type. 80 RCA Rectifier and of course we had to try it.  Ended up preferring the Mullard GZ32.  

This was his first time listening to the SE84UFO2 and Omegas.  I had to challenge him... How many watts does this amp have David?

Long pause, studies the amp then “80!”

“Nope, I’ll give a second chance”

“Give me a hint higher or lower”

“Lower”

Very long pause... “15?”

I held my hand and motioned - 2

His response... “TWO! Two? That can’t be, that’s crazy.”

Steve was right... this never gets old.
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JOMAN
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #23 - 12/09/17 at 18:38:44
 
Time for an update for a couple of reasons: 1) I now have over 300 hours on the speakers and, 2) soon I’ll be adding the Z-Rock2 to the system.

Has there further improvement?  Oh yes there has!  But it’s not about what one would typically look for.  I think that I finally have a handle on what these speakers are all about.  In a word - NUETRAL.  Completely and utterly NUETRAL!

They are like a glass door in which the glass pane is so clear that one thinks there is no glass in the door resulting in one’s walking into the door.  That’s what happened the other night.  I walked into the music and vocals and froze.  I’m serious, for a time I could not move - sensory overload.

I have been rolling type 80 rectifiers in my UFO2.  I rolled a rectifier and it wasn’t a Type 80, and I’m going to save which one it was for another post because this isn’t about that particular tube.  It’s about the realization that I came to when I did.

It’s difficult for me to put into words what happened.  If I go back to the analogy of the glass door it’s as if someone cleaned the glass and the image on the other side became so clear and palpable that the glass was no longer visible.  Same glass completely different view of the scene on the other side.

Similarly, same speakers but the sonic image became so palpable that it resulted in that sensory overload.  The speakers always did give a clear view it’s just that I never realized what they were doing or capable of doing until I rolled that tube and perhaps until I had reached the 300 hour mark.  That is why I feel that these speakers are neutral and in a class that very few speakers are in when it comes to that word ‘nuetrality’.

They are not speakers for music lovers, they are not speakers for audiophiles.  They are speakers that are capable of pleasing both if your upstream components will do either or both.

As for the ‘sound’... so organic, so detailed, sound stage so large and layered that I simply froze.  This has been repeated time after time.  Yes there was ample bass.  Last night I listened and thoroughly enjoyed the session but still walked away a little disoriented and reorganizing in my mind everything I thought I knew about this ‘hobby’ and the words that we use to try to describe results.  Words like nuetral, organic, fast, delicate etc.  

Saying that these speakers are utterly and completely nuetral just doesn't communicate the reality of what I am experiencing.  It’s my best attempt.
Now, wonder what will happen when I get the Z-Rock2???  

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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #24 - 12/09/17 at 23:20:43
 
do tell us about the tube Smiley
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Reply #25 - 12/10/17 at 02:43:28
 
Will do, but I want to give it another 30 - 50 hours before I compare it with the other rectifiers that I have.  Then I’ll post.  What I will say is that in my system with my complement of tubes in the CSP3, UFO2 and other components the results caught me off guard.

The focus here is on the speakers that enabled all of what I heard come through.  Other speakers that are, let’s say, tuned to roll of the top end or tuned in some other way may blunt or obscure some of what is possible otherwise.  Not that such speakers are a bad thing.  It’s just that there’s always a trade off.

If I used the analogy of the glass door, the glass in some doors may be tinted for a good reason.  But that tint will produce different results than what I heard.  In different systems the results may be different.  

Anyway in a couple of weeks I’ll post.  At the price of this tube I don’t want to mislead anyone.
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Reply #26 - 01/05/18 at 03:02:54
 
The rectifier tube that I rolled in my SE84UFO2 is the Sophia Electric Aqua 274B and as of now I prefer it even to the Mullard GZ32/CV593.  My wife’s take was that it’s “richer”.

However, I do not want to leave you with the impression that this tube alone is the be all and end all.  I’ve rolled a lot of tubes, as many have, and it’s the combination of all of the tubes in my CSP3 and SE84UFO2 with the Aqua 274B being the final addition that brought it all together.

