AUDIO FORUMS >> Member's Systems Picture Gallery >> My "Pre-Decware" system.

Message started by Kboe on 10/30/14 at 00:21:29

Title: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 10/30/14 at 00:21:29

Hello guys.

New member here.  First off y'all should know I come into the speaker world having a background in headphones.  I'm a head-if nut and have heard and owned it all in that realm.  But I'm new to the 2 channel stereo world.  So don't be to harsh when I tell you my current speaker system is fronted by the entry level NAD CD player and integrated amp.  Speakers are the Klipsch F-20 with signal cables by ALO Audio and power by tripp lite and Shunyata cables.  I'll post pics soon as I learn how.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Lon on 10/30/14 at 11:54:55


Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/30/14 at 15:18:16

Cool, it's a good starter sytem, Kboe.

What's your future plans? What are you looking at in the Decware lineup?

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 10/30/14 at 18:32:59

 Oh there are plans!  So many options it's overload to think about the possible combos and options.  But here's my thoughts.

 Eventually when I build my own home I'll have a built from the ground up dedicated room adhering to the ideal proportions.  It will have two systems facing each other with my chair simply turning around to which ever I prefer on a whim.  Much like the Decware reference room!  But for now just one system.  I'm in love with the idea of a K.I.S.S. rig using a CD player, SET amp and single driver speaker.  That's it.  No pre amp, no separate transport and dac, nothing but two boxes and speakers.  I simply prefer the simpler aesthetic.

However I've talked to Steve on the phone and he makes a heck of a case to go just that route.  So, in January I'm driving up to IL to hear all his wares and make up my mind having actually heard various combos.  Till then I think I'll focus on room acoustics and make my current space as good as I can.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/30/14 at 19:22:12

That sounds like a great plan! Driving up and giving a listen to the gear is a good idea to hone in the parts you want.

If you find a bigger amp (from Steve) that you think you want to go for, don't get hung up on the SET thing. Trust your gut feelings on what sounds good to you, even if you have to stretch you're budget. You won't go wrong with a bigger Decware amp! That said, if the little Super Zen does it for you, then that's a great solution as well. I still love my little Zen amp!

Don't forget room treatments in your listening room! In fact, if it's a dedicated room, I'd be really disappointed if you didn't go all out with room treatments! IMHO, the room and treatments, are just as important as your amp and speaker choice!

I'm looking forward to your posts once you get to that point. I'd love to hear about your visit to Decware and what you chose!

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Lon on 10/30/14 at 19:40:53

I agree with Lone Raven 100 percent about "don't get hung up on the SET thing." The SET thing was what brought me to Decware, and I bought four SET amps from Decware in all, but I found truest sonic bliss with his push-pull designs which have offered me more and ended my "quest."

Visiting Steve and hearing a number of components. . . a great plan. Keep us informed.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 10/30/14 at 21:58:46

Exactly, that's why I'm going in January.  I know what I "want" just reading around.  But I'm open minded enough and absolutely trust my ears.  I've learned that thorough my years with headphones.  The ZMA and Torii are the sexiest amps I've laid eyes on units for sure.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by DBC on 10/30/14 at 22:32:42

"don't get hung up on the SET thing."

I would agree, but at the same time have to say that I purchased my first Zen 13 years ago. Was thinking about upgrading 3 years ago so I went to Decware and listened to everything (they did not have the Mystery Amp at that time).

Well I ended up purchasing the Super Zen and it did not have anything to do with money. To my ear the other Amps all sounded Great but not Better than the Super Zen. Since I already had Klipsch RF-7 mains at 102 db sensitivity, power was not an issue for me. The Super Zen / Klipsch combo on Blues, Blues Rock and Rock are a great match.

I still use an OPPO BDP83 Special Edition player which was the first to have the upgraded audio output. I would like to upgrade to the new 105 but quite frankly the 83SE sounds great. You might consider picking up a used 83SE or 95 for a steal on Ebay. The Oppo output straight to the Super Zen has plenty of juice with High Efficiency Speakers. Klipsch, Omega, Zu and some others have a selection of great High Efficiency speakers.

