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Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25 (Read 1099 times)
Lon
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Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
04/13/18 at 20:53:20
 
I posted this on the Decware Facebook page today:

Monday I received the SE84UFO3 Monoblocks with the 25th Anniversary modifications that I ordered in February. Beautiful amplifiers! I love their elegant simplicity. Mine have the walnut bases and ebony knobs. I also ordered these with the "treble cut circuit" that Steve can build into the amplifiers which decreases the treble output by shunting it to ground.

I've been a busy listener and have over forty hours of listening time with these amplifiers. I wish I had even more time to listen, these amps just draw one in and grab hold of your attention.

First I have to say I had one worry ordering these: I was afraid that the amplifiers might strain trying to drive my Decware HR-1 speakers to loud levels. I needn't have worried. Even in my fairly large living/dining room I have plenty of power for my music and TV and movie watching needs. 2.7 watts NEVER sounded this powerful before! I have a lot of gain going into the amps as I'm using a ZTPRE/ZBIT/ZROCK2 configuration in front of them, and this creates what Steve Deckert terms "density." This density makes the sound seem more powerful. Well so does all the extensive power supply modification that give these amplifiers their impressive "speed." This speed also makes the sound seem more powerful. The sound is satisfying and full whether the music is loud or soft.

Which brings me to one of two points where these amplifiers seem to stand head and shoulders above their "peers" and stable mates. Dynamics! Musically from a "whisper" to a "roar" there's a wide gap, and you can sense the changes in volume and attack of instruments, the ebb and flow seems natural. The second point that these amplifiers make without trying: these amplifiers dish out detail. And not in a "highlighted" way--the details are there in a tapestry of sound, woven in the sound stage and the imaging and creating a sense of atmosphere and delivering a presentation with body and depth.

It's hard to describe some characteristics of these amplifiers other than to say that they evoke an excitement that brings me back to the beginnings of my audiophile journey and they offer an involved listening experience and a desire to continue listening and when that's not possible a hope to listen again soon. And that's what a music lover needs!
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25, Taboo MkIV;PS Audio: Soloist SE, DMP+DSD, P10, PowerBases, XStream Statemt spk cb, AC-12 power cds; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3; Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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lazb
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Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #1 - 04/13/18 at 20:59:30
 
Lon, a great job of describing what these amps do but still not even close to the same thing as sitting in front of them with your own ears!
Cheesy
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Lon
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"Love without
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Philip K. D*ck

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Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #2 - 04/13/18 at 21:11:41
 
No argument from me Joe!
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25, Taboo MkIV;PS Audio: Soloist SE, DMP+DSD, P10, PowerBases, XStream Statemt spk cb, AC-12 power cds; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3; Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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glineus
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Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #3 - 04/14/18 at 00:44:24
 
Leon how does this amplifier compare to the Torii MK 111? I am the owner of an Torii MK1V and am considering acquiring the Monos do drive my Zu Definitions.

Regards
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Lon
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"Love without
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Philip K. D*ck

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Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #4 - 04/14/18 at 01:04:47
 
Well, these are two very different designs. But in many ways these amplifiers sound very similar. The Monoblocks are not as powerful, that's for sure. But you shouldn't need the difference in power with the speakers you have.

The two sound pretty similar in signature if like me you are feeding the amps a lot of gain via a preamp and/or ZROCK2. The signature (beefy, fleshed out sound) is less similar if you are running the amp directly from a lower voltage source.

The Monoblocks I think may well give you more detail, more soundstage, more precise imaging than the Torii if you have the speakers well into the room and have some room treatment. I don't have that sort of room or listening set up; I have the speakers about 30" from the front wall and this reinforces the lower frequencies and brings the sound closer to that of the Mk III than if they were further out into the room and the room were "treated."

I think what sets the two amplifiers apart when they are both used in a configuration that suits them is: the Monoblocks have speed speed speed and this translates into a vivid and dynamic presentation; the Torii has FORCE, almost a blanket of lower frequency strength that surges, it is not as fast and has a heavier feel to it, larger, airier images plus a headroom that makes the presentation exude a certain "ease."
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25, Taboo MkIV;PS Audio: Soloist SE, DMP+DSD, P10, PowerBases, XStream Statemt spk cb, AC-12 power cds; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3; Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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hdrider
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Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #5 - 04/14/18 at 16:28:53
 
Lon- Please keep listening, please keep writing as this adventure continues. I really love it when Steve breaks down another wall in the designs of his products. I really love it when forum members get their new gear and write their experiences and impressions of the gear in their rooms/systems. It makes this hobby so tangible and fun. Happy listening, Chris.
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CSP3, Rachael, ZP3, ZMC 1, Oppo BDP-93, Sota Star TT w/ FR-64, Dynavector D17 mkIII Moving coil, Omega 7XRS Mk 2 walnut, DeepOmega 8 sub, Morrow Audio PH3 and MA3 IC's, Gamma Electrostatic phones.
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 14194
Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #6 - 04/14/18 at 16:31:44
 
Will do Chris. It's the weekend and I don't generally get to listen (except on headphones) as my wife still works and I let her run the weekends, and listening is not a priority of hers. The last three years here I've gotten used to that. . .but it's hard when there's new amps to listen to and even harder when they are these addictive Monoblocks. I'll do more listening starting Monday. . . .
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25, Taboo MkIV;PS Audio: Soloist SE, DMP+DSD, P10, PowerBases, XStream Statemt spk cb, AC-12 power cds; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3; Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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SonicSeeker
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Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #7 - 04/14/18 at 16:44:03
 
I understand the weekend wife thing exactly LON.
I am enjoying reading your impressions thus far.
I would be interested to know your thoughts with everything removed, Pre-amp, Zrock etc.
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 14194
Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #8 - 04/14/18 at 16:50:16
 
Hmmm. . . I'm not likely to do that my friend. Would be a complete moving around of things in my system that would be time-consuming and I KNOW I would prefer, in fact NEED, the effect that my ZTPRE, ZBIT and ZROCK2 provide. Without those I know I would neither get the volume I need nor the "fleshed out" sound I would need with the HR-1 speakers. The Z components were essential in my being able to use and enjoy the Taboo as a speaker amp and as these mono blocks are less powerful. . . it would be even more "whimpy" sounding.
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25, Taboo MkIV;PS Audio: Soloist SE, DMP+DSD, P10, PowerBases, XStream Statemt spk cb, AC-12 power cds; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3; Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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TheTakeOut
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Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #9 - 06/09/18 at 05:13:53
 
Lon,  are you able to post pictures of the monoblocks?
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 14194
Re: Listening Impressions of the SE84UFO3-25
Reply #10 - 06/09/18 at 11:08:35
 
Sorry, I don't have a camera, don't do photos. Every now and then I can borrow a camera but only do that if I have something to sell that I need to photograph.

My Monoblocks look just like the non-25th Anniversary version with the exception that mine have a small knob in the front corner of each for the treble cut circuit, and above that a toggle switch to bypass that circuit. I have the walnut bases (not too well matched, but that's okay).
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25, Taboo MkIV;PS Audio: Soloist SE, DMP+DSD, P10, PowerBases, XStream Statemt spk cb, AC-12 power cds; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3; Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo Cremona +Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Audeze LCD-2
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