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Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior (Read 1760 times)
ToobNoobToo
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Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
09/25/18 at 05:38:34
 
I need help selecting the right amp for 92db speakers.  Details:

- Sonore Ultrarendu with Uptone UltraCap™ LPS-1.2, Tidal mostly
- NAD M51 DAC/pre
- Acoustic Technologies Classics
  -- Even 8ohm load and 92+db efficiency)
  -- 15 watts nominal and 30 max.
- I am replacing my Rotel RB-1050 with 70 watts of SS power.
- My living room is 22x16' with an open stairwell half way back on one side.
- My music is mostly soft jazz, piano, and blues with some rock and not very loud. Usually it's pretty low (family) and rarely louder than a small, live acoustic band. Occasionally, I listen to Pink Floyd, classic rock, new rock, and even some Metallica, but my current system does not sound good with most rock.

QUESTIONS:
1. Will the Zen be adequate for reasonable dynamics at moderate levels?
2. Will a preamp get them there?
3. If not, would the model SE34I.5 do the trick? (I like the idea of adjustability.)
4. What do I lose/gain with the Torii vs the others?

This is my first post.  Sorry if I'm clumsy.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #1 - 09/25/18 at 09:31:33
 
Welcome!

QUESTIONS:
1. Will the Zen be adequate for reasonable dynamics at moderate levels?  Personally, I would not run 92dB speakers with a 2 watt Zen.  Could you do it? Yes.  But you run the risk of not getting the volume you desire.  Some here have the new 25th Anniversary Zen amp which supposedly defies logic in the way it sounds bigger than it is.  I’m not sure if anyone is running one with less efficient speakers near your specs, but maybe someone is and will chime in
2. Will a preamp get them there? No, unless your input signal is weak.  A pre-amp will not add wattage to your power amp beyond its maximum.  A pre-amp could create higher volumes if your input signal is below say 2 volts.  It will boost a weak signal and therefore result in greater volume but again, a 2 watt amp is a 2 watt amp.   With a pre-amp boost, you need to be mindful of clipping if driven too hard.
3. If not, would the model SE34I.5 do the trick? (I like the idea of adjustability.) Same as #1, in my opinion.
4. What do I lose/gain with the Torii vs the others?  Now you are talking!  And if you are patient, this is the next amp Steve plans to 25th Anniversify.  I had a Torii Jr. before moving up to my ZMA.  It is a great amp and would drive those Accoustic Technologies with ease.  

Others may have a different opinion to offer.
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ZMA//Zen Ultra//Rachel//Super Zen//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//DM946//Oppo UDP-205
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JOMAN
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #2 - 09/25/18 at 13:20:52
 
I’m not going to speak to the UFO25’s ability to drive speakers that have an efficiency of 92dB because my speakers are far more efficient.  However there are ones on this forum that are driving speakers that are 92.5 dB and so if they choose to chime I’ll leave that to them.

What I will speak to is the comment of the UFO25 “supposedly defies logic” or more specifically on the matter of logic upon which we base our decisions.

At one time logic dictated that if you ventured to far from land you would risk falling into the abyss because as everybody new... the earth was flat.  And not only was it flat but it was stationary and the sun circled the earth.  Then some heretic started confusing the issue with facts that defied the logic of the day and paid a price for daring to do so.

This sort of thing continues to our present day and is not limited to our hobby.  Take for example the mechanics of motor vehicles.  So you want to race in the F1 circuit?  What logic would you base your decision on of the type of engine that you would need to go fast?

Perhaps you may want to look at this: https://www.enginelabs.com/news/video-mercedes-amg-formula-1-engines-reach-unpre...

“Thermal efficiency”? “Usable horsepower”?  Kind of makes me think of “density being a watt multiplier” or “usable volume”.  (Damn heretics!)

So be careful of applying “accepted logic” when it comes to any Decware products but especially so to the UFO25.  I will compare it to the Mercedes F1 GH 50 engine which also defies accepted logic.  

Will the UFO25 do the job for you?  I don’t know.  I’ll leave that to those that are driving speakers of lower efficiency than mine.  What ever you do though do not think of the UFO25 as a mere 2watt amp and a 2 watt amp is a two watt amp.  It’ll take a 70 watt ss amp, chew it up and spit out its internals in a most unceremonious manner.  It can be rather tactless in making the point.



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Lon
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #3 - 09/25/18 at 13:28:51
 
Welcome TNT. As for whether the 2 watt 25th Anniversary Zen will drive 92 watt speakers. . . well, if you only want to listen quietly I'd say yes, but I think you'll be dissatisfied. I'm using 92.5 db speakers and the slightly more powerful (2.7 watt) SE84UFO3 25th Anniversary Monoblocks and with some material I can't quite get loud enough and wish I had a bit more power. This is all helped in my situation by using two Decware preamps and the ZROCK2 . . . This allows me to live with the volume I get quite comfortably for music and most of my video material. I am pretty sure that I wouldn't with the 2 watt version of the amp.

These amps are incredible though. It's worth considering getting one and getting more efficient speakers!
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HR-1,ZP3,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV+MK III;PS Audio:DMP+DSD,P10,NPC, PowerBases,xStream Statemt spkr cbs,AC-12 pcs; Mapleshade:SamsonV2+V3;Oppo UDP-205;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati,Iso-Pods;MD90-T SE tuner; headphones: Oppo PM-1,Sennheiser 800S
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JOMAN
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #4 - 09/25/18 at 14:08:51
 
Yes I would agree with Lon.  I run 97dB speakers with my UFO25.  I am very heavy handed with the gain levels as afforded by the ZDSD, ZR2 and CSP3 and at times (not often) it can begin to approach the limits of the UFO25.  However at those limits with 97 dB speakers in a large room it gets a little too loud.

