adhere to the 'first-watt' theory of HiFi, here’s a bonus:
the Decware Zen amplifier gives you two. Yep, two watts per channel
single-ended triode. I must admit they are pretty big watts, as I had
no problem driving my reference GamuT S-7’s to a more than reasonable
level. (The S-7’s have a rated
sensitivity of 89db at 1 watt and a retail price of $42k per pair.)"
"What really sets the Zen apart from all the moderately priced tube
amplification I've heard is its incredibly lifelike tonality
-Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio Magazine
It's Hand Crafted directly by Decware - A notch above mass-produced retail.
- A signal path featuring a mere 2 resistors and 1 capacitor.
- Decware's highly interleaved UFO output transformers made in the USA.
- It's a class A SET amplifier that can handle dips down to 1 ohm.
- 7 revisions spanning 16 years.
- Direct feedback from 6200 customers creates a highly evolved product.
- Cryo-treated film and foil beeswax capacitors 15 years in the making.
- Point-to-point wired with no circuit boards in our Zen Dream Shop.
- Designed by audio guru Steve Deckert
Built in USA with USA parts and labor... Not
produced but rather lovingly crafted by some of the worlds best.
If the amplifier were offered in the retail market, which it's not, the retail price would be $2500.00
If you're new to Decware or don't know owner/designer Steve Deckert, or
how he started Decware in 1996 with this very amplifier, then when you
do, you'll quickly understand why the sound quality of this amplifier is
simply untouchable for what it is.
Well OK, you can touch it...
Zen Triode Amplifier (SE84UFO) is an SET which means Single Ended
Triode. It uses a single EL84/6P15P output tube per channel driven by a
6922/6N1P dual triode. The two stages are connected by one capacitor
giving the entire signal path a parts count of only 4 components; A
capacitor, a transformer and 2 resistors. The amp is built point to
point with only 11 solder nodes between your source and your speakers.
In addition to this extreme simplicity, there is also no negative
feedback. The resulting transparency would be impossible from any solid
state design and even most tube designs.
This circuit features a floating output stage that can be series or
parallel strapped into mono making it easy to have more power by simply
adding a second amp.
The amp features a pair of inputs that are selected via a silver contact
toggle switch located at the front. There is also a volume
control on the front that can be used for volume when running direct
with no preamp, or can be used as a gain control when being run with a preamp.
The amp also features a self biased output stage which is 100% stable
making bias runaway and premature tube failure obsolete. It
eliminates tedious adjustments making the amplifier virtually
UFO stands for Ultra Fidelity Output transformers. These proprietary
Decware transformers push what's possible in a boutique output
transformer design with a high degree of precision and the very best
steel yielding a bandwidth 5 times wider than human hearing so that the
response in the audio band becomes ruler flat.
Worried about 2 huger than life SET watts not being
SE84UFO employs a unique floating
output transformer scheme where the negative speaker wire is not tied
to chassis ground. That means when the amp is bridged, both channels
may either be series or parallel wired. In series, both channels work
as one and transparency is preserved.
no sonic drawbacks to running the amps
in mono, you can expect 6 dB of additional power rather then the
expected 3dB. This is thanks to the power increase the amp has when it
sees half the speaker load from being series bridged.
successfully driven hundreds of different
loudspeakers ranging in efficiency from 90 to 100dB 1w/1m. On 90dB
speakers it works nicely in smaller rooms or for late night out of body
96 dB speakers will for example make your Zen Triode
amplifier sound as loud as a 70 watt amplifier running 84 dB speakers.
When these amplifiers were first released in 1998 there were
a minimal number of present day "high efficiency"
speakers to choose from that didn't break the bank... Fostex, Lowther,
Klipsch and a few others. Today companies like Decware, Omega, Zu
and dozen of others all make speakers that are around 94dB or higher and
that's all you need to rock out with a Zen Triode Amp.
own regular hi-fi speakers that
you've always loved and are afraid this may not drive them - understand two things:
A) It will drive them louder than you're expecting and B) you can
bridge these amps into mono for up to three times the power.
JUNE / 2015
The SE84UFO features a switch to go between 4 and
8 ohm speakers as a result of the UFO high bandwidth
transformers that now come standard inside every Zen
Triode Amplifier. This switch can be operated while listening to
music and it is recommended to do so as both settings will work on
almost every speaker. The correct setting is the one that sounds
the best to you.
Your amp is shipped
with hand selected
N.O.S. 6P15P-EV output tubes rated at 5000 hours. These Russian
military spec tubes are the top grade of what we came to know in this
country as the SV83.
NOTE: You can also use EL84's in this amplifier without adjustments of
kind however you'll find the 6P15P-EV's to be
unparalleled in speed and
detail. The reason for this is because the 6P15P-EV
is actually a video tube as opposed to an audio tube. This gives it much
than a normal audio tube and that results in great SPEED.
We think these small bottle tubes are some of the best sounding and best
quality available today. Of course, with the nearly as good sounding
EL84 options out there, you can have a different sounding amp just by
changing output tubes.
