Reviewed by: Ivan,
an Audio Enthusiast
Product Model Year:
Very simply put WOW! YOU HAVE TO BUY ONE!
listened to MANY different systems (all transistor based), and I have always
found something missing, but I never knew what. Recently I replaced all my sound
kit, with the idea that I was trying to avoid that dull lifeless sound. Sure as
hell, that's exactly what I got. Very precise, very loud, and VERY lifeless. I
thought maybe it was my nice and expensive AV amp being underpowered, listening
to CDs instead of LPs, not having a 2nd sub, or perhaps because my room did not
have a carpet and heavy curtains. Either way it seemed like an impossible( aka
lots more money ) situation to solve. Don't get me wrong, it sounds GREAT when
you pump Terminator 2 through it. But very dull when listening to anything in
Almost as a distraction, instead, I thought I would get get my
feet wet in tube amps, they have some sort of allure for me, maybe the glow, or
maybe it's just the romance of it all, dunno. I have never had one, or heard
one, so this was really just a dabble into the unknown.
picture I had in my head was hum, heat, low volume, and sonic incompatiblity
with the rest of my 5.1 home theater.i.e. I thought it would be a matter of
getting to grips with the compromises in order to embrace something hopefully
"warmer" (aka older and dated), more as a hobby than for real sonic ablity.
Sometimes the world really surprises you. I ordered my SE84C-S kit from
DecWare and about 2 weeks later it arrived. I spent about a week putting it
together. The kit is definately for skilled people,(probably only about 5 hours
of real work if you know what you are doing). I highly recommend spending the
extra money and buying it assembled. It not hard, but it is worth having it done
for you. Although the sense of satisfaction, knowing that you built it yourself,
is fantastic once you turn it on and hear the results.
When I plugged it
in I immediately heard the difference. I now understand why tube people talk
about transistorised sound as being thin and completly LIFELESS, its what I have
been looking for all my life without really knowing it. I did not change
ANYTHING else. It sounds like a matress has been removed from in front of my
speakers. Everything sounds better, ESPECIALLY vocals and live/real accoustic
instruments seem to come alive in your living room. Its like they are really
there. I thi
Most of the tube amps I looked at in the shops were at
MIND BOGGLINGLY high prices. If you are looking to get into tube amps, the Zen
is exactly what you want!
As an upside it fits right into my 5.1 home
theaters( as long as your amp has pre-amp outs ) with no problems or sonic
This tube amp doesn't do LOUD. Don't try and have a
showdown with the neighbours, there is enough headroom to seriously piss them
off, but not enough to break any windows. If you planning to have lots of
parties make sure you keep your transistor amp and install a switch to your
speakers, or get a 2nd set.
Similar Products Used:
N/A since none offer any real