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07/23/19 at 06:33:21 


       



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The "first-watt" theory (Read 658 times)
Melvin
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Posts: 77
The "first-watt" theory
03/18/19 at 15:31:53
 
Steve has made a believer out of me. It's been a year since the little Zen arrived and it continues to deliver in every way .. tone, scale, weight, dynamics, delicacy .. all of it, with just 2 gorgeous wpc. Still, at times, it surprises me. When I started down the SET/high-efficiency path I had high hopes, especially within the budget I set. My system is on the lower-end of the spectrum compared to many and, suffice it to say, I've proven to myself high fidelity can be achieved with careful/thoughtful gear selection. I'm so very thankful to Steve and his team for producing gear for the not-so-wealthy music lovers like me.

With such a great experience under my belt I often ponder why more audiophiles don't go down the SET/high-efficiency path. Seems a shame the "first-watt" theory isn't more widely embraced. I have no doubt plenty of folks know of it by the forum chatter I see on occasion. It's a mystery to me. Nonetheless, I will continue to share my experience when the opportunity arises. Back to the music.


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drD
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Posts: 9
Re: The "first-watt" theory
Reply #1 - 05/25/19 at 02:30:15
 
Screw theory. I'd rather call it fact. Made a believer outta me as well.
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Geno
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Posts: 371
Re: The "first-watt" theory
Reply #2 - 05/25/19 at 14:52:38
 
And with the level of transparency you get from these amps, it is easy to tell the differences between cabling. Speaker cable and interconnects make a dramatic difference.
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SE84UFO-AnnivMods
PS Audio DSDAC JR
Cambridge Audio CXC
ZBIT
ZLC
Lonely Raven Audio PC
Technics PL 1210MK5-KAB Mods-Soundsm.Carmen MKII MI
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Caintuck Audio Betsy Baffles-Alnico & Original
(2) 12" Bass Baffles
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 3826
Re: The "first-watt" theory
Reply #3 - 05/27/19 at 06:13:28
 

Geno,

You make a great point.  When you take an amplifier like the SE84 series where there is only 1 capacitor and two resistors in the signal path, and 13 solder nodes  you have the very definition of a laboratory instrument for the evaluation of cables... or for that matter capacitors also.  

To put this in perspective a typical solid state receiver uses several OpAmps driving output transistors fastened to a heat sink. A single OpAmp, which is an integrated circuit (IC) has 27 transistors in it, as well as a couple resistors and capacitors which then have to be coupled to the next stage with a huge 10uf electrolytic capacitor, which is btw 100 times larger than the 0.1uf cap used in a Zen Triode Amplifier.

Both the SE84 series and the SE34 series amplifiers have this part count, the main difference being the output tube. The larger SE34 series was used as a laboratory instrument for evaluating capacitors. A custom unit was built with external jacks on the top plate for the single coupling cap used in the circuit, but configured so you could put two caps in there and then switch between them while you listen to music. The perfect A/B machine for hearing what a capacitor really sounds like. This was used to develop the Jupiter Type II Beeswax caps, and is no doubt used to evaluate all their designs... so as you can see Jupiter Beeswax Caps are actually a pretty great synergy with Decware amplifies which can be credited to the great set of ears (Chris at Jupiter) that design them.

In an an OpAmp based circuit coupled to several parallel output transistors, besides the massive increase of parts and nodes, there is also boat loads of negative feedback loops throughout each stage as well as global feedback. All this combines to smear the transparency and fidelity of recordings so using something like that to evaluate cables is going to hugely mask the differences between two different cables.... or capacitors.

-Steve

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Melvin
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Posts: 77
Re: The "first-watt" theory
Reply #4 - 05/27/19 at 12:58:12
 
This is terrific info Steve! Thanks for sharing it with us.
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