Message started by Lon on 08/21/12 at 22:31:38

Title: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/21/12 at 22:31:38

Well, My CSP2+ (ordered May 30) arrived today, is set up and "burning in."

A beautiful machine. It's set up a bit clunky for my arrangement, the inputs are on the other side than they were on my CSP2 and my cables are almost not long enough, but they work, though they're closer to the power cord than I'd like unshielded cables to be.

I'm using my own tubes, not the ones shipped; supercryo'd 6N1P and this time an RCA 5U4GB (straight sided, not too tall). I was using an RCA 5Y3GT in the CSP2, which sounded better there than the 5U4GB type, but this machine ships with the latter and seems to like it.

Sound is what you get out of the box, a mix of greatness with a bit of wonkiness. I love being able to match the levels between the inputs somewhat; I lacked that in the CSP2. And it's such a pretty pretty machine, much better looking than my CSP2 which was built in the old black Select chassis. And this is my first Decware product with a stepped attenuator. . . nice. A bit more clarity it seems.

Listening to an Louis Armstrong lp right now and enjoying the moment. Ah, a new Decware product! Hopefully I'll be repeating this in three months with a new ZP3! :)

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by sberger on 08/21/12 at 23:25:29

Glad it landed safely Lon! You're in for a lot of fun.

I have put my CSP2 back into the chain teamed up with the Torii and I am loving the results. Imaginary or not there for me seems to be an undeniable synergy that makes everything sound more right. I really like my other pre, and Artemis LA-1, also made right in the USA by a small company and a great sounding unit, but things sound so great right now with the CSP2 teaming up with a still breaking in but sounding lovely Torii that I'm gonna leave things be for the foreseeable future. Also just popped  some cryo'd SED Winged "C" EL34's  into the Torii. Really nice tube. Will listen for a while before doing a more direct comparison with the JJ 6CA7's but so far they sound great. Huge bass.

Congrats again!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/21/12 at 23:40:26

Just realized that Steve added a mono switch to this CSP2+ which I had asked about, but didn't hear back about. So thanks Steve! Nice feature.

Also put the RCA 5Y3GT back in, I think I prefer that sound, or perhaps I'm more used to it. Seemed less "Hifi" than the other tube.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/21/12 at 23:46:33

Hey Sam, yes the CSP2 and the Torii were a good combination for me too, excellent with my Denon DCD-A100 and my Rega and PS Audio GCPH analog front end. With the PS Audio Perfectwave Duo I actually prefer by a hair to just run that directly in and use the DAC Mk II's preamp capability; just a hair more natural and dynamic. The ideal set up for me would be a CSP2+ with three inputs, which is not possible. In that way I could run all three sources through the CSP2+ and run the DAC Mk II straight in as well and compare and contrast to my heart's delight. :)

Even though the CSP2+ is far from broken in I can already tell it will be a great preamp, bettering my CSP2 by a hair or so perhaps. Now the wait is on for the ZP3. . . and I should make another search again for a ZStand to match the one I have under the CSP2+.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Rivieraranch on 08/22/12 at 03:22:18

I find that playing LP's with the TORII I have to turn the volume all the way up. It is plenty loud after that. I might hook everything up to my CSP2+ to get that control you speak of. My phono stage puts out a low signal.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/22/12 at 04:24:10

Well, it's all about the phono preamp. Mine can actually drive the Torii directly to stupid volume levels, there's a lot of gain with very little noise in those PS Audio "Gain Cells". . . . I use the Torii turned all the way up and control volume with the preamps. . . for most sources the Perfectwave DAC MkII is on about 70 percent, the CSP2 or 2+ at about 60 (with the output gain about 70 percent, and the phono preamp is at about 70 percent of its gain. Gives great great sound. Not sure what to expect with the ZP3 but figure I'll have enough gain.

I've really been enjoying listening to vinyl, and finding some great vinyl to listen to cheaply; yesterday got in a shipment of 23 lps for which I paid a total of 54.04!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lord Soth on 08/22/12 at 16:19:53

Hi Lon,

Congrats on your new CSP2+.

BTW, does your CSP2+ have the headphone output jack right in front?

When I first received my CSP2+, I hunted high and low for my headphone output jack.
Since the owner's manual and the online pictures (and other audio reviews) showed the headphone jack being somewhere at the back of the unit, I always had the impression that the headphone jack's location was fixed.

