Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register
Decware Audio Forums
08/23/17 at 22:16:20 



 
 


Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print
"The Little Amp That Could!" (Read 1120 times)
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
"The Little Amp That Could!"
08/12/17 at 06:16:53
 
Well, my Zen Mystery Amp is in transit back to the mothership.  Nothing serious.  One of the bias meters started to go rogue on me so before anything more problematic occurred, I decided to send it in to get all the bias meters upgraded to the newer, more robust meters.  Rumor has it, the new gauges should even have a positive impact on the sound quality based on Steve's rebuild protocol with a superior resistor.  

So, this is the first time I have been an empty nester - without my beloved ZMA - since it entered my home several months ago.  Been very quiet around here - eerily so.  

Well, it is Friday night.  Without music is just not an option.  Ive got a lot of Decware gear so what shall I do?  I opted for the quickest and easiest option - because was feeling a bit lazy.  Rewind a bit, when I purchased my Ultra pre-amp for home theater, I also picked up a Super Zen Triode (SE84UFO) to power my rear channel speakers.  Those speakers don't know how good they have it, right?  Anyway, when I got the amp, I listened to it for a New York minute, and swiftly called it to duty - powering my DM946 rear channel speakers.  The Super Zen is small, fairly lightweight, and accessible in my array of cabinets, equipment and cables.  So, I reassigned it, promoted it, and asked it to do the unthinkable - fill the shoes of my ZMA.  

Suicide mission?  An army of one, against thousands?  Pitting a Light Featherweight against a champion Heavy Weight fighter?  After getting it properly installed, warmed up, and fed properly, none of the above!  Not by a long shot.  Will it make me forget about my beloved ZMA?  Let's not be silly.  But in all honesty, this is the very first time since owning this amp for nearly two years, that I feel I have actually gotten to know it.  And boy am I impressed!  This is one damn fine amplifier and what shocked me the most, is the clarity, detail, tone and weight of the sound it produced through my Omega Super Alnico High Output loudspeakers.  The bass is still very present - tight and authoritative.  I played it for a bit early in the evening where I could push the volume and it got plenty loud for what I would consider 85% of my listening requirements.  Later into the evening, I turn the knob to a 1 o'clock position where it was borderline too loud considering the time of night and the sleeping family upstairs.  But the sound was so sweet at that volume that I decided to let it be until I was told otherwise.  It was a risk worth taking.

So, I listened on.  Being Friday, after a long week, I kept things simple and stuck to Tidal MQA tracks streamed directly from my DirectStream DAC.  This is what impressed me the most.  I wasn't pulling out my best DSD digital tracks, my vinyl or analog tape.  The music was portrayed damn finely, through a damn fine amplifier.  

What motivated me to take the time to post this was not merely how impressed I am of its capability, but the fact that I underestimated what this little marvel could do.  I started my Decware journey with a Taboo MKIII, then added a Torii Jr., Rachel, Torii MKIV and eventually my current love, a ZMA.  I never considered the Super Zen Triode as a worthy contender to power my mains.  All I can say is, shame on me!  Would I consider selling my ZMA, pocketing the cash and leaving the Super Zen put?  Of course not.  Because I don't have to.  And the ZMA is a superior amp - by design.  But, if for some reason I had to liquidate for financial reasons, I could be very content with this Super Zen.  Very, very content.  I am not trying to compare the Super Zen with the ZMA pound for pound.  Not a fair comparison.  But what gets me so excited about this sub $1000 amplifier is that it's not 17.5% of the amp the ZMA is.  Price-wise, yes.  Sound quality, no.  

Is the ZMA over five times the sound quality of the Super Zen?  I answer this with a resounding NO!  Does the ZMA best the Super Zen in all categories?  Well, yes - of course it does.  Lest not forget, the ZMA was designed by Steve to be a "cost no object" reference-class amplifier, engineered and built to compete with the best of the best.  Hence the much higher price tag compared to the Super Zen. The ZMA is World Class and I honestly believe this amp is the last I will own.  But gosh dang it...  this little Super Zen is truly something special.  It has a quality of sound, and uncanny athleticism for something contained in such a small package and at such a low price point.  I am fortunate to have two Decware amps which on the spectrum of price, almost couldn't be further from one another.  Maybe someone will find this interesting and/or helpful.  

Ok, excuse me now while I go back to massaging the feet of my Super Zen in an attempt to be forgiven.
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
jorgen
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 185
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #1 - 08/12/17 at 14:28:00
 
Cool post. I haven't heard the ZMA and I am curious to what I would gain in terms of sonically improvement. We use (pretty much) the same speakers, mine is custom and a bit smaller I guess. I have the new zen mono blocks and close to never lack power, but what could be better I sometimes wonder. So if in no need of the extra power, I can't justify the cost. The monos are an amazing experience in terms of fidelity, and (I hope and think) are even closer to the quality of what you find in ZMA
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
HockessinKid
Senior Member
***




Posts: 53
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #2 - 08/12/17 at 14:49:47
 
Jeff,

It's always good to have a back up.  When Steve was repairing my ZMA some months ago, my little Decware SE84CS EX performed admirably.  Saved me from music starvation.

Hope you get your ZMA back soon!

HK
Back to top
 
 

TRL modified Sony DVP-NS900V SACD/ CD, Nottingham Interspace TT, Dynavector 20X2 LO cart & P-75 MKII phono preamp, Zen Mystery amplifier, CSP3+ preamp, Omega SAHO XRS speakers, & ZenWave: SMSG speaker cables, D4 & D3 interconnects, & PL power cords.
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 12441
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #3 - 08/12/17 at 14:57:24
 
Yes, I've recently been bouncing back and forth between my Taboo Mk IV and my Torii Mk III. Though I think my experience may differ a little. . . I clearly prefer the Torii Mk III in my system and think it bests the Taboo in important ways; I suspect that the SE84UFO may be a better contender in comparison. None-the-less it's nice to have a different amp for a different perspective and for back up. (I actually confess . . .I have four other amps I could use as backup. . . need to do something about that).
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
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #4 - 08/12/17 at 15:26:13
 
Yes. In regards to your first paragraph Jeff.....your ZMA will come back even better...as mine did.