Then along came the ZROCK2.  That truly is a game changer.  I briefly rolled a Majestic Type 80 Globe and my GZ32 not to compare but to see if the ZROCK2 would somehow alter the “sound” of those tubes and my impression of them.  It did.  So much so that I will have to spend more time with those as well just to see what the  difference the  ZROCK2 makes to them.

If I can make any recommendation with some degree of certainty it would be: GET THE ZROCK2 FIRST, then do some tube rolling if you choose to.

As this is really an ongoing review of the Omega S3HOXRS I should circle back to that.  The difference that the ZROCK2 has made this quickly is obvious and significant.  It hasn’t “fixed” any faults of the Omegas per say.  Rather it has shown further just what they are capable of.

Any lingering concerns of the bass response of the speakers has been eliminated and as a bonus what they can do with the mids and highs has been impressive.  

I started putting together this system to see what a low powered high efficiency system can really do if one goes the distance with the concept.  I still have a ways to go as the room that the system will reside in will be complete in about two months and I will be paying attention to room treatment at that time.  Even now the results have far exceeded my expectations and it is the most satisfying system that I have had to date.
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Reply #27 - 01/07/18 at 13:26:13
 
Joman,

I've only had my se84ufo2 for a few days of listening but definitely prefer the stock 274b to my usual favorite rectifiers Mullard gz32.  How did you decide between the aqua and the mesh plate?  I see that the mesh plate has strict mechanical guidelines capacitor after the rectifier must be less than 4 uf, but the rigid plate goes to 8uf.  Gonna have to try one if I like the stock 274b so much.

Thanks

JD
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Reply #28 - 01/07/18 at 13:54:10
 
JD, you can send those Mullard GZ 32s my way.  I'm sure I've got some of those Valve Art 274b's I'm not using that I can trade Smiley. Mark.
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #29 - 01/07/18 at 14:05:47
 
Oh Mark that is one heck of an offer haha they are yours if I ever get sick of em...I've got a few of em but they are my go to in my Torii III and my zp3.  Tunes sound glorious today.

JD
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #30 - 01/09/18 at 12:06:04
 
Hey JD, The Sophia 274B that I have is the Aqua 274B which can handle a 47uf cap.  Steve confirmed this in a post.  The positive reviews of these by users peaked my interest.  

Once I bought my S3HOXRS speakers, which replaced my ERRs, I found that the system became more revealing and less forgiving but in a good way.  Steve cautions that with the Omegas some room treatment is recommended.  That’s next.  In the meantime I could clearly hear what he is talking about.  This goes for all components upstream.

I’ve tried too many rectifiers to list in this post.  The differences (not better or best) that each brought were clearly and quickly heard and felt.  Some differences were minor and not so consequential where as others were minor but concequential and others changed the character of the system.

However, please note this as it is not a minor aspect of the tube rolling that I’ve done:  I never listen to what one tube does but rather to what the entire complement of tubes do and not just in the UFO2 but also in complement with the tube set in the CSP3.      

When I put the Aqua 274B in the UFO2 I also checked how it worked with the AWV SuperRadiotron 5AS4 that was in my CSP3 by removing it and subbing a Kenrad 5U4G.  The impact that made confirmed that in order for the Aqua 274B to do what it is the 5AS4 was needed in the CSP3 in conjunction with all the other tubes.  That remains my rectifier of choice in the CSP3.

So when comparing the GZ32 to the Aqua 274B I am comparing the synergy of both the rectifiers, the GZ32 with the 5AS4 in the system and the Aqua 274B with the 5AS4 in the system.  the differences were clearly evident.  At this point in my tube rolling I get my wife involved who is a reluctant participant.  She doesn’t sweat the details but can rather quickly discern and comment on how she feels.  Sometimes I’ll roll a tube and not tell her.  She’ll often remark, “did you change something”.  I’ll respond “why do you ask?”.  She’ll then add to her remarks some of which I don’t  care to post.

