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Taboo Mk IV has arrived (Read 190 times)
Lon
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Taboo Mk IV has arrived
07/12/17 at 02:06:10
 
My Taboo Mk IV arrived today and I got about four hours of listening in.

I didn't bother with the tubes sent, I put in the tube complement that I have been using lately in my Taboo Mk III: '50s RCA 5Y3 bottle-shaped rectifier, SV83 output tubes, Sylvania 7308 input tube.

Right off the bat I was impressed. I ordered mine with the Beeswax Type 2 caps, which I had not heard before, and was a bit worried that these might have a "clinical" or "analytical" sound. Well certainly not so far. I also have never heard UFO transformers in any other amplifier. In comparison to the Taboo Mk III there is a clarity and openness that is unmistakeable. A bit of warm congestion is gone. . . the bit of warmth aspect is a bit missed but I know I can tube roll and find that again, the bit of congestion was not missed. Tonal balance was just a tad on the light side but I know there is breakin to go through and there will be a bit of a difference in a week or so.

As I was mostly listening to the audio of Blu-ray (Game of Thrones. Season 6) I didn't play much with the Lucid and Extraction mode, but I can tell these are much more useful with the adjustability on this new model and may even get some use.

Overall fit and finish was truly excellent, this one was nicely built indeed. An interesting walnut burl finish is on the wood, which I have not seen before on a Decware component. Looks gorgeous and doesn't distract much from the grain of the walnut finish on my CSP2+ and Torii Mk iII.

I know I'm going to enjoy this unit!

On a less positive note I had high expectations for the Taboo Mk III driving the PeachTree Audio small bookshelf speakers I am using in an upstairs system when used with the ZBIT that I lately removed from my main system. Well. . . not the type of results I wished for, the modded Zen C amp put out much more power to these speakers with the ZBIT and sounded better to boot . . . .I'll try another CSP2+ with the Taboo Mk III soon to see if that sort of gain is an improvement.
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« Last Edit: 07/12/17 at 02:37:10 by Lon »  

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

Posts: 12273
Re: Taboo Mk IV has arrived
Reply #1 - 07/12/17 at 13:50:10
 
Wow. A couple more hours of listening and I'm deep into the music and sound and loving every minute.

I did not expect this big an improvement between the III and IV nor did I expect this "seasoned" a sound so soon. (Perhaps this unit had a goodly amount of testing . . . I did delay the shipping a few days).

I have two sources connected to the Mk IV via the CSP2+, my DirectStream DAC and my CXU. I can easily hear the differences between these two sources in comparison via the Mk IV, and the Mk IV makes each shine their finest.

I'm back to Wow. This is an amazing headphone amp. And for the record: dead quiet.
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« Last Edit: 07/12/17 at 14:37:58 by Lon »  

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
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JD
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Posts: 417
Re: Taboo Mk IV has arrived
Reply #2 - 07/12/17 at 15:24:21
 
Congrats Lon,

I was nervous updating my amps to the beeswax type 2 caps as well but they have turned out to be a great upgrade.
Enjoy the tunes with the new amp.

Justin

off to the beach for a couple hours 95 percent humidity blows
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Lon
Seasoned Member
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 12273
Re: Taboo Mk IV has arrived
Reply #3 - 07/12/17 at 16:29:44
 
Thanks Justin. Yes, everything is sounding good now. Even got the Taboo Mk III to sound very good upstairs by finding another position for the ZBIT. But. .  it's right at the point of just loud enough. With more efficient speakers this would not be a problem.

The Taboo Mk IV is calling me back to listen. If you're on the fence let me say this model is really something enjoyable to listen to.

