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16ohm (Read 2472 times)
Verified Member

Posts: 1
11/11/17 at 02:05:43

I'm interested in the Zen Triode SE84UFO to pair with my Zu Omen mk 2.

Curious about two things:

1. Can I get it with 16ohm and 8ohm taps (instead of 4 and 8)? The Zu's are 12ohm.
2. Should I use a preamp with this, or ok direct?

Thank you very much for reading.  :)
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Posts: 16047
Re: 16ohm
Reply #1 - 11/11/17 at 02:35:37
Hi Plakey, good questions. Looking at the manual it doesn't seem that you can get it for a 12 to 16 ohm speaker rating, but the manual does say that the high position of the two position speaker switch could be used with 16 ohm speakers.

You can operate this amp without a preamp as it is provided with a gain/volume control. A good preamp can also bring a benefit to the amp in use. Here is what the manual says about a preamp:

This amplifier has been designed in such a way that you may use it with or without a pre-amp. To that effect it has been equipped with both a volume control and a simple source selector to allow you to switch between two line level source components, such as a CD Player/DAC and anything else.

If using a preamp, connect the output of the preamp to one of the two sources on the amplifier and set the amplifier’s volume control somewhere between 1/2 way up and full. Use the volume control on your preamp to adjust listening volumes.
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Re: 16ohm
Reply #2 - 11/16/17 at 15:46:23
Hi Plakey,

The amp would definitely work with higher-impedance speakers, yet I would guess it would lose a bit of power in comparison to driving a 4- or 8-ohm speaker.

With the low-power amplifiers of Decware, I almost always like to use a high-output source, more than what the technical specs say.  For instance, the SE84UFO asks for an input 2.0V for full output.  I am currently running mine with a Copland DAC215 which is at the same time a tube preamp, and the combination of the two is great.

Similarly, I recently gifted my SE34I.2+ to my girlfriend.  She has a Hegel HD2 DAC with only 1.0V (or 1.25V) of output which is far less than the required voltage to run SE34 at full volume (the new version needs 2.5V but the one I have might need less; definitely at least 2.0V though).  Anyway, I coupled the SE34 with a tube buffer/preamp by iFi which has a 7.75V max output.  The combination sounds great with a slam and control on bass.

So, if I were you, I would couple the SE84UFO with a nice preamp and would not worry about running it with your Zu Omen's.  I am sure they will sound pretty good.

In the meantime, I would like to hear your thoughts about the Omen's as I am fancying ordering a pair of the Dirty Weekend version.  Particularly, how is the bass response on those speakers?  I am considering replacing my B&W DM630's (at 91dB efficiency) with them...


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