It took me a couple of minutes (& some temporary panic!) to realise that my headphone output jack had been relocated (thanks to Steve's initiative) and was right in front! LOL   ;D

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/22/12 at 16:24:58

Mine is in the back by the output jacks and the mono switch.

I don't plan to use it, I'm not a headphone guy, having worn my ears out with them in the late 'eighties when I used to record and mix bands I worked with.

I just tired of them and really don't like the "presentation"--it's speakers for me. As I don't use "portable audio" I don't have to use them for that either.

Thanks for the congratulations. I let this rest shut off all night and have been spinning records this morning and the sound is improving.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by tybee on 08/23/12 at 11:31:01

Thanks to Lon, I have Super cryo 6N1P tubes on the way as well as a 50s RCA and Tung Sol 5y3 recifier tubes.  I have been using my CSP2+ with a 45 SE Triode amp feeding Tonian speakers and the combination has great synergy.  The only tube change was the rectifier (TAD 5ar4).  While the TAD rectifier has the creamy sound of a NOS Mullard, I suspect the 5Y3 complimented by the super cryo 6N1P tubes may be a better choice.

My speakers are ideal for jazz showing off the best of brass, woodwinds, guitars, piano, and drums that excel with a 45 SE amp. My vinyl rig sports a ZYX Artisan phono preamp which replaced a tube preamp.  The CSP2+ provides flexibility for adjusting gain when using LOMC cartridges.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/23/12 at 11:38:19

Well, I sincerely hope you love those tubes!

Yes, the CSP2+ really is wonderful with its gain adjusting capabilities!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/23/12 at 12:13:42

tybee wrote on 08/23/12 at 11:31:01:
50s RCA and Tung Sol 5y3 recifier tubes.

It's too bad there isn't a manual for the CSP2+, what's online is the CSP2's manual. That states that the 5Y3 is the designated rectifier though you can use the others. Now the amp ships with a 5U4G (mine was a Valve Audio). I tried the 5U4G in my CSP2 and my CSP2+ and found it too warm and diffuse. . .I'll retry it in the new machine after breakin.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by sberger on 08/23/12 at 15:47:04

Tybee what Tonian speakers are you using? I use Tonian DL-T1's with my Torii/CSP2 and love the combination.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by tybee on 08/23/12 at 22:34:44

I have the TL-D1s with 8" Fostex driver.  The Tonians reside in a highly accoustically treated listening room mounted atop spiked platforms.

My new cryo tubes arrived and are playing as I write this reply.  Out of the box, they sound very good. Bass sounds good for a new tube.  I await for some breakin before updating my impressions.  

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by sberger on 08/23/12 at 23:32:22

Yes those are what I own as well. Posted too early this morning. I had mine on
spikes but I get better sound without, on a slate platform tilted back slightly. Great speakers.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/24/12 at 15:49:51

Well, the preamp has bloomed a little bit, with more break-in expected over the next few weeks. I did the five on/five off break-in Steve recommends, which always improves the sound for its initial transformation.

I started playing with rectifier tubes this morning. The well-seasoned RCA 5Y3GT I was using at first is a great tube for new components: polite and fast and forgiving on the top end. I was wrong in what Steve sent, he sent a Valve Art 274B and I'd never used that tube type before so I gave it a try. Biggest and boldest sound yet, not necessarily a bad thing, but I squirmed through a few hours because it was too forward for my tastes, and had that brittle leading edge (I use piano to gauge this) that I really don't like. Maybe that would "burn off" with use, but I just don't have the patience right now. I rolled two other 5Y3GTs: a GE and a Raytheon. Both were similar to the RCA with the Raytheon being slightly warmer and slower, not a bad thing with a new component. Then I popped in the trusty lonely RCA 5U4GB I have (all my other tubes of that type are in pairs) and that sounded better than it did Wednesday afternoon, big and bold (not as big and bold as the 274B) but with a touch of warmth. When the preamp is broken in this may be the best choice as I expect more bass to come in over time from the preamp. Then I tried a Sylvania that I have as part of a pair and it's slightly sweeter and warmer, a great match for the moment. If it proves to be a great match when this is broken in it's interesting to me that I have another matched one that I could try out in my ZP3 when it arrives, having the same rectifier tube may make a great pairing between these two components. As tube-rolling drives me slightly nuts (and as I couldn't bear to hear the "test tune" I used one more time!) I left the Sylvania in and settled in to just listening and enjoying myself.