Yes. My ZMA is going nowhere.....it is so superb as you know. But, sometimes I miss my little SE84CS.....I would listen to almost every day for 13 years....until ZMA.

So, with the ZMA being a statement from Steve...and it certainly is.....I need to go to Decware next year to hear his statement in the 6C33C dual Triode tube and his topology @ 15 watts of pure Triode output/ch. I play with the subtleties now...via NOS tubes and Cabling....I know what I need to hear from the Mono's.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/12/17 at 15:28:46 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
360 degree Rm Treats
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #5 - 08/12/17 at 16:28:51
 
It was a fun and enlightening evening.  The ZMA, sonically speaking, is the king of the castle and certainly justifies its price, in my opinion.  And as I mentioned, not a fair comparison as the ZMA handedly beats the Super Zen in all categories - as it was designed to do.  But for those wanting a ton of bang for the buck, the Super Zen can't be beat for its value.  The big "ah ha" moment for me was discovering that the ZMA's superiority was not linear - when considering sound quality vs. price.  The SZ is really great little amp.  

Today, I am venturing over to my place of business to grab my Torii MKIV.  I have it stored there for future use, once interior build-out is complete.  I will install it in place of the ZMA at home so I can get my rear channels back Smiley
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 632
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #6 - 08/12/17 at 17:32:13
 
Stone,

What do you think made the improvement in sound?  Are the resistors in the meters the factor?  If I read Steve's posts correctly he uses the same meters but different resistors.  Or is there more to it?  (Maybe a "blue light" factor?   Wink )
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/12/17 at 17:32:36 by Archie »  
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #7 - 08/12/17 at 18:27:38
 
I don't know Arche? The meters are different and a hardier upgrade. I would have to dig back in my posts about it. How all the new resistors relate .... I don't know but..... . Steve, also replaced or adjusted my gain volume pot too. The cumulative, is like it's more powerful/output.

The input gain from the knob is more succinct and powerful is how I would coin it.....and further ZMA transparent musical power control......fluid.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/12/17 at 18:34:40 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
360 degree Rm Treats
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #8 - 08/12/17 at 19:06:48
 
Torii MKIV in position and warming up nicely!



Forgot to mention for those unfamiliar with the Omega loudspeaker spec's, my SAHO's are 99 dB efficient. So, my Super Zen's (2 WPC) ability to deliver is obviously greatly influenced by these wonderful speakers.  "Obviously" for those of us in the know.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/12/17 at 19:19:18 by Jeff of Arabica »  

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 632
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #9 - 08/13/17 at 00:22:07
 
Stone,

I'll see if I can find Steve's comments on the "new" meters.  Since the signal goes through them it makes sense that the sound could change/improve.  Did Steve just replace your volume pot with the same thing or is he upgrading those too?  At some point it could be worth paying $300 in shipping just to have these upgrades.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 632
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #10 - 08/13/17 at 00:31:47
 
Found it here:  http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1486669840/20#20

Hi Larry,

Amp tested perfectly fine, however the meters did not.  Two of the meters had lost their calibration causing them to read faulty. Starting in Jan 1st 2017 all the meters in Decware amplifiers are being disassembled and fully rebuilt by Decware before being installed into the amps.  Part of the rebuild process includes tighter calibration and an upgraded resistor which can handle many times the current over a stock one.  This results in better sound, which is why we have incorporated it into all new Decware amplifiers that use meters.  

We will be making this meter upgrade available for any pre-existing Decware amplifiers in April or May of this year.  The price will be $100 + $25 per meter.

Also, optionally we can while quantities last, replace the meters with Decware Rebuilt Meters  that have lights.  These warm backlit meters can be installed for $100 + $50 per meter.

Please feel free to copy this information into the forum.  

I am rebuilding all 4 of your meters at no charge.  If you would rather have the lighted meters, it would be $200.

Thanks,

Steve

Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
JOMAN
Senior Member
***




Posts: 86
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #11 - 08/13/17 at 04:41:13
 
I'm glad that you posted your experience with Select because I do feel that it is under rated even among those who have had extensive experience with Decware components.  Now please don't misunderstand what I am saying or trying to say.

I now have about 150 hours on my SE84UFO2.  It has the backlit meters, all the upgrades except the stepped attenuators.  My CSP3 has the stepped attenuator and often I would find myself wishing to be able to adjust in between the steps.  So, after a conversation with Steve I decided to go with infinite volume adjustability.  Have not regretted that decision at all!

The speakers are the Omega S3HOXRS.  This combination is... UNBELIVABLE!  Every one of my friends that has heard the system has dragged their jaws on the floor.  Those that have not dragged their jaws simply stand transfixed with their jaws on the floor.

Recently a friend and his wife dropped in to show the 69 Firebird 400 that he's been restoring, nice job on the restoration.  He noticed the new system and wanted to hear it.  Yep, THUD!  Jaw on the floor.  His wife starts off with "this is really nice, I mean REALLY good!"  He then picks his jaw off the floor and the two start to talk between themselves about what their hearing.  

After a while he asks "how much power?"  I ask "What do you think". His response, "well, got to be between 75-100 watts".  "Nope, 2 watts".  Now the comes the stare.  He says "you mean 20 watts".  "Nooo, I mean 2 watts, well OK 2.3 watts."  Next he takes a picture to show a friend at work.  We never did go for the ride in the Firebird.

To be perfectly honest, in the past 150 hours my jaw has dropped to the floor more than once.  

You don't get this type of response from something that isn't special in it's own right, and that is the thing at that times I feel is overlooked.  Does that mean that I'm not eyeing another Decware component? Not at all, but it isn't an amp with more power, it's the ZROCK2.  I wonder??? Take something special and add the ZROCK2???  This itch has to be scratched.  
     
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #12 - 08/13/17 at 05:52:48
 
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1365130519/50#50

Hi Archie. The Meter's you see in Reply #64, should be the ones you have and were my old ones too. My new ones are Western Electric's with different/better to the eye scaling for the bias number's. PM me your number and I will text/send you a picture of my new Meter's.

