Reviewed by: Reviewed by: Randy, Audio Enthusiast, from Falmouth,
Product Model Year:
I own the SE84C-S version of this amplifier.
many of those reading this can relate to, I have been pursuing the quest for a
satisfying and involving audio system for more than 25 years ..... never with
the success I was hoping for.
What a change in mindset this little
amplifier has put me through .....
I ran across Steve Deckert's early web
ramblings quite a while back (when he was in the early designing stages) and
found it interesting, but didn't think much about it after that.
a Conrad Johnson MV-50 ("carmel colored" but very musical) and an Audio Research
VT-100 (retail $4500.00 !!!), so I was thinking that I was "good to
I had heard a pair of Golden Tube 300B SET monoblocks in my system
..... but they didn't do a thing for me and I concluded that the whole "SET
thing" was a Fig Newton of the imaginations of those owning them ..... ;
One day, a good friend and fellow music lover drug this "toy like"
little amplifier over to my house and despite the fact that my speakers (ProAc
Response One SCs) were in no way efficient enough to be powered by the "scrawny"
2 to 5 watts output ..... I was floored.
The next two weeks were spent in
total denial ..... there was no way that this sorry little joke of an amplifier
was shaming my "well regarded" brand name amplifiers. But it was ..... and in a
Unfortunately, my ability to hear is pretty good, so it was just
a matter of time before the inevitable happened and I became a Zen owner .....
and the CJ and the AR went to live with someone else. Sound familiar ? I'll bet
it does for a lot of people who have purchased and /or posted reviews of Decware
There are several versions of these amplifiers ..... a
standard version, a select version with premium parts and a more powerful pair
of monoblocks (in two versions).
If you own an efficient (90 db or
better) pair of speakers and listen in a moderate sized room at reasonable
levels, either stereo model of this amplifier will put an ear to ear smile on
your face. If you have speakers that are not as efficient, a larger room or
listen at high volume ..... I would recommend the mono blocks.
level detail, three dimensionality of soundstage and harmonic integrity that
these amplifiers produce is absolutely breathtaking with a good recording and
If your taste is acoustic instruments and female
voice, you will be enjoying your collection of music as if hearing it for the
first time. Instruments such as piano are reproduced with all of the complexity
intact ..... very tasty.
Happily, there are a good number of speakers
that work well with these amplifiers. I own a pair of The Horns
(http://www.thehornshoppe.com) and there is a database of suitable speakers on
the Decware website.
For about $1500.00, you can buy a "Stan Warren
modded" Pioneer 333 CD/DVD player (see the Decware forum), the basic Zen
amplifier and a pair of The Horns and have a system that is musical beyond
It's also hard to beat the 30 day return policy.
check the product line out at :
I can recommend
the Zen amplifiers without reservation.
Five well deserved stars !
Musicality, incredible value
None to my ears .....
Similar Products Used:
Audio Research, Conrad Johnson, Golden Tube,