Since I added the ZROCK2 there have been fundamental changes.  So much so that I will be rolling the Type 80’s that I have and the GZ32 once again.  In the meantime I have briefly compared some of these to the Aqua and for now its the tube of my choice in my system and I suspect that it will remain the tube of choice in the UFO2.

Mark, I have sold 2 of my 4 GZ32/CV593 and kept 2.  I replaced the two I sold with the Aqua 274B, I always keep a spare or two.  I just may be interested in a trade if you have Aqua 274B’s.  When I sold the GZ32’s I was actually thinking of getting a U52 but at over $400.00 I couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger on one.  So I tried the Aqua instead.

As far as any other comments regarding the differences between the tube sets I’ll post these when the system is in the room that is now undergoing reno’s, and that will be at least a couple of months from now.
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Reply #31 - 01/09/18 at 15:59:45
 
Joman, my 274b tubes are the stock tubes Steve sent with my gear.  These Valve Art Tubes can be purchased new for 15 to 25 dollars.  I have three Blackburn manufactured Mullard GZ 32's...labeled RCA, Phillips Miniwatt and Adzam.  All were high testing NOS tubes I bought for about $50.  I'm in the market for a few more.  At the moment I'm using RCA 5V4G-STs in my Zen Signature Monoblocks and would like the Mullards for there.  In my main System I've got the tubes I described in the Torii MK IV and the CSP3. Mark.
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The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Reply #32 - 01/09/18 at 19:25:57
 
Thanks Mark.  I sold my Valve Arts for $15.00.  As far as the GZ32’s go I haven’t seen any Mullard’s at $50.00 lately and I typically do not buy what some say are rebranded tubes.  I tried some 5V4G’s that were supposed to be close to the Mullard GZ32 but in fact they were not.  Enough of a difference for me to stick to the brand name Mullard - just me I guess.  Most that are NOS Mullard are GZ32 are $90.00 to $125.00 some even more.

There’s an Ebayer that’s trying to sell type 80’s for $400.00+! If you can believe that.  I’m still hanging on to the two GZ32’s that I have for now, once I do some more “rolling” I might sell them off in addition to some others that are in my inventory for no good reason collecting dust.

Most of my tube choices are in fact tubes that Steve has used or is using now except for the rectifiers.  Just my mix is a little different.  I noticed that he is using 7DJ8 combined with OD3 (going by memory) in the prototype anniversary amp.  I’m using PCC88/7DJ8 in the driver position of the CSP3, 6N11 output and the 5AS4 Rectifier - same reason - speed.  My set up is not as fast though.

I often find that I’m trying to find the right balance of trade off’s, speed + detail that doesn’t become edgy or brash especially with digital.  I think I’m almost there with my current set up.  If that’s not going to do it, then I’m all in for the Anniversary Amp, actually I’m all in for one anyways, and it looks like my current tube stash will continue to be relevant - Bonus!.
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Reply #33 - 01/09/18 at 20:23:13
 
You are not alone in wanting to only buy Name Brand Tubes.  All the better for me Smiley.  I rely on etched codes and tube construction to confirm the true origin of tubes I buy. I've got many great tubes labeled for other companies.  Since they were made on the same assembly lines in the same factories they offer those willing to do some research the opportunity to save some money.  It's all good and I actually find the Hunt part of the fun of this Hobby.  Mark.

PS...I've never tried a  5AS4 Rectifier or a 7DJ8 ...what makers...brands are they?
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The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #34 - 04/07/18 at 21:10:56
 
JOMAN, any update on the speakers? Have they fully stretched out? Was there a lot of change along the way? I just ordered some and look forward to the experience.
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #35 - 04/10/18 at 02:08:07
 
Before I comment on the the S3HOXRS I noticed that I did not respond to Marks question about the 5AS4 and 7DJ8, I must apologize for this oversight.  The 5AS4 is an Australian made AWV SuperRadiotron.  This tube resides in my CSP3 and I have several spares.  The 7DJ8, one is a Mullard and the others are Valvo, Humberg factory.  This is what I use for the driver in the CSP3.  Actually they are PCC88/7DJ8.