Western Electric SO45 DC meter, Class 2.5.....are what mine read/say.
Back to top
 
 

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
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #13 - 08/13/17 at 07:04:59
 
ZMA owners, how adaptable this amplifier is in your opinion compared to Torii III or IV?
Have you used it with or without an pre-amplifier?

If it had an option for three inputs and all of the the internal wiring of pure silver, I would immediately switch to it, I would not think for a moment!
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/13/17 at 07:05:39 by EdGuY »  

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #14 - 08/13/17 at 08:10:35
 
With the Torii MKIV filling in for my ZMA while it awaits surgery at Decware Memorial, I have been getting some great tube time with this amp.  Just listened to Jericho Road by Eric Bibb in MQA via Tidal.  I am not sure if it is mostly the engineering or if it is significantly enhanced by the Torii MKIV specifically, but the holographic imaging is the best I have heard, outside of my SonoruS analog tape rig.  It is so profound, it will be the very first album I will listen to when my ZMA returns.  It easily casted 180 degree imaging and I would estimate it got to 270 degrees at times.  Insane!
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #15 - 08/13/17 at 14:31:47
 
EdGuY, with your Tannoy's.....if they are and I recall at 96db to 99db @ 1watt/1meter......no real need for the ZMA for you.

A lot forget that the ZMA can drive Speaker's ~ 86db to 93db @ 1watt/1meter.

The reason I own the ZMA and run my modified Adagio's, with a single Cap only in each Speaker @ probably 92 or 93db @ 1watt/1meter. I say probably, because before I gutted the X-over's out of them...they were @ 89db @1watt/1meter. I'm no longer burning up the first few watts in the X-over's.
My original signature below....I even ran a pair of Polks at moderate volume SPL....with my SE84CS.



I detest high sensi' Speaker's ....I have owned Tannoy, Zu, Monoliths and Omega's are not my cup of tea either.


So, for me bumping up to the Acoustic Zen Adagio's ....discovering their magic, once modified......the ZMA is the magic with them. My want, in the 15 watt per channel pure triode/6C33C (non-pentode in triode) Mono's of Steve's interest me too.....they can run my Adagio's.

I am not alone.....quite a few on the Forum run JansZen's.....and other Speaker's at 86 to 93db @ 1watt/1meter with their ZMA’s.

Reading the original ZMA creation Thread is very educational and “those of us in the know”....know it is not all about high sensitivity Speaker's.

The ZMA  gets a bad wrap, when the sensi’ crowd are hung up on that…..and the rest of us must be crazy. The quality of the Tweeter in my Adagio’s alone, buries must high sensi’ Speaker’s.


Anyway, here is a start……and see all of reply #91

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1365130519/50#50

Steve wrote:
"I took an opportunity last night to listen to it on non-decware speakers which the amplifier is largely targeted to... i.e. $7500.00 and up loudspeakers that are the typical 86 / 87dB sensitivity.  To that effect Dave Janszen came over with his latest electrostatic hybrids and we compared the TORII MONO's to the Mystery Amp until 1:30 A.M. and both liked the Mystery Amp a bit more.  It was sweeter, a bit more organic and smoother.  We started with the TORII MKIII but it didn't match well and had some detectible distortion in the low frequencies when turned up.  The Monos made the speakers sing so we used them for most of the evening.  The Mystery amp was tried in the final hours to see what would happen and we could detect no difference in power despite it being probably close to half that of the monos.

The Janszen speakers with the Mystery Amp turned out to be a digit killing combination.  In other words, all 6 digit audio systems should be nervous at risk of being embarrassed."
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/14/17 at 13:09:00 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
360 degree Rm Treats
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #16 - 08/13/17 at 17:03:50
 
EdGuy,
Currently owning both the ZMA and the Torii, I would suggest you not consider switching to the ZMA until you first auditioned it.  I think the Torii MKIV and ZMA are each great in their own right, and would hesitate to say one is better than the other.  I truly believe the awarding of that trophy is purely dependent on subjective taste.  Some will proclaim the Torii is the winner while others the ZMA.  And while on paper, switching to the ZMA might seem a huge leap in power, in reality I do not believe it actually plays out like the wattage numbers would indicate.  Unless you have a very large room or speakers in the mid-80's in dB efficiency, the move to the ZMA should be based primarily on sound.  With my Torii in place while my ZMA is away for repair, the gain knob on my Torii is really very close to where it was on my ZMA.  I believe this would also hold true with the efficiency of your Tannoy's  

The ZMA has a bit more power if your listening room needs it and/or if you were interested in going direct, taking your CSP out of the lineup.  

But I say audition it regardless as the ZMA is not only about power, it actually sounds different and you may find you like the sound signature of the ZMA over the Torii despite not needing the extra wattage.  

And Stone, I agree about efficiency.  I don't worry about the numbers as much as I do sound quality.  If a speaker sounds great, I couldn't care less if it is 88 or 99 dB efficiency.  And the whole reason I started this thread was how impressed I was with a "more headroom" situation - which I got when I put my Super Zen in Friday night.  This could be accomplished with a flea watt amp and high efficiency speakers or a more powerful amp and less efficient speakers.  I often wonder what it would be like to have a lower dB speaker where I can put the pedal to the medal on my ZMA and take advantage of the higher wattage to drive them.  With my Omegas, I rarely get it out of 3rd gear.  So much more power sitting there itchin' to get used.  But I adore the sound so much that I don't get caught up on the numbers.  And who knows, when I ever move on to new speakers, and they are in the 80's efficiency-wise, I will already have a great amp in place to drive them - because my ZMA is going NOWHERE!   Smiley
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 12441
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #17 - 08/13/17 at 17:30:45
 
That's good to know Jeff.

One thing that Steve made clear to me last week in email is that the Torii Mk IV and the ZMA are ultra linear amps, unlike the Torii Mk III. He said that for this reason I would not use or need to use the tone controls I rely on so heavily on the Torii Mk III with these amps. (Knowing my ears and listening material I'm sure I'd adjust the treble controls though if I could, but would do so much less liberally). So Going from a Torii Mk III to a ZMA would be more "different" than from a Torii Mk IV to a ZMA. . . .
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/13/17 at 17:35:16 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
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #18 - 08/13/17 at 17:52:10
 
That is a great point Lon, and one I actually thought about after I posted recognizing that EdGuy's Torii is a MKIII, which is an amp that I have never heard.  That being said, he should really audition the ZMA AND MKIV.  