Yesterday I swapped the MAC Silver Quad+ I had been using between the phono preamp and CSP2 and CSP2+ with one of my interconnects. Contrary to my impressions with the CSP2, I clearly preferred the MAC cable with the CSP2+, which is intriguing because with my digital front ends the opposite is true. Just one of the great things about this hobby, surprise and discovery and puzzling results. I'm glad I sprung for two of these MAC cables, they've proven to be the best cables I've gotten from them yet.

Well, I'm looking forward to a weekend of just enjoying vinyl and SACD, the two formats I have connected to the CSP2+. A great machine!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by sberger on 08/24/12 at 17:15:03

Interesting that Steve shipped the CSP2 with a 274B. I've read good things about the Valve Art version but I agree that probably not the best tube to use while the pre breaks in. They're cheap at $12-13 per so I'm going to try one in my well seasoned CSP2.

Glad to hear that the new addition is working out for you.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/24/12 at 17:19:02

Yeah, you might like it. I don't think I will even after break-in, just too forward a sound for me. I prefer "laid back."

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/27/12 at 03:03:07

I put the RCA 5Y3GT back in. I don't know if it's because I'm so used to the tube . . . but it has the most natural and convincing sound with acoustic instruments, and rather than sounding big as with the other types, the stage and image seem appropriate. Sort of a "British" sound overall.

So far my well-seasoned CSP2 delivered a better sound than this new machine, but this is a very new component compared to one that was over five years old.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 09/07/12 at 16:41:27

The CSP2+ is sounding very good! It has closed the gap between it and the seasoned trusty old CSP2. It has a slightly different character. I'd say it's a bit clearer and less warm than the CSP2 overall, though tubes sets really influence this in either machine. The biggest difference being likely from the chassis layout and chassis materials. And the fact that this new CSP2+ has a stepped attenuator, and hasn't been in use for years.

I've been playing with 5Y3GT rectifiers. I bought a few off ebay, an RCA from '43 and an early 'fifties one. So far I'm not really a fan of either, without a lot of time on them the oldest is thick and too warm, the younger one is a bit anemic, though nicely dynamic.  I'll be putting some time on both in the second system in the CSP2 and then bringing them back to the CSP2+. The RCA that I had been using for years in the CSP2 is still the best fit for me. . . . Later this weekend I'll probably try the Valve Art 274B again.

So happy with this new preamp!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 09/12/12 at 15:03:41

Well, I had the 274B back in the system after about 50 hours of use in the second system.

Took it out pretty soon thereafter. Just not my taste, too big and clean sounding. The RCA 5Y3GT I used in the CSP2 is still the tube to beat. It's got the magic!

Listening to vinyl through the CSP2+ is my recent big kick. Especially mono; I spent a good part of the weekend dialing in the mono sound and it now is room-filling and warm and swinging. Can't wait for the ZP3!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 09/16/12 at 16:13:51

I have to remark about how wonderful the CSP2+ is sounding. Just as good as my seasoned CSP2 with an added clarity and openness, just an ideal preamp sound. The difference may be the stepped attenuator, the chassis change and layout. . . whatever it is, I'm so happy to have this. Can't wait to hear how it works with the ZP3 I have on order.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 10/02/12 at 16:14:39

Alright, I love my CSP2+, it's fully broken in and sounding splendid.

This weekend I both played around with interconnects and rerouted several components so that now I have the PWD Mk II running into the CSP2+ in the input formerly used by the Denon SACD player, which now runs directly into the Torii Mk II. I'm getting used to the extra body that this has added to the PWD Mk II output. . . I'm not sure that I ultimately prefer this, it's fine for higher resolution material, but I think that I actually prefer the Redbook playback directly into the Torii, but I may just be much more used to it. It's great sound either way, unbelievably good sound actually, best I've ever heard.  Conversely, the SACD sounds better running through the CSP2+. . . . Interesting. I'm leaving it this way for now. It does improve the sound coming from my DVR into the PWD Mk II, I actually did this thinking it would. A friend of mine has trouble deciphering some voice material on TV shows when I have my DVR set on "Normal." He prefers it on "Narrow" but I don't like the compression added and the narrowing of the sound field. . . . With the CSP2+ in the chain, voices get a subtle bit of reinforcement that has helped him find them more intelligible on "Normal" and he has had no problems on two visits now.