Enjoy the beach!
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« Last Edit: 07/12/17 at 16:38:35 by Lon »  

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
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deucekazoo
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Posts: 296
Re: Taboo Mk IV has arrived
Reply #4 - 07/12/17 at 17:23:45
 
Lon, just wanted to mention that on the MKIII make sure you have the new lucid mode switched off. It mentions that in the manual when running speakers. The new lucid mode was design for headphones and the maximum power is reduced into speakers.
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Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 12273
Re: Taboo Mk IV has arrived
Reply #5 - 07/12/17 at 17:37:32
 
Yes, thanks. I did have it off. These bookshelf speakers are very inefficient. Sigh. But they sound surprisingly good, and they are small enough that I'm "allowed to use them". . . Wink

Really, it's loud enough, and the system upstairs is most likely to be used as a headphone system, and the Mk III really does that job very well!
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« Last Edit: 07/12/17 at 17:38:32 by Lon »  

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
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Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 12273
Re: Taboo Mk IV has arrived
Reply #6 - 07/14/17 at 21:09:11
 
Okay after more experimentation using the Taboo Mk III upstairs with the ZBIT, a CSP2 and a CSP2+ . . . I've decided to use the source directly into the Mk III. Not loud, but sounding very good with these speakers and uncomplicated, so that I can use my best tubes and cabling etc. . . which ultimately pays off. Glad I settled that (for now!)

The Taboo Mk IV is sounding wonderful again today. I have been playing about with the adjustable lucid and extraction mode control. I think I like the sound on most recordings I tried just entering the extraction zone, just after the halfway point of the knob's travel.

The standout feature of this amp is the clarity. On most recordings an instrument or voice is presented so clearly that it has a clearly imaged space of its own. And with this clarity comes an involving sense of dynamics from slight to heavy.

I'm expecting a new headphone cable this afternoon which should prove another little step up or closer. This Mk IV is really delivering the sound.
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« Last Edit: 07/14/17 at 21:11:39 by Lon »  

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
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Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 12273
Re: Taboo Mk IV has arrived
Reply #7 - 07/15/17 at 00:15:05
 
Last comment for the night. . . . The Moon Audio Silver Dragon cable for the Audeeze arrived and I got a few hours of listening in with this cable. Very good cable and the length is perfect so that I don't have to use the headphone extension cable and compromise the sound.

I'm so all set. . . I know it's not but the Mk IV seems already broken in and seasoned it's sounding so good. I have a few tubes coming from auctions that I will roll in but that's going to be it for a while. The CSP2+ down here really is making the Torii and the Taboo sing and I've great listening upstairs and downstairs. Life is so good!
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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
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Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 12273
Re: Taboo Mk IV has arrived
Reply #8 - 07/19/17 at 13:21:17
 
Well, it's been a week now with the Taboo Mk IV in the house, on and receiving signal about fifteen hours a day, off nine hours over night on average. Certainly past the initial break in and starting on seasoning with use.

It sounded great out of the box and even better now. I've rolled some tubes over the week and right now I have three Amperex for RCA ECC189 tubes in the CSP3 with a bottle-shaped RCA 5Y3 rectifier feeding the Taboo, the same rectifier and input tube now in the Taboo Mk IV and Svetlana SV83 power tubes in the Taboo.  This has been the best complements so far. (I am mainly feeding the CSP2+ from the PS Audio DirectStream DAC with VooDoo Cable Stradivarius Cremona interconnects before and after the CSP2+, all power cabling is PS Audio PerfectWave AC-12 and all the components sit on PS Audio PowerBases and on VooDoo Cable IsoPods.)

I love my Taboo Mk III and it is the heartbeat of a second system I have so far been able to keep upstairs to use with a Denon universal player, a ZBIT and small bookshelf speakers from Peachtree Audio, though I'll most likely be listening to headphones up there most often. But this Taboo Mk IV IS the better amp. I'm very impressed with the copper-foil Type 2 Jupiter caps and the UFO transformers. There's a clarity and vividness to the sound that is a step up from the MK iii as well as a deeper and wider level of dynamic changes. And yet I would not call the sound clinical or etched ever unless the recording itself has those characteristics. Most of the time what I am listening to or watching envelopes my thoughts and I forget I have headphones on, don't think of audio matters at all--a VERY GOOD THING.

I can hear every change I make in the signal path with this amp: different sources and cabling, different settings on my P10, different isolation set-ups. . . .

This one is not going to be returned, this Taboo is going to be in my system from now forward. I can recommend this amp heartily for planar magnetic headphones (I don't have any dynamic headphones here to sample).
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« Last Edit: 07/19/17 at 13:24:52 by Lon »  

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
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