Are you ever tempted to go to Decfest to hear both of these amps?  Maybe a similar improvement for your ears like your move from the Taboo MKIII to MKIV?  Im going to go this year for the fun of it.  Im not really in the market for anything per se at the moment, but you never know what you might be able to hear that isn't in production.
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 12441
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #19 - 08/13/17 at 18:22:35
 
To be honest, gatherings like the Decware one are not my cup of tea. And my wife is not really interested in going, and our travel and "event" budget is so small that we need to confine that to what we need to do together (and as she has a large family some of which live out of Ohio, and about half my family live out of Ohio, that seems to be mainly traveling to family events such as weddings and christenings etc.)

One day if I could make a solo trip I'd like to go to Decware and see the operations. . . a little visit outside of Decfest. But. . I keep spending too much on audio and not finding myself able to sell much audio gear that I have. . . I really don't want to put myself into temptation's path until I'm better situated in a number of ways (for example in three or four years one investment I have will start kicking me a monthly income, and at that time I may have a firmer audio exploration budget). The ZROCK2 should be my final Deware buy for a spell. . . and should address the tiny issues I have with  my amps. I'm so happy with my system. . . I need to be able to just sit tight and enjoy it (especially as I can't sen to stop buying music!)
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/13/17 at 18:23:36 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
  IP Logged
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 632
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #20 - 08/13/17 at 18:31:31
 
Quote:
ZMA owners, how adaptable this amplifier is in your opinion compared to Torii III or IV?
Have you used it with or without an pre-amplifier?

If it had an option for three inputs and all of the the internal wiring of pure silver, I would immediately switch to it, I would not think for a moment!


Addressing the pre-amp part of your question, I originally bought a CSP3 because the ZMA has only a single set of inputs.  I run mostly vinyl and without the CSP3 I can't get to the 2V input that the ZMA needs to reach full power without a pre.  While I get great sound direct into my ZMA, I get more weight and can get louder using the CSP3.  After trying both ways I've settled on leaving the CSP3 in.  With other, higher output sources, the pre may not be needed or desired.  (See Stone's pre-amp journey.)

One other thing.  I use a LOT of silver in my system; interconnects, speaker cable, cartridge coil, so I'm sympathetic to your desire for internal silver wiring in a ZMA.  However, I trust Steve's voicing of his amps.  I would guess that a silver wired ZMA wouldn't sound quite like the "award winning" ZMA that so many of us love.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #21 - 08/13/17 at 20:40:15
 
Thank you for all helpful comments! 😃
I’m really happy with my Torii. The only thing I miss is the total silence at idle. And if possible a slightly darker sound.
It’s sad that here in Finland I have no chance to try ZMA 😏 I would very much like to try it...
Back to top
 
 

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #22 - 08/13/17 at 20:57:36
 
Archie:
Can you test with CSP and without, which of these combination is quaieter? With CSP2+ and Torii III I get an extra humm with preamp. That is one reason why I want to get rid of pre-amplifier.

About silver. I really like darker sound with lots of details. More I have put silver in my system, the darker the sound becomes and more headroom I get. Only internal wires are left..so I think it could work for me. I suspect that silver is avoided for cost reasons. I can be wrong, but so far pure silver has only been useful.
Back to top
 
 

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 3024
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #23 - 08/13/17 at 23:01:37
 
Quote:
One thing that Steve made clear to me last week in email is that the Torii Mk IV and the ZMA are ultra linear amps, unlike the Torii Mk III. He said that for this reason I would not use or need to use the tone controls I rely on so heavily on the Torii Mk III with these amps. (Knowing my ears and listening material I'm sure I'd adjust the treble controls though if I could, but would do so much less liberally). So Going from a Torii Mk III to a ZMA would be more "different" than from a Torii Mk IV to a ZMA. . . .



Whoops, if I said that I misspoke. What I was trying to say is that the Torii JR and the ZMA are both ultra linear amps.

The reason for the adjustments and treble control on the TORII Mk III, IV, are ironically there because of the designs unpredictability with different speakers. It is a design where current want's to follow impedance which means that wherever a speaker's bass is tuned there will be a rise in impedance around that area, thus a rise in amplifier current = a rise in bass output from the speaker. The same is true for the treble, as the frequencies go up, the impedance of most if not all speakers also rises.

So, when you connect a MKIII or MKIV to a given speaker, and adjust the controls, you are basically flattening out the amplifier's response, using your own ears as the guide. Of course this makes it possible to incorporate both your room and speakers into the process.  

A speaker that causes the amp to put out more current at higher frequencies is a natural and clean way to increase treble, vs. using an EQ in the signal path. It also creates a sense of speed because the amplifier's natural state in this example is to play high frequencies with far more efficiency. When you dial the treble control back a bit so it sounds flat again, you are essentially doing the same thing as bending a green branch on a tree which stores and releases energy in a very animated fashion.

Same is true for the bass, and this becomes very apparent when demo'd on my corner horns using a drum solo for the source material. We call it the TORII HIT.  


Quote:
Can you test with CSP and without, which of these combination is quieter? With CSP2+ and Torii III I get an extra humm with preamp. That is one reason why I want to get rid of pre-amplifier.


The noise floor of a CSP2+ is below that of a TORII MKIII so you should hear no difference in hum when the CSP2+ is installed.  Things to check - ground loop between the two components, cables, tubes.



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


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

Posts: 12441
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #24 - 08/14/17 at 00:54:45
 
It was my error, rather than Mk IV I should have typed Torii Jr. My bad! Thanks for clarifying.
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
Archie
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 632
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #25 - 08/14/17 at 01:16:06
 
EdGuy,

As Steve said above, I don't get any noise from having my CSP3 in front of my ZMA.  However, I have noise from my ZP3 and when running my lower output MC cartridge, the hum is definitely audible since I'm boosting any noise going into the CSP3 as I up the signal voltage.  When using my digital front end (DVD player) I have no appreciable system hum.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #26 - 08/14/17 at 03:18:34
 
Steve: Thank you again Steve! I appreciate so much!
Have you tried pure silver internal wires, In what direction will sound change? It would be interesting to know.

