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The Zen Triode SET Amplifier



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 MODEL SE84CKC
  2 watts x 2 or 6 watts x 1


Hand made in the USA and sold Factory Direct with a
L i f e t i m e   W a r r a n t y  !



"If you haven't heard a Zen Triode Amplifier... you're in for a really pleasant experience! It floats music in 3D space like very few amplifiers can.  Designed and built in the USA it comes with no disappointments."

The Zen Triode is a single-ended amplifier that out performs most popular amplifiers with a simple less-is-more approach.  Less internal parts, More realistic sounding music. Of course there's a fair amount of good Karma that comes with hand building each one without circuit boards!


This is the highly polished version of our original Zen Triode amplifier, originally released in 1998. Since that time it has developed an almost cult following among serious audiophiles.


Read the full review in this issue of Tone Audio, just click here. "For those who 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 tonal
ity and bass control."

-Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio Magazine


This 2 watt per channel Single Ended Triode amplifier is capable of driving almost a dead short - rare in the world of SET amplifiers!  It can be driven directly from any source (such as your CD player or DAC) without a preamp. It will drive typical hi-fi speakers to conversation listening levels and hi-efficiency speakers (94dB 1w1/m) to a satisfyingly loud level. The amplifier operates in pure class A and has zero negative feedback.

The bass surprises everyone, and the amp features two inputs and a selector switch so you can have two sources.  The volume control is mounted on the front. Tubes for it are more than affordable, the amp is self biasing making it a completely hassle free experience to own and enjoy one. It comes with a lifetime warranty because it's actually built that well.




WHY  DOES THIS AMP SOUND SO MUCH BETTER?

Well, it's the real deal... It's not mass produced. It's hand-built, point-to-point wired using only part leads to limit the solder nodes. Only 2 resistors and 1 capacitor are in the signal path and there is a Silver ground buss. It uses US Made proprietary output and power transformers in a high mass steel chassis of the highest quality - all built by skilled (and well paid) artists here at Decware. The SV83 output tubes are among the most linear in the world when triode wired.* We think that this tube is the most neutral sounding.  And then there is owner of Decware, Steve Deckert's flawless Zen design that separates this amp from other high quality boutique competitors.

There's been so many 300B and 2A3 amplifier owners that have switched to the Zen Triode that we've lost count. We bring that up because most people who haven't heard one can't wrap their head around the concept that an amplifier costing less than a grand could sound better than a high dollar amplifier - but the Zen amp does.  The more you read about it and learn about Decware the easier this statement is to believe.


* SV83/6P15P-EB Data Sheet.




The SE84CKC amplifier has an exquisite black powder coat finish reminiscent of the old typewriters from the 1930's.

It has 2 pair of inputs so that you can use it with 2 sources, a front mounted volume control, a silver toggle switch for source selection and a silver toggle for the different bias settings of the input tube, just like always.  

It uses EL84, or SV83 output tubes and your choice of 6N1P, 6DJ8 or 6922 input tubes.Compatible rectifiers are 5U4, 5AR4, 5Y3GT and some 274B's.

Top Quality Gold / Teflon input jacks and fused IEC connectors are provided for use with hi-end cables. The amp is self biasing so you never need to adjust the bias and the bias will never drift out of adjustment. While we ship it with a military grade version of the SV83 called a 6P15P-EB featuring Gold plated Grids from Russia.

The output channels are self balancing meaning it is also possible to use non-matched output tubes without channel imbalance.



MONO BLOCKS

Worried about 2 watts being enough power? Bridge the amps into mono and quadruple your power!

The SE84CKC employ 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.  

So with 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.




IDEAL SPEAKERS and OUTPUT CONFIGURATION

We have 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 experiences. 94 to 96 dB speakers are almost ideal in that they let you play beyond a normal listening level and preserving the dynamic headroom. When these amplifiers were first released in 1997 there were a minimal number of "high efficiency" speakers to choose from. Today that is no longer the case - they are everywhere. We also offer several different types of our own loudspeakers that sound great with this amp.

If you own speakers that you love and are afraid this may not drive them understand two things: A) It will drive them louder then you're expecting and B) you can bridge these amps into mono blocks.  Because of the power increase into lower ohms, you will net 6dB of additional power. Same thing as doubling your power... twice.