The S3HOXRS are one interesting pair of speakers.  I plan to do a final review once they are in their permanent position in the renovation that has now gone well beyond all deadlines.  This Reno should be complete by mid May and by the end of May or mid June I will post another review.  I did noticed that you ordered a pair and I’m curious to know what Luis had to say.  However I think you’re  in for quite a ride.

It’s hard for me to detail all the changes and the degree of change because during their burn in I did a fair bit of tube rolling which really is not the best thing to do. Yes they do change but not in a “linear” manner.  They are not terrible out of the box but certainly not at their best.

However, I have learned not to to think in terms of THEIR bass or THEIR mids or THEIR top end, that became appearent during the tube rolling and most recently the addition of my ZR2.  Think of these as NO speakers.  The boxes are there just to mess with your mind.  I don’t know if the term “nuetral” would apply.  Possibly an opening in space that allows one to see/hear directly into your upstream components. But they are not anylitical either.  Just very, very revealing and super fast.

Take bass as an example.  While it was OK and progressed to good it still wasn’t quite what I wanted, but oh so close.  Yet I had visitors ask if there was a sub in the cabinet.  Then came the ZR2.  I never would have guessed that they were capable of producing the bass that they are producing now or is it just that they were letting me see/hear directly into the ZR2???  This happens right across the frequency spectrum.

So for now the best I can recommend is be patient it will take some time and be prepared to do some “tuning” of your system and room if required.  I will also be doing some room treatment, the end result will likely be beyond expectations, that has been a constant.  They have been quite an experience for me and hopefully they will be for you too.

Cheers








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Reply #36 - 04/10/18 at 04:44:55
 
Thanks JOMAN. Talking with Louis was great. He listened to all my likes and constraints and could've easily sold me on the alnico's. After describing the characteristics of what I like with ceramic magnets and dislike about alnico magnets with guitar speakers, he described almost exact traits between his speakers. Next was bass. Since I already own an Omega sub and ZROCK2 and love them both, he felt the 3's would provide a more dynamic range especially in the upper ranges.

I do enjoy rolling tubes and have some others that didn't work well with my current speakers, so I will see where I'm at and experiment. For me the Mullard e188cc and 1940s RCA 5u4g smoothed things out while maintaining all the depth, texture, and dynamics that the brighter tubes provided. Very 3d.

My room (19' x 10') will be challenging. It is the living room, not a dedicated listening room. The back wall has two openings (12', and 4') opening into the dining room and kitchen, which may be a good thing maybe not. One of the side walls is a 10' window with a roller shade. The other side wall is a fireplace. My current speakers sit lower and the furniture acts as absorption. Interested to see how the taller towers will sound in the room.
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AMP + SPEAKERS: SE84UFO, Omega Super 3 HO XRS, DeepOmega 8
CABLES: Zenwave D4, ZSTYX
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Reply #37 - 04/10/18 at 13:58:14
 
Your preferences seem to be very close to mine if not identical and I think that Luis is right on.  I think you made a good choice.  Let me know how the sub integrates.  That’s one itch that I haven’t scratched and from time to time I feel that need to.  Not because I need more bass headroom, rather more extension for those few instruments and situations that call for the extension.  This journey I’m on is like a drug - addictive, give me more!

The room shouldn’t be that much of a problem,  In ways it is similar to the room that I have my system in now.  At a certain volume, fairly high, I can begin to hear the effect of the room, so I compensate with gain and density.  

The problem is that at times it sounds so good that I just want to crank it as far as it can go.  The limiting factor is the room and the wife, not the UFO2.

Enjoy!
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #38 - 04/11/18 at 05:47:13
 

I for one would love an A/B comparison of the speakers/amp combo WITH and WITHOUT a ZROCK2 because if ever there were the ideal test bed for such a device this would be it.  Most people would be shocked at the bass their speakers can produce with a little help Smiley

Steve
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Reply #39 - 04/12/18 at 04:18:37
 
Next week when I’m back from my trip I will do that.  I’ve been tempted to do just that but, as much as I liked the system without the ZR2, after having it I don’t like pulling out of the mix for any length of time at all.