So I have to connect CSP2 one by one cable to my system if I want to find out reason for my extra hum. I try that next, I hope I will not destroy anything 😁 Btw, what is the right way to connect the shielded speaker cables, where is the best place to connect ground wires with Torii?

There is a amplifiers you connect to your system and try to enjoy the sound they produce. If sound is not what you like, you change speakers or cables, acoustics, but still impossible to reach what you want...

Then there is a gear from Decware in my system: I can totally control tone, by tube rolling (endless amount of digferent combinations), with treble and bass control, both treble energy and roll-off control on my speakers and supertweeters, different cables... and soon with ZRock 😃🎸 as I told, total control.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/14/17 at 04:31:07 by EdGuY »  

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #27 - 08/14/17 at 07:04:29
 
My Torii MKIV has never touched my Omega SAHO's, until now.  Not intentional, just circumstantial.  I will comment when the time is right.  I have months under my belt with the ZMA and the Torii MKIV has gotten its  opportunity to "start" due to the ZMA's unfortunate ailment. I will refrain from hasty commentary.  I am taking notes.  And then I will allow the ZMA to return better than ever.  Back at the helm, I will take my time to listen, paying particular attention to how it interacts with MY system (Omega SAHOs, DirectStream DAC, SonoruS Tape Rig, vinyl system, PS Audio P10, cabling, blah, blah, blah).  Currently possessing, or have possessed prior, just about every amp Decware currently offers, with exception of the Torii Monos, I have to be honest and say that I am glad I was forced into this situation to get to intimately know the Decware amps I decided to purchase - some of which never got an opportunity to show its stuff with my ZMA being the 1st round draft starter for the last several months.   How could this be? ...you might be asking.  Well, I have an Ultra, and two of the amps, the Super Zen (UFO) and Rachel, were purchased for HT purposes, so never intended to power my mains.  The Torii MKIV was purchased and held for future use in my retail business establishment.  So, until now, my Decware 2-channel listening path included the Taboo MKIII (very first purchase), then Torii Jr., then ZMA.  My most recent speaker purchase, the Omega SAHOs, only touched the ZMA, until now.  There is no question the Super Zen is capable and actually perfectly suited for systems not commanding high wattage.  I seriously respect this little amp.  But the real question, I believe, will be how the ZMA stacks up against the Torii MKIV IN MY SYSTEM.  The YMMV acronym is frequently broadcasted - but for good reason.  Much of what I say will not mean a God damn thing to a great number of people. This is because speakers matter.  I am realizing more now, than ever before, you really cannot decouple amplifiers from speakers.  They are far too dependent on one another.  We can have subordinate conversations about cabling, power conditioning, etc., but from my experience, there is no more profound of an effect than the relationship between the amplifier and the speakers.  Period.  

So stay tuned.  I will offer my opinion - as objectively as I can.  But do understand, the amplifier is the only variable.  Everything is based on my Omega SAHOs.  So if you have these speakers (or something similar in specification), or are considering purchasing such, then what I opine may be of interest.
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
JOMAN
Senior Member
***




Posts: 86
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #28 - 08/14/17 at 11:52:47
 
Regarding your comments about the importance of the synergy between  amplifiers and speakers...  I am in complete agreement.  That is why when I comment on the S3HOXRS Omega's as they are burning in, I always refer to both the Super Zen + the Omegas as a unit.
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #29 - 08/14/17 at 16:30:28
 
Back to top
 
 

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2844
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #30 - 08/14/17 at 17:35:42
 

Someday Lon will learn to post those album covers in the correct thread. (shrug).  ;)


Coming late to the party, and at work so I only skimmed most of the responses in this thread. I'm just pitching in my two farthings.

I listened to the Torii MK IV and ZMA at Steve's shop a few times, both at Decfest and on my own (at Steve's shop) - I wouldn't say the ZMA is better, but it did something *for me* that made me go..Hmmmm, that's the amp for me. In all these years I can't quite put my finger on it, except to say it's something harmonically that's different. I think it does have a difference in what I consider "grunt" due to the big caps. Overall the differences are so small that only us nuts would notice, and only side by side really.

The Zen amp has always been a little bit more...honest maybe? A hair closer to the music, and I swear it has more high end extension which gives you more spacial cues. All the things the ZMA does so well, the little Zen just beats it in this one regard, and I find it more engaging and just simply closer to the music. It can also make the little amp less forgiving of crappy recordings - but take that with a grain of salt, because my system is highly resolving, the MG944 can make the leading edge of bad recordings harsh, and my little Zen is...slightly modified. But ever since day one, almost 20 years ago, the little Zen has always been slightly closer to the recording.

As for ZMA with or without a preamp - as mentioned above, sometimes you just need the preamp for the voltage, and some people love the density a good preamp can bring, and that slight percentage pulled back from the music is worth the trade-off, or just isn't noticed with their system. For the same reason I still love my little Zen amp, that 1% step back from the music is enough for me to just say no to using a preamp. While I've not tried a lot of preamps, I've yet to hear one that gives me that extra density without being that tiny half-step back from the music.

As for a fully silver wired amp - I like the sound of that as well: IMHO silver I feel brings me more of those details I like, but can also bring a harsh leading edge. While I've not spoken with Steve about this directly, I'm betting it's never been done before for two reasons: #1 it would turn a $5500 amp that's barely affordable to us common mortals, to something like a $7500 (or more!) amp that's getting into the realm of Doctors and Lawyers. #2 that's an expensive experiment that would probably be difficult to voice. Again, that's all IMHO.

Most of you know my answer, I'd rather buy $800 of diffusers and have a greater impact on my sound with *any* gear in the room, than drop $800 on amp internals that give you a fraction of a percentage of improvement.

