Zen SE84CS (aka Select) Review

 


Reviewed by: Doug C, Audio Enthusiast from Springfield, IL

Price Paid: $695 at www.decware.com

Product Model Year:
2001

Summary:
The Select has completely changed my thinking with regard to amp power and speaker sensitivity. I have my Select connected to Klipsch RF-5 main speakers and the resulting sound is stunning! This combo is a wonderful match.

I now have the Select and RF-5's in my main HT system (room is 12'x 21'x 8' with openings into other large areas of the home). No lack of volume on music or HT. Simply can not believe the clean output levels of this combo given the Select's power rating.

The detail of this amp brings CD's to life that sounded boring with other amp & speaker combos. The smooth nature of this amp produces captivating highs what were harsh with other amp & speaker combos. The first amp & speaker combo that makes all my CD's great to listen to.

You will need a powered sub with the Select to get rock solid bass. Coupled with a good sub the Select gives up nothing compared to SS amps. I've found running my RF-5's full range and connecting the sub via speaker level connections to be the best set-up.

If you go to the Decware Forum you will find alot of talk about suitable speakers. Most at the Forum are into specialty single driver speakers (I'm sure these are all fine speakers). The Klipsch RF series speakers however work great with the Select for music and HT.

Doug C.

Strengths:
Fantastic detail, clarity and soundstage. No listener fatigue at all. Will play loud with speakers of 98 dB efficency or higher. A wonderful match for the Klipsch RF series speaker.

Has a volume control that allows you to experiment with a CD player connected directly to the amp. A second set of inputs provided that bypass the volume control. Can be bridged if you like. Tubes are not expensive. Can experiment with other tubes.

A huge value give the price!

Weaknesses:
This amp requires the the following items which are all good things in the end:

You will need to match this amp with the right high efficency speakers. You will need a decent CD player because this amp makes everything in the source signal very apparent.

This is the first piece of equipment I've had that had such a pronuced break-in period so be patient.

Similar Products Used:
No previous tube experience.

 

 

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