Nevertheless I’ll “suffer” Wink throught the process.
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #40 - 04/17/18 at 03:18:28
 
Tonight I played a few tunes through my system with and without the ZR2 in place and my conclusion is that it is not a fair comparison.  It’s like comparing two different systems altogether.  That is the difference that the ZR2 makes.  It has a transformative effect.

Yes it’s the same UFO2 and S3HOXRS, but with the ZR2 in place it becomes a different UFO2 and S3HOXRS.  

To the point:
Is there more bass? YES.  However it’s not just about more bass. The bass has greater headroom and density, it’s far more articulate and detailed to a degree that I would expect this kind of a change possible only with a different amp and with speakers - hence the transformative effect.

There’s more:
That transformative effect takes place right across the ENTIRE frequency spectrum.  More detail, more 3D, more live, more impact, all presented as a cohesive whole.  Details that stood out before as sounds of instruments now are present as real instruments so that I don’t even think about the DETAILS or the bass, I just get into the music.  During this comparison, with the ZR2 in place, I often had to back track because I would get involved in the music and had to remind myself that I was doing a comparison, so I had to remember to compare.  

Regarding the vocals all the above applies... and, oh so real.

I started with the ZR2 in place, then without it in the system then back in.  When I put the ZR2 back in place for the final time the realization of what it was doing hit me and I can only sum up with the word “transformation”.

Next, I had to come to terms with how I felt about the UFO2 and S3HOXRS when I first got them.  In comparison to my previous system what I posted still stands.  Now I’m comparing the UFO2 and S3HOXRS to what has become another system, but I didn’t replace any component just added the ZR2.  The difference is obvious and significant and once again the ______ thing is messing with my head Angry (fill in the blank).



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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #41 - 04/17/18 at 12:39:45
 
Very well said! I agree about the ZROCK2--it transforms a system, top to bottom. It has made the low-powered amps (and their undeniable "magic") possible in my system which has added a new layer of musical enjoyment to my life.
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Re: S3HOXRS
Reply #42 - 05/15/18 at 02:04:03
 
It’s been about a year since I got the S3HOXRS.  Still not in the space that is slated for the system, that should happen by the end of June (FINALLY).  However, a couple of days ago my wife had an event and as it was winding down she insisted that I entertain the stragglers with music.  This has now become typicall of her.

The system consists of the ZDSD, CSP3, ZR2, SEUFO2, S3HOXRS and Decware cables.  Please consider the speakers an integral component of the system.  They are simply an “open window” on what is happening upstream.

Michael and PHil sit in the sofa and are engaged in conversation, ladies of to the side also engaged in conversation.  Music starts, conversation comes to a halt in mid sentence, heads turn toward the system.  Mike exclaims: “this is like being at a concert”... “I go to concerts”... “many concerts”... “this is like being there”.  After a while he closes his eyes and leans back into the sofa, ladies continue their conversation but are now moving to the music.  Phil notices an old CD of Tracy Chapman and requests cut four, Behind The Wall... voice only.  Part way in he says: “I know this song... I’ve heard it many, many times, but never like this”.  “I’m actually getting goose bumps listening to her”.  Michael now leans forward and says: “I have speakers all around the room and it doesn’t do this”... “She’s right there”!

What wasn’t talked about was the bass or lack of it, or the mids and highs or any of the “audiophile” rhetoric.  What was talked about was the prescence and emotion in the music.  What more can I say.  For me the speakers are keepers.

But not some of the other components.  Not because I could not be happy with what I have or because I need more power, but because now that I’ve heard what a 2watt amp can do I just have to know what the 2 watt A-Amp version is all about and then of course, that dictates that I send in my CSP3 for the Jupiter Copper caps and A-mod.  And finally, after saying that, the next must do... is to see a psycho-analyst (D%*%n you Steve).

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Reply #43 - 05/15/18 at 04:38:18
 

It's going to completely wreck you.  Be warned.
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