Personally, I'd love to find some improvements to bring the ZMA closer to my little Zen amps ultra-resolving detail. So far, only thing I've heard that gets me there, is Steve's bigger amps based on Steve's 6C33C tube circuits. If the future monos can bring the grunt and harmonic detail of the ZMA, but the honest detail of the Zen in one package...wow, I just get goose bumps at the idea.  :)
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Lon
Seasoned Member
****


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

Posts: 12441
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #31 - 08/14/17 at 18:19:55
 
I was possibly making a connection that the right amp and the right speaker approach each other "Like Someone in Love"?

Maybe.
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
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #32 - 08/14/17 at 19:01:14
 
"I often wonder what it would be like to have a lower dB speaker where I can put the pedal to the medal on my ZMA and take advantage of the higher wattage to drive them.  With my Omegas, I rarely get it out of 3rd gear.  So much more power sitting there itchin' to get used."

Well put J of A, .....just not to low in the mid 80's. I still had to GUT the x-over's out of my 89db @ 1watt/1meter Adagio's and make them right with single Caps. .....NO, burning up those first few watts.

......no looking back....well, except for a few recent comparisons where my modified Adagio's crushed ALL of the competition.

My work is done here......I can lead them to water ~ but I can't make um' drink. Time for some 6 String Theory........it has been awhile for this Disc.
Back to top
 
 

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
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #33 - 08/15/17 at 17:53:36
 
LR, when you comparative listened to the ZMA and Torii MKIV at Decware the times you mentioned, do you recall what set(s) of speakers were used?  

Thanks for chiming in and sharing your experience!
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2844
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #34 - 08/15/17 at 19:51:30
 
Quote:
LR, when you comparative listened to the ZMA and Torii MKIV at Decware the times you mentioned, do you recall what set(s) of speakers were used?  

Thanks for chiming in and sharing your experience!


Usually Monoliths since they were closest to my MG944, barring that, Steve's white HR-1 that I had a love/hate thing with. Sometimes they sounded Meh, and sometimes I was like DAMN that's room filling music! And I'm sure sometimes the Silver El Camino pair that eventually came up with me to Chicago to another forum member.

The ZMA has always been rock solid, consistent. Every one I've heard sounds just like mine, and their "sound" comes through every pair of speakers I connect them to. I'm not sure why that is, but there it is.

Also, i'm not sure I agree with working a tube amp harder by running inefficient speakers. If it was a guitar amp and we wanted to drive the output tubes into distortion that makes sense, but for audio, I'd much rather have speakers that are light and fast and right in the middle of the efficiency rating; I want the amp warm, but practically loafing along effortlessly, not driven into distortion.

At the same time I understand why someone wouldn't like super efficient speakers, I think we often drive the cones into distortion if we aren't careful. I love a good full range speaker like my Omega (mostly for the time alignment - to me, timing is everything), but it's easy to make the cone cry or or distort if you aren't careful. That's where the hemp cones, or carbon fiber, or ceramic cones come into play.

It's all trade-offs (shrug)

Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #35 - 08/21/17 at 15:27:04
 
NO trade-offs here/modified Adagio's.

Now, I feel the JansZens would be a trade-off....and not for me. The ZMA must work hard to drive them.

Acoustic Zen Adagio:
1.5 inch circular ribbon tweeter and dual 6.5 inch midrange/woofer "underhung" voice coil, ceramic-coated drivers.

Yes, ceramic is important as you mentioned + underhung matter's a lot too (underhung & ceramic/read: minus the distortion you don't know you are listening too with your Speakers...unless you compared to my Adagio's).

I still had to GUT the x-over's out of my 89db @ 1watt/1meter Adagio's and make them right with single Caps. .....NO, burning up those first few watts here, either.

With my mod, I consider them in the middle range of sensitivity as witnessed by the Speakers I have had in here to compete with my modified Adagio's. ALL, were crushed and made the Adagio's bitch,...sent crying out of here....that includes the Monoliths too.

I have the ultimate Speaker's for my Zen Mystery Amplifier.

PS-the Adagio's, in-house custom Tweeter's are truly exceptional as well. .....once they were swept and put at their best point as were the 6.5's........ .  ....single cap in each....nough' said.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: 08/21/17 at 15:56:51 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
360 degree Rm Treats
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #36 - 08/21/17 at 20:27:25
 
I realized that ZMA maybe not for me. And since I never settle for a good I decided to replace all my components inside Torii with new components(better ones) and all internal cables to pure silver. So after this make over there is only transformers left from the original parts. Has anyone done anything like this before to Decware amps?  
I can hardly wait to hear the resault. Wish me luck, as I'll be really busy this week 😆

Here is the list of components I'm going to use in this project with my Torii MK3:


CAPS:
- 47uF  400Vdc  Jantzen  Standard  Z-Cap (+ 0.01uF 600V Auricap XO BYPASS Capacitors)  
- 100uF 100V Elna Silmic II Electrolytic Capacitor
- VCaps Elite Reference  0.1uF  600VDC

RESISTORS (all resistors are carbon composite!):  
- Allen Bradley 6.8K  1w  5%
- Riken 110K  2w  5%
- Riken 2.7K  2W  5%  
- Riken 33K  2W  5%
- Kiwame 2K  5W  0.5%    
- Kiwame 270K  5W  0.5%    
- Kiwame 910R  5W   0.5%  
- Tepro 250R  10w  0.5%

RCA SOCKETS:
- Rhodium plated Tellurium copper

I also isolate all power cables with special foil (foil will be grounded), ferrite will be added to signal cables. Stepped attenuator is already replaced with High End attenuator.
So what do you think? I believe that with these upgrades Torii will stand good against ZMA and even monos.

When I'm finished with the Torii, same fate awaits my preamplifier...
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:52:59 by EdGuY »  

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2844
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #37 - Yesterday at 05:15:23
 
That sounds like a hell of a project! I hope that all works out how you have it planned! I don't think anyone's done much more than simply replace plugs and pots. I've not even messed with my amps, and I void warranties all the time.  :)

Do you happen to be anywhere near Chicagoland? I'd be happy to host a side by side demo when you're done, your Torii and my ZMA #000 in my heavily treated room with an overkill power source.  :)

Oh yeah, what volume pot you switch too? That's about the only mod I've been considering for my ZMA - I'd really like to get as close to transparent attenuation as possible.