I ended up keeping all interconnects the same. I did like the Silver Quad + MAC cables with the PWD Mk II, but ultimately preferred them with the PS Audio GCPH where they've been a while now, and I ultimately prefer the cables with the PWD Mk II, they just have a bit more naturalness, less "hifi." I tried a few of the Audioquest cables that I have on hand again, but they quickly came out.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 10/08/12 at 14:09:10

Well, even though I miss a sort of delicate openness and slightly more microdynamics that the PWD Mk II directly into the Torii Mk III brings, I'm pretty used to the sound of the PWD Mk II into the CSP+ and then into the Torii Mk III now. Nothing to complain about!

I'm really eager to hear the ZP3.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by JimM on 10/08/12 at 15:53:03

Lon, how long did it take to break in your CSP2+? Thanks. Jim

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 10/08/12 at 16:17:08

It started sounding good after about a week, I really think it took at least a month for it to sound nearly as good as my seasoned CSP2. I'd say a month or more to be really broken in. I did the "five hours on five hours off five times" thing which did help it get past the "wobblies" faster.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by beowulf on 10/11/12 at 07:30:15

Any pics available?   [smiley=smiley.gif]

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 10/11/12 at 12:21:26

I don't have a working camera, never been interested much in pictures, sorry.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 02/28/13 at 23:51:02

I now have two CSP2+ in the main system, I'm a happy man--all my sources now run through a CSP2+ and I love the sound.

This is such a wonderful preamp: flexible, dynamic, musical. And I've fallen in love with the long chassis with the walnut frame and the white top, just lovely stuff. I didn't used to care what equipment looks like, but with my two preamps, my ZP3 and my Torii Mk III all in walnut with white tops I have a beautiful system!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by JD on 03/01/13 at 00:28:58

Congrats Lon and I agree these amps not only sound awesome they are beautiful to look at as well.


Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 03/01/13 at 01:04:39

Thanks JD!

Too bad that I have to pack them up in a month or so for a cross-country trip.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Greg12 on 03/01/13 at 01:54:45

Congrat's on the great deal you got on your latest CSP2+ Lon,  I agree that the white w/ walnut it is a great looking combo.  When I talked to Mr Deckert 2 wks ago he mentioned that they may be dropping the white tops due to too many factory flaws from his supplier.  Apparently that smooth white is very difficult to produce w/ out dust or whatever getting in it before it dries.  He said they have rejected something like 500 tops during their run w/ them.  Hence the switch to the typewriter type finish seen on the new Taboo for instance.  Matter of fact, he said by the time they call me when my Rachael is on the bench, I may have to decide on the last white top they have, or go w/ black.  White would match my csp2.


Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 03/01/13 at 04:00:21

Greg, the white tops that Steve DID install were great looking, too bad he had to send back so many. I bet the black tops look awesome as well, they do in photos.

I like having them matched, but mix and match could be cool as well!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Greg12 on 03/01/13 at 05:51:11

Most definately Lon, those white face meters look very cool on the new Taboos black deck.

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 03/01/13 at 11:31:25

Oh yeah. . . they give me meter envy. ;)

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Greg12 on 03/01/13 at 12:57:35


Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lord Soth on 03/02/13 at 01:38:18

Thanks for sharing that info on the white top issue.

Makes sense to me now ....

Recently Steve made a new amp with a cosmetic white top issue available for sale at a discount.

I suppose my white top Decware amp can now be considered to be a limited edition?

The new black top amps really look cool though!
I wonder how they would sound with the legendary "Black" caps?

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Rivieraranch on 03/02/13 at 02:34:42

When I was 11 years old one of my first passions was old typewriters. So I am familiar with the black wrinkle finish.  

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/30/13 at 01:43:56

Well, last night Steve sent out a message about three last white CSP2+ preamps all ready to go into bases ands ship. . . and I had a momentary lapse of reason and ordered the 2nd one, that had beeswax caps.

And I got it, I'll be billed soon and I'm going to add a stepped attenuator.

I sat there with my head reeling because I shouldn't have done it, but i was going to in time send my original one (I have two at the moment!) in for the beeswax upgrade and that cost me a bunch when I did it on the Torii . . and I could then move one of those I have into my second system and have a new CSP2+ that matches cosmetically my new Torii Mk III in that system, and move the old black CSP2 (this one I had built in the black metal Select chassis) into my Dad's system and have the ZStage in there now as a back up (the ZStage is very cool, but it's not a CSP2 or CSP2+!)

So . . . my bank account is going to hurt, but i'm going to be happy!

Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by JD on 08/30/13 at 15:52:51

Well played Lon. Music is more important that money anyways...


Title: Re: CSP2+ arrived
Post by Lon on 08/30/13 at 16:02:12

Thanks for helping me rationalize the expense. :)

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