Message started by Valentin on 04/22/10 at 15:28:40

Title: Torii Mk III comment
Post by Valentin on 04/22/10 at 15:28:40

I stumbled over Steve Deckerts products quite some time ago. And what I liked immediately, was the „manufacture“ look of his amps. No gloss, no tralala!, no bulk, just plain, handmade stuff (like Bottlehead for instance). So I decided - after coming back to his homepage many, many times - to give the Torii Mk III a try. I bought it mid January of this year, together with the stepped attenuator, the V-caps (both available as upgrades) and the complete tube set, suggested by Steve. It arrived at my door well packed and in immaculate condition. Communication with Sarah & Devon was reliable and fast.

Setting up was quite easy, and already gave me the chance to „experience“ the subtleties of this amp: The hands have a lot to touch, to explore: toggles, tubes, transformers and cables. This amp is pretty unique in this aspect. Switching the amp on, is an experience too. There are 12 tubes which come alive.

Before sitting down for a listening session, I had to find the right output load (4 or 8 ohm). The difference, the 4 or 8 tab does on my Audio Analysis "Epsilon" loudspeakers, is quite considerable, more then I expected. I settled the amp at 8 ohm.

A week later. The amp had run about 60 hours, I sat down for the listening. This I spread over the day (morning, afternoon and night). I did this, as I experienced many times, how important the quality of the mains power is, and therefore, how different a rig can sound within a day.

There are three qualities I like on the Torii Mk III amp and for which I will never give this amp away anymore: its liquidity, the pureness and the tone color (texture). It makes listening relaxed (I do not mean „romantic“), regardless of music material. I listen to my music collection in terms of: I sit, listen and I enjoy what I hear. If you want naturalness, you are on the right track.

In terms of transparency, Steves Torii Mk III outperforms anything I have heard to date. Steves claim, of offering a „transparent“ amp is true therefore. The Torii Mk III achieves this transparency, with a level of fluidity, I have not encountered yet. Regardless of concepts or price.

I am happy, I bought this amp. I run the Torii Mk III day in, day out and I even forget more and more, how good the Einstein integrated sounds.

At the moment I consider, to buy a second Torii Mk III and - as was suggested by you folks and Steve - to drive my fullrange ribbons in passive bi-amp configuration. I will keep you updated, if so.

Title: Re: Torii Mk III comment
Post by Lon on 04/22/10 at 17:27:27

Valentin, welcome to the discussions.

I'm very glad you are bonding with your Torii Mark III, I'm bonding with mine. An amazing amp!

Title: Re: Torii Mk III comment
Post by Lon on 06/03/10 at 13:32:44

Valentin, any further impressions?

Title: Re: Torii Mk III comment
Post by Valentin on 06/03/10 at 18:14:11

Not yet. I am waiting for the second Mk III. Sarah announced the amp for mid/end June. Thank you for asking. I can not wait to put the second Torii im my rig. Talk soon.


Title: Re: Torii Mk III comment
Post by Lon on 06/03/10 at 21:24:25

Alright! Hope the time somehow magically passes swiftly!

Title: Re: Torii Mk III comment
Post by Lon on 07/03/10 at 15:50:29

Hope the amp came in Valentin.

My MK III keeps on impressing me. It startled me with the tonal accuracy of the voice of a friend of mine's from recordings I made of her singing and rehearsing in my old garage apartment a few blocks away. It was just spot on with all identifying factors. This from a tape recorded with a 15 dollar Radio Shack microphone.

Title: Re: Torii Mk III comment
Post by Valentin on 07/03/10 at 16:58:42

Good day to you Lon

The second Torii Mk III has arrived. After fixing a binding post on the second amp, which was loose, maybe due to the transport, I set up the rig now in passive bi-amping.

My set up - driving the two Torii's via the tape out of my Einstein integrated, using Y plugs - did not work. The sound was bland & pale.

So, I had to learn - once again - that even manufacturer talk nonsens, as an Einstein engineer told me, the tape out would drive both amps easily with the Y plugs.

I went over to an old friend, who runs a hifi shop, and borrowed a transitor preamp. Denson Beat, suposedly a fine pre. Well, the Torii's now where driven electrically correct, but the sound was chalky - not because of the amps, but because of the Denson - typicall transistor sound. But now I could hear WHAT the second amp did.

Well, simply put: I extends on both ends dramatically, tone color and texture are more palpable, 3 D illusion increases by a considerable margin and everything has more "grip". I would have bought the Denson, but the chalkyness is unacceptable.

I set out to find me an apporpriate pre, and Steve suggested his CSP 2, with a small mod, to have both inputs of the CSP 2 drive the Torii Mk III. Any oppinions about this combo are most welcome.

Stay focussed


Title: Re: Torii Mk III comment
Post by Lon on 07/03/10 at 17:35:23

Wow, two MK IIIs. . . I'm not surprised there is so much possibility for excellent sound there.

I would always tend to favor Steve's advice, and my experience with the CSP2 has been quite favorable.  I don't think a system needs one if one has a great source and is only running ONE MK III.  But in your case I think set up as he suggests you'll certainly be free of that chalky sound.

My biggest problems with the CSP2 was pairing it with a ZBox and a ZCD. . .o just hte ZCD and the CSP2.  There were too many potential signatures with that setup and it drove me a bit mad, also a hum that probably wasn't the CSP2's fault or any component fault perhaps was intrusive onto the quietest (perhaps my favorite!) moments in playback. Shouldn't be any problem in your setup.

Keep us posted!

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