Back to top
 
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 05:16:38 by Lonely Raven »  
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #38 - Yesterday at 05:39:57
 
LR, as you know, my ZMA is in for repair.  I am having Steve "upgrade" several parts on my ZMA, some of which are internal.  One such part happens to be the stepped attenuator.  I am going with the GoldPoint 47V - 100K, stepped attenuator. 47 clicks so more finite adjustment.  It is pricey, $300+ but built for sound and offers more adjustability.  

With the other parts I am changing, the one thing I do NOT want to do is change the voicing.  We all know an amp is not merely a sum of its parts (I hate to use such a cliche, but it is so fitting here).  Steve's voicing is the magic, or Zen, we have all fallen in love with.  Yeah, internal layout does matter, but it is all of the hours tweaking, day in and day out, that Steve obsesses over, that ultimately leads to the Decware amps we have all come to know and love.  What I am trying to do is simply improve on (however slightly), but not change, the beauty and brilliance of my ZMA.  

EdGuy, I too wish you luck.  I have done a lot of reading/research on capacitors, sockets, binding posts, signal wire, etc., etc. so I understand the allure of changing things out, but I am fearful you may end up with an amp that looks like a Decware amp, but is no longer.  With so many capacitor and resistor changes, I can't imagine much of Steve's voicing will remain.  I am not saying such changes will not amount to something great, but greatness is no guarantee when throwing a lot of random (albeit quality) parts together.  If I was to guess, your amp will have a completely new voice.  You will have to let us know if it is one you adore or despise.  
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 05:46:12 by Jeff of Arabica »  

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #39 - Yesterday at 06:06:41
 
LR: this type attenuator I use in my amps: http://www.partsconnexion.com/tkd_70897.html

It's really a pity that I can not compare amplifiers side by side as I live in Finland. But I promise to give a detailed feedback.

NOT to be misunderstood, I love my amplifiers (Torii and CSP2 +). The reason why I went to this project is purely because I have never been satisfied with the noise level of these amplifiers especially at idle (at full volume, I want amplifier to bi death silent like my secondary system: Vincent SP331 MK). I also want more accuracy, brightness and transparency (accuracy: by adding bypass caps and more accurate components, brightness: by replacing internal wires, transparency: carbon resistors and better caps, better isolation). Want to achive more live-like sound, without too much warmth or any other colouring. With these component choices I'm guaranteed to get improvements just for these things (these components are relatively familiar to me, I pretty much know what to expect). Because I am a perfectionist by nature I sow inside of the amplifier many things that can be improved or done better (for that extra margin what I'm looking for). Similar stuff I've done with my DAC and speakers, this normal to me. Any kind of experimenting is also fun.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 10:29:26 by EdGuY »  

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #40 - Yesterday at 14:03:39
 
Ed, here is a thread from a gentlemen whom modded' his ZMA.
http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1409130590
Maybe, some parallels and/or correlations can be drawn.

Furthermore, IMO, you need MORE acoustic treatment in your room. You have run 26 miles of the marathon (I had Tannoy concentric horns once too)....now finish the last 385 yards...possibly for you.....ceiling treatment.....and certainly STOP the reflections off your floor!  
Tannoy concentric's....will always put off some noise at idle.....your brightness is the Tannoy's....probably from the room too = treatment first.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVoAxPCbmis&feature=youtu.be
obviously, your room is wayyyyy to bright/reflective.
.....good luck.

....and I'm with J of A. I will never change Steve's voicing.....I will continue my NOS Platinum tube rolling with success and my modified Adagio's have completed my synergy. I have had all the comp in the room....all have been kicked out....except the modded' Adagio's.
PS-my Kimber Select Loom is also essential (talk about the lowest noise floor with the KS6063's.....).

INTERPRETING your previous post.......you want more brightness?! In the States here....this term is = bad.  Your room is already to bright ......just by my viewing it. 
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 15:04:00 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
360 degree Rm Treats
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #41 - Yesterday at 15:03:27
 
SOT:
Thank you for hints and this link! Good to know I’m not the only idiot out there 😂😂😂 in this MOD there still too much of copper and copper plated wires. And one thing I noticed, too long wires used which are exposed to the iterference. I’m going to shorten all the wires as much as possible and and use ferrite in every cable I can.

About the noise. I do not have any noise at full volume when run my Tannoy speakers with Vincent amp, so my speakers are silent (do not cause any noise). Soon we find out what I will achive with my MOD.
Back to top
 
 

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #42 - Yesterday at 15:12:20
 
.....that little bit of noise/hiss, et al. ......is inherent in a top quality CLASS A design .....(Concentric Tannoy's are notorious for amplifying this). Your Vincent....does not have it....because it is A/B....and ironically, is getting in the way of the music. I know this seems counter intuitive .....but that is the way it is.
Back to top
 
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 15:16:51 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
360 degree Rm Treats
  IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #43 - Yesterday at 17:22:39
 
Stone - Great observation and commentary on the room treatments!  That has been one of the most profound areas of improvement I have dabbled in thus far.  

EdGuy, it seems much of what you want to resolve/improve upon on your Torii - such as accuracy and transparency - can certainly be influenced by room treatments.  That, and cabling, were/are the final focuses of my attention and I have been picking them off slowly as I go - mostly due to the overwhelming variables and need to research.  That being said, what I have done so far with room treatments has been dramatic, and I am not done yet.  A "hot" room like yours wreaks havoc on accuracy and transparency.  

Are those tubes in your Torii stock?  If so, a solid run of tube rolling as Stone also wisely suggested, can transform the sound, particularly swapping your output and input tubes - which the Torii has many viable candidates.  Have you reached out to Steve for advice on how to achieve what you are looking for in tube types (EL34, KT66, etc.)?