If I were running 92 dB speakers I would opt for a pair of UFO-25’s mono blocked.  To me what the UFO25 does is worth the mono block approach.
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dvl
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #5 - 09/25/18 at 16:15:32
 
i had a 2 watt Zen and a Torii Jr. at the same time, used them to drive Monoliths that i believe are rated at 94db. i loved the Zen with digital. i listened to more digital than i ever had before. It helped that i had ZCD-240 and i could increase the output voltage. i would go for the Torii Jr. with 92db speakers, especially after Steve gets done adding the anniversary mod to it. Great amp, plenty of power for your speakers, and that extra power will give you some flexibility with future components or speakers.  

David
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #6 - 09/25/18 at 18:18:35
 
I assume, based on TNT’s original post, that budget is to be considered.  Otherwise he would have asked about the Torii MKIV or the ZMA.

I think we can all agree thus far that a 2 watt amp with 92dB speakers is a risk, regardless of the amp model.  

With Steve now looking to apply Anniversary mods to the Torii Jr., it seems this amp could be the golden ticket - if TNT can endure the time it will take for Steve to finalize the mod scheme and get it to market.  
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ZMA//Zen Ultra//Rachel//Super Zen//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//DM946//Oppo UDP-205
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dvl
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #7 - 09/25/18 at 22:40:57
 
One of the questions i didn't address was what you will lose or gain with the Torii vs. the other amps. i can speak to the 2 watt Zen and the Torii Jr. i described the differences i heard in a post several months ago. You should be able to find it.

The quick version is the Zen is warmer, the Torii is a cooler sounding amp, the Zen produces a touch more realism, the Torii is fast, fast, fast, and transparent. They are different amps, but both do what they do exceptionally well. The Zen's warmth and realism helped me with digital sources, the Torii's speed, transparency, and extra power worked well with vinyl in my system.

David
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ToobNoobToo
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #8 - 09/26/18 at 01:25:01
 
You all are so helpful!  

Real life experiences with similarly efficient speakers was most helpful. I'm convinced 2 watts aren't enough, 6 watts may be, and 20 watts are plenty.  And David, your explanation of your out-of-body experience with the Zens was enlightening and very compelling.

As a result, I would love to try a pair of SE84UFO2 Zens bridged for mono and the Torii Jr.  Hmmm...I wonder if Steve has some demos lying around?  My soul might enjoy the twins, and my lady might actually care to listen.

As Jeff of Arabica surmised, like you all, I don't want to spend money on what I don't need.  For the extra Grand a full Torii costs, I can adjust my own bias.  Am I missing the point of the Senior Torii?  If it's worth it, money will happen.

TNT
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lazb
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #9 - 09/26/18 at 16:20:31
 
Decfest is almost here! You should make the effort to go.The reward will be much more than "ample"!!!!!!!!!!!! My socks were knocked off last year and I am now firmly in "the family" and a happy Decware owner/listener.
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dvl
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #10 - 09/26/18 at 21:49:14
 
Having just been at Steve's place last week, i agree you should try to get to Decfest if you can. You could listen to all the amps you are considering. Listening to the Anniversary amp may complicate things, though. It did for me. i had decided i wanted more than 2 watts, but then i heard the Anniversary amp and i started to rationalize getting it. Currently i'm going to wait for the modded Jr. i think...

David
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ToobNoobToo
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #11 - 09/26/18 at 22:22:06
 
David

The Anniversary Zen seems like it will be well worth the compromise, but you can always get a second one for 6 watts.  I could see myself doing that in the future.

TNT
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Joey
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #12 - 10/07/18 at 02:34:27
 
I'm trying to decide between the 25th and the ufo2
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #13 - 10/15/18 at 06:40:23
 
I am running my SE84UFO with 91dB 4-ohm speakers with complex crossovers (B&W DM630's), and I must say the volume is more than enough.  Unless you would like some kidney stone crushed!  :)

By the way, I drive the UFO with a tube Copland preamp.  I am at almost full volume on the UFO and control the general volume from the pre, which is almost never above half-way up...

Best,

Alper
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My Name is Earl
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Re: Super Zen v Rachel v Torii Junior
Reply #14 - 02/05/19 at 00:11:21
 
FWIW I think the room/installation needs to be considered.  How large is the room?  How live or dead is it?  How far can you pull the speakers out from the front wall?  Are the speakers ported?  If so, are they ported front or back?  What kind of imaging/3D holographic do you want/expect?

OK, that’s too much to grok in a hypothetical situation.  So, if you have not already made a choice, I will chime in.

I am running the Super Zen (not Anniversary) into aged 92dB speakers, specifically a pair of DCM Time Windows 1A. In a small room they Super Zen has no problem running these speakers to levels far above what I can endure.  I’m not sure how complex the load is (probably it’s a pretty easy load,) but I am really pleased with the combination.  Have I heard better with my amp?  Yes, I tried other speakers with the amp at a local dealer, but only one pair was clearly better, and I’m not prepared to spend on new speakers at this time when I can invest in an upgraded cartridge, more vinyl, etc.

In my room I do not get the imaging that the Time Windows are capable of giving, but that’s a room issue, not an issue with the speaker or front end.

If you can afford more power from Steve, then that is probably never a bad thing.  But you may want to think about saving the extra dollars for other pieces in the system.
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