One comment on my comparison between the Super Zen & Rachael playing on Decware HDT's in the Decware listening room. Despite the rated power output difference between the two amps the Super Zen seemed to play just as loud as the Rachael to my ear. So in the real world the extra power of the Rachael will not be Night & Day obvious. Between the two I prefer the Super Zens touch of added Speed & Clarity (just personal preference).

I adopted Steve's "Less Is More" approach 13 years ago and still have basically the same amp, same speakers which says something.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 10/30/14 at 22:57:05

I have the nuforce modded oppo 93 and it's wicked good.  And on my headphone rig which is considerably higher on resolution it's the better match.  On my speaker rig the NAD CD player is a better match given my "slower" electronics as Steve would describe them.  

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by will on 10/31/14 at 01:11:45

Hey Kboe,

Wow, are you in for some fun!

I have heard a Taboo, and Rachel in my room, have owned a SE34I.2, and currently own a Blue Torii, a Torii MKIII, and a Torii MkIV. I guess that makes me a Torii fan.


But I love my less efficient, high-efficiency speakers (92-93 Db maybe), and for my rooms and tastes, the SEs just didn't get it with them. For me, they need some push to really excite them.

I think what Raven and Lon are pointing to is how Steve has miraculously given us SE qualities with push-pull amps...very good, realistic and open sound with notable weight and power.

Though my MkIV and speakers are pretty seriously tuned to my tastes and room, it is absolutely blowing my mind today after being stimulated to adjust the sound. A great computer adjustment brought to this forum by Palomino...loading the software music player into RAM, notably cleaned up my sound...from where I was, too much actually for a lot of recordings. So I have been playing around to get the "just right" balance I always crave, and in getting there, the changes to adapt to the better computer delivery, and the computer's improvement itself, have taken things to new levels here! I love it when challenges open new doors of musical pleasure!

Good luck with it all, and I think you will see, all the Decware amps are really nice! Can't go much wrong there with good room and gear synergy.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 10/31/14 at 01:28:25

Thanks.  I know I'm in for a treat no matter which route I take.  It's interesting because a proper soundstage was never a priority when I exclusively listened to headphones.  It just never impressed me over cans.  But even with my budget speaker system the 3D stage cast before my eyes with performances suspended in thin air is quite stimulating.  So I know I'm in for a real treat with a fully treated room and some higher quality electronics.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 10/31/14 at 01:36:27

My rig at night...

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And in the day with my Klipsch RB51.IIs.

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Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/31/14 at 01:45:51

Image tags are a little weird in this forum software.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 10/31/14 at 18:03:13

Here is my new Decware inspired equipment rack.  It's maple cutting board stained a nice chery.  I wrapped the edges with a figured trim like on Steve's amps and painted black to match.  Then I just used black threaded steel rods, washers and floor spikes.  It turned out flipp'n awesome!

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Lonely Raven on 10/31/14 at 19:23:25

That looks very slick, and clever! How thick are the cutting board shelves?

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 10/31/14 at 19:57:18

Thanks!  1.5 inches.  The rack itself is very heavy.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 12/04/14 at 15:13:20

I just won a SE84B on ebay so it turns out I'll be starting my Decware life with a vintage sample.  How cool is that!

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Lon on 12/04/14 at 15:17:40

VERY COOL! Congrats!

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Core32 on 12/04/14 at 20:26:13

If that's the one I saw from Florida the screws and all looked a little rusty outside. You might want to take a look inside and make sure the corrosion from the salt air didn't get inside.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by beowulf on 12/04/14 at 22:11:16

Digging the mid century furniture and chair as well, but that rack is quite a nice piece of furniture itself!  I could see a whole Decware kit in the Black Figured Wood bases sitting on that thing and looking like they were made for each other!  Nice job!

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 12/04/14 at 23:24:46

I did notice the rust as we'll but I can send it home to be checked up if needed.  And the rack is awesome indeed.  It weighs about 3 solar masses.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Kboe on 12/13/14 at 15:30:05

Vintage SE84B has landed in my bachelors pad and everything everyone ever said about Steves designs are true.  This is pure joy.  I can't even imagine how the current crop performs because this is just magic.  Pure Emotion.  Wow.

Title: Re: My "Pre-Decware" system.
Post by Lon on 12/13/14 at 15:52:31

VERY COOL. Those are great amps. Enjoy!

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