At the end of the day, changing internal components may be required for your listening preferences, but it sure looks like you could dramatically alter the sound from your amp and in your room before going to what I believe should be a last resort, and that is internal hardware changes. Based on your previous post, you love your Torii.  It really is amazing!  It might also make sense to have a conversation with Steve about which internal component changes would most likely get you where you want to be with the amp - without the risk of altering what you do love.

Anyway, just my two cents.  

P.S.  My ZMA is much quieter than my Torii MKIV.  But its design is also very different so I would be interested in knowing from someone (Steve?) what it is about the design differences that amounts to a quieter amp.  I am thinking it is not the brand of resistors and capacitors or the length of internally wiring that is to blame.  I would hate to see you go through all of this only to find the hum is still there.
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
Lonely Raven
Seasoned Member
****


Jack of all Trades,
Master of None

Posts: 2844
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #44 - Yesterday at 19:49:32
 

Thanks for the suggestions on the attenuators Jeff and Ed, those both happen to be ones I was looking at, the PartsX one being more likely since I can't afford a $250 volume knob...but I still want to see what you think of it Jeff, once you get your amp back. If I had the money, that's what I would have tried as well.
Back to top
 
 
WWW Lonely Raven   IP Logged
Jeff of Arabica
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 239
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #45 - Today at 02:13:58
 
EdGuY, disregard my comments on tube rolling as I just saw what you posted in the following thread about your tube rolling experience with the Torii. Sounds like you have found some great tubes that play well with your amp.  

http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1502203324

Beautiful room and decor! BTW  :)
Back to top
 
 

ZMA//Zen Ultra//Torii//ZDSD//PS Audio DirectStream DAC//Rachael//Super Zen Triode//Taboo MK III//Muse Phono Stage//Zen Head//SonoruS R2R w/ tube playback amp//OPPO BDP-205//Omega SAHOs//Monoliths//PS Audio P10//Ultrasone Signature Pro Headphones//UM Miracles CIEM
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #46 - Today at 10:45:13
 
JOA: Thank you Smiley

I have to explain a little more about this project.

What I have learned so far is the opposite. If compromises are made at the beginning of the signal path, it is just futile to spend money on anything else (loudspeaker/interconnect cables, better acoustic, better loudspeakers, electricity purifiers, NOS tube rolling...). And still we also talk a lot about how do you connect a speaker cables, what fuse do you use, what about tube dampers  and power cables... The more you spend in everything else, the more these compromises are emphasized. Even though my whole room would be lined with acoustic panels, I hardly get rid of hum/noise. Sure earplugs could help ...

That is why I decided to open the amplifier and see what I could do better, what is that left “untouched” for cost reasons and things like that. I immediately noticed that all the power cables are running freely parallel with the signal cables (now all the power cables are shielded and shield is grounded). I found that most of the resistors are the cheapest possible, which are like a magnets to all kind interferences (I replaced them with carbon composite or carbon film resistors, now exposure to interference 0). In addition, I found some other small nuance. At the same time, of course, I decided to change the capacitors as well as all the possible cables to pure silver, because I know exactly how much it brightens the whole system.

The reason why ZMA is quieter vs Torii is because it’s structure is a LOT simplier. Thanks to the simpler structure/ architecture, problems with interference is much less, the interferences are easier to keep under control. For a more simplified structure, however, it is not as flexible as Torii to the user (if some gives value to certain things...).

If you take a look at my DAC, you can see that everything is in own sections with graphite barriers (PSU, the digital and analog sections) and there is a good reason for that. Of course it is much harder to separate signal components from PSU in Decware amplifiers (without circuit board), especially in Torii, but it is still possible. It is possible for price x3
Back to top
« Last Edit: Today at 11:32:47 by EdGuY »  

gustard.jpg

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
EdGuY
Seasoned Member
****


Fact is just a solid
opinion.

Posts: 108
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #47 - Today at 11:56:10
 
And if you want to test what pure silver does, you can test it like this against what ever copper or silver plated copper cable. Difference is huge, pure silver gives you much brighter sound with lot of texture and huge resolution (even without shield 😃). I tested this few weeks ago and I was amazed
Back to top
« Last Edit: Today at 11:57:45 by EdGuY »  

35F8FFFF-BDF9-4483-8BE2-000EDF5CAAE5.jpeg

Tannoy Prestige Canterbury GR (Duelund caps),ST-300mg,IsoTek Aquarius EVO3,YARBO power.c,RGC-24,TORII MK3VCaps,CSP2+,DENON DP-A100 + Karat 17D3,GRADO PH-1,AURALiC Aries,GUSTARD X20-PRO ES9028PRO DAC,WA-Quantum chips,tubes: WE 422A,6N30P,Mullard EL37,6N23P,USAF-596
  IP Logged
stone_of_tone
Seasoned Member
****


Listen Often/Listen
Deep

Posts: 2523
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #48 - Today at 13:19:13
 
Well, we tried to help you Ed. Obviously, it went in one eye and ear.....and right out the others.  Good luck.......and you still need to address your poor room acoustics.
Back to top
 
 

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
  IP Logged
JD
Seasoned Member
****




Posts: 421
Re: "The Little Amp That Could!"
Reply #49 - Today at 13:54:49
 
Ed,

Best of luck with your adventure. I have the CSP2+ and Torii III both with upgraded caps and they are dead silent at idle, and this is with 99db sensitive speakers. When I had hum in the past it usually was traced back to tubes and or interconnect/power cable proximity/power supply.
Have you looked at cables and such to see if they could play a role? Or could the hum be from the transformers? I used to have some hum and such but moving components/ better tubes and introducing all Voodoo interconnects solved that.
I had a bright room but a couple conversations with Steve, some pictures back and forth and it is not an issue anymore.  Took me a year to figure out what Steve could have done in 15 minutes but now that I look back the knowledge learned it was much greater than the effort I put into it. Do not have the technical know how of many posters here just wanted to throw these ideas out there before you start to change the parts on your Porsche 911.  
Glad to hear you are in Finland, I had a blast in Helsinki and cruising in the Baltics with a bunch of Finnish people about 15 years ago. I will never forget how beautiful and friendly the women were.

JD
Back to top
 
 
  IP Logged
Pages: 1 2 
Send Topic Print