The SuperZen can be configured for "normal" speakers between 2 and 8 ohms OR for "high impedance" speakers between 8 and 16 ohms from within the Shopping Cart.  Since either option will drive an 8 ohm speaker, you will no doubt wonder what the differences might be...  Most hi-fi speakers rated at 8 ohms work best with the "normal" configuration.  The time to choose "high impedance" for an 8 ohm speaker is when the speaker lacks a crossover network, and is high efficiency.  For example, an 8 inch full range driver with no crossover (or minimal crossover components) will generally sound smoother and have more bass with the high impedance setting.  If your speakers are 8 ohm (or higher) and sound lean, select the high impedance outputs



TUBES

This amp is shipped with graded premium quality 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. You can also use EL84's without adjustments of any kind. You'll find the SV83's to be unparalleled in speed and detail - in part because it is a video tube with much wider bandwidth then a normal audio tube.  We think these are the best sounding most transparent tubes available today. The EL84 (6BQ5) is a bit warmer sounding giving the amp a different signature by just switching output tubes.

The input tube is a single 6N1P, 6922 or 6DJ8 - 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 particular tastes.

The rectifier location is compatible with 5U4G, 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.



CABLES

This amplifier is so transparent that differences between cables will now become big differences.  This is true for both interconnects and speaker cables.  Be sure to try a couple different cables along the way as your amp can only sound as good as the cables connected to it.



SUPPORT

This amplifier is hand built in the USA by 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.

We also have a support forum with many people who own this amplifier who's experiences you may benefit from.




REVIEWS

You may read reviews on this amp going back 15 years.




HISTORY of REVISIONS

Model SE84C

SE84A
SE84B
SE84
C / 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.
SE84C+


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 coat.

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.
Current model SE84C+ for 2010


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 suppressor grids.





SE84CKC / New for 2013.  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.  It's now using large 2 watt carbon composition plate resistors and silver-leaded waxed foil caps by Jupiter that were found to sound better in this amplifier than VCAPS.  Vcaps were a $200.00 option in the prior model.  We named this update the CKC mod which stands for "Christmas Keeps Coming" which can be seen in the model number.


JAN 5th, 2013

"Just for the Holiday I went back to my white #018 SE84C+ for the week of Christmas into new years , Happy New Year. Last night I switched back to the Superzen And again in my 9x13 room with the ZCD200i CD player and Common Sense Audio 2.8's with 10" cast frame Audio Nirvana's. The dynamic was such that I thought I switched over to a much more powerful amp. Just amazing with both amps volume at around 9 O'clock. normal listening level  here . The only thing I did do was run a dedicated circuit to my breaker box . Highly recommended.........So The Superzen has come to be truly super compared to past zens, which I have 4 of in various vintages."

-Jamesskk / forum member





This 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 become matched when installed.  The SV83 (6P15P-EV) or EL84 output tubes wired in triode were chosen over 300B, 2A3, 45, and other triodes for having the best sound and imaging.

Weight   17 lbs. ea.
Dimensions   8.0" H x 6.125" W x 12.0" D
Circuit type   Single ended Class A Triode
Power output   2.3 watts  RMS 
Input voltage   2.0 volts for full output
Noise / Hum   Less   than 1.5 mv
Response   20 Hz ~ 20 kHz
Feedback   ZERO negative feedback used
Rectification   5U4G / tube rectification
Output tubes   SV83 or EL84/6BQ5
Signal tube   6N1P or 6922 or 6Dj8
Transformers   Decware
Biasing   Self-Biasing
Resistors   precision WW/MF by DALE, VISHAY
Signal Cap   Cryo Treated Beeswax Film and Foil with Silver leads
AC cord   Removable power cord
Consumption   65 watts 
Input jacks   RCA type 24K Gold / Teflon
Output jacks   5-way binding posts accept 12 gauge
Speaker dB/1w   89 dB minimum / 96 dB is ideal
Warranty   Lifetime to original owner

RELATED INFO 

Frequency Response


OWNERS MANUAL
for this amplifier (pdf format).





We offer this amp with a 30 day money back trial
so you can
hear one in your own room!

Available in 120 or 240 volts.



The Zen Triode Amplifier




 MODEL SE84CKC
  2 watts x 2 or 6 watts x 1

Hand made in the USA and sold Factory Direct with a
L i f e t i m e   W a r r a n t y  !


PRICE


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We accept MC VISA AMX DISC JPC and Paypal


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DECWARE / Therapy For Audiophiles