6922 or 6DJ8/7DJ8
- your choice. 6N1P's have the warmest tone, 6922's have the best
dynamics, 6DJ8's have the most air and micro-detail with a touch less
bass. Again, a powerful tool for voicing your amplifier to your
rectifier is 5U4G, also
compatible with 5AR4, 5Y3GT, and some 274B. Many owners of this amp like using
the 274B however not all 274B tubes are completely compatible, so we
ship the amp with one that we know IS. Each rectifier change will also
make audible differences in
the sound and performance of the amplifier.
DECWARE / High Fidelity Engineering Co. It comes with a lifetime
warranty to the original owner. If you purchase one second hand and
ever have questions or technical problems we WILL be happy to check it
out for you and service it if needed for a very reasonable rate.
have a support forum
many people who own this amplifier who's experiences you may benefit
Tone Audio Magazine called it the Best Watts You'll Ever Buy ... and CNET's Steve Guttenberg says:
"Trust me on this;
you'd be amazed how good a few watts can sound, and when they're matched
with the right speakers, micro power amps can definitely play loud
enough to annoy your neighbors. You're skeptical? I don't blame you, but
Decware amps are sold with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and the
company wouldn't have lasted 15 years if it didn't have lots of
satisfied customers. Business is so brisk there's usually a 30-day
waiting list for new customers."
read all of the
Zen Triode reviews here - going back over 15 years and customer comments like this:
Hope all is well with you and your family?
I have been very fortunate to have picked up an Se84CKC amp over here in the UK.
Wow......I can't believe how great it all sounds.
have owned all sorts of power amps in the past, 300b, 45,EL34 but your
amp surpasses them all. I quite liked the 45 monos but they never went
loud enough even though I have Khorns. No such problem with your amp
however and as you quite rightly say the speed and attack is amazing out
of a mere 2 watts! I agree with your opinion of the output valves, I
always enjoyed the El 84's as being a very sweet sounding valve in the
days when I had a Leak stereo 20 and these Russian valves are a step
I am so glad I took the chance on your products and now have a complete set and am very happy. Vinyl
is my preferred medium and I am really enjoying revisiting my favourite
albums. It's incredible what is stored in those grooves.
really appreciate Decware's philosophy and continuing efforts to
provide guys like me with the chance to own top notch sound at very
reasonable prices....long may it continue!
Manufactured from 1998 to 2008 and was retired at serial number 1000.
This unassuming little gray box (about the size of a toaster)
set the benchmark for all Decware amplifiers that followed. This was the original Zen Triode Amplifier.
SE84C+ / Manufactured from
2008 to 2009.
The chassis was stretched an inch, the larger world
voltage power transformer became standard. The thickness of the steel
chassis is doubled and the paint is changed to high gloss black powder
The volume control was moved from the rear to the front. A second set
of input jacks was added with a silver switch so you can run 2 sources.
SE84C+ / Manufactured from 2009 to 2012. The
front mounted switches were moved slightly to make
room for an upgraded volume
pot. Binding posts were upgraded. Finish was
changed to a
high gloss piano finish in white. Internally this
amplifier now uses the CCE mod which stands for "Christmas Comes Early"
and deals with
improving the operation of the output tube
|SE84CKC / Manufactured from 2013 to 2015. Known as the
"SuperZen" the chassis has been improved again with a 1930's typewriter
finish. By far the best sounding version to date due to a
re-voiced front end. Each amp now comes standard with cryo treated beeswax caps. We named this
update the CKC mod which stands for "Christmas Keeps Coming" which can
be seen in the model number.
||SE84UFO / JUNE 2015.
Taking everything we've done to date the only possible thing that could
be improved is the actual thing that made the amp sound so
much better than it's competition... the output transformers. Decware
SET output transformers set this amp apart with the ability to drive a
dead short, and maintain flat response out to 20kHz. Now with our
upgraded UFO wide bandwidth transformer standard equipment, it makes this amplifier simply
amplifier requires no adjustments
or maintenance other than changing tubes every couple
years. It is a
self biasing design and self balancing meaning even
unmatched tubes can be used without ruining the sound. The SV83
(6P15P-EV) or EL84 output
wired in triode were chosen over 300B, 2A3, 45, and
other triodes for
having the best sound and imaging.
|| 17 lbs. ea.
|| 8.0" H x 6.125"
W x 12.0" D
| Circuit type
|| Single ended
Class A Triode
| Power output
|| 2.3 watts
| Input voltage
|| 2.0 volts for
| Noise / Hum
than 1.5 mV
|| 20 Hz ~ 80 kHz
|| ZERO negative
|| 5U4G / tube
| Output tubes
|| SV83/6P15P-EV or
| Signal tube
|| 6N1P or 6922 or
6Dj8 or 7DJ8
|| Decware UFO
|| precision WW/MF
by DALE, VISHAY
| Signal Cap
|| Cryo Treated Beeswax Film and Foil with Silver leads
| AC cord
|| Removable power
|| 65 watts
| Input jacks
|| RCA type 24K
Gold / Teflon
Watch what happens when designer Steve Deckert goes to take a picture of his new SE84UFO amplifier!
(warning some mild swearing in this video)