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Message started by jorgen on 12/27/16 at 01:32:58

Title: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 12/27/16 at 01:32:58

Hi guys

Placed my order for a pair of these mono amps on Black Friday. Ordered them with upgraded caps and with the stepped attenuated as well. Since I live far from Decware I haven't heard them, but I'm pretty sure they are as good or even better than Select I heard a while back, and also a step up from the MiniTori I have and will keep. No pre-amp in this setup, not sure if will get one either, not for a while at least.

So if anyone else has bought a pair please chime in

I do wonder if it can be built with a meter on them though, I like the detail, but that will maybe be a mono select version later

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/04/17 at 11:25:39

Emailed Steve a few days back. The reply was that with this chassis design, meters couldn't be added, but can be a possibility with a later design. The others part of the email was concerning the bias setting. Steve offered to add a bias setting switch or to build the amp with the aggressive setting. Since I haven't heard either setting and that I do not know what would be better in my system I decided to have the switch added to both amps. A little extra cost but now I don't have to wonder what would be better.

Now I am contemplating if I want to add a pre-amp, run long IC and shorter speaker cables.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by JD on 01/04/17 at 15:20:00

Keep us apprised of what you end up doing. I would love to hear those monos.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/05/17 at 14:59:41

I will. I was just reading a thread about using the miniTorii as a pre. My first buy from Decware was a MT, and it's a keeper for sure, even when the mono amps come. Maybe the MT can be a pre and find out  if the Mono's appreciate a pre-amp? Should it be used with the ordinary tubes?

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Rivieraranch on 01/06/17 at 01:33:35

I thought that Decware keeps a list of what everybody ordered. You might see somebody on there who is waiting but won't post on the forums. These are not a high volume item because most folks look at the cost, currently around $2400 per pair and see 2.7 watts and go "hmmmm?" Is it worth it? Especially when you can get a 20 watt Torii Jr., for the same price; a 4 watt Mini Torii or a 6 watt Rachel for less.

One has to be a purist to want these mono blocks. The magic of the Super Zen and its new UFO version is undeniable. So I can see why a few would want to take that to the logical final highest level which is found in the mono blocks.

I think that Steve should offer the mono blocks in a single chassis with meters and adjustable bias. Maybe a Rachel sized platform would do.

As to bias, I liked the hot bias setting in my Super Zen when I had it. It just is more alive sounding.  

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/06/17 at 03:21:53

Hi RR
Yeah you're right, I can probably find other buyers if I need to. When I was waiting for my ZP3 last spring I found my 2014 MT purchase way down on the list. And I totally agree with you, one can get more watts for less even at Decware. I really like the mini Tori a lot, and shouldn't actually need more gear,  but then on the other side I have read so much positive reviews of the zen and wanted a little something special. I don't need more watts either, I'm waiting for custom pair of Omega high output speakers, with alnico drivers instead of the 4inch drivers used in the Decware/Omega project. I have my hope up that this combo will be a cool upgrade, even if playing in the same park.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by hdrider on 01/07/17 at 16:47:32

Jorgan- Please keep us informed when the amps arrive. I would love to hear Omega's with Alnico drivers sometime. I do enjoy the heck outta our  Super 7XRS mk2's and going up to the Alnico drives would have been too much $$$(have to keep the bike running well also) but maybe someday. Very interested in hearing about your system. Happy listening, Chris.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/09/17 at 18:48:25

Hi HD
Yeah I guess a Harley cost a lot, up here I would expect 3000USD just to get a license.... I'm running the MT with 7"alnico drivers today, also from Louis. A 1.5 HO will be different, and with new amps a totally new setup. It seems the amps will be finish earlier than expected so I have treat soon to come.

Reading up on tubes and looking to get a few to roll, it's a pretty expensive hobby. I have a trick up my sleeve whenever my wife raises an eyebrow though, whatever I buy and she wonders the cost I say 500, no matter what.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by ZYGI on 01/10/17 at 21:55:01

Reading up on tubes and looking to get a few to roll, it's a pretty expensive hobby. I have a trick up my sleeve whenever my wife raises an eyebrow though, whatever I buy and she wonders the cost I say 500, no matter what.

Jorgen,

And that works?  

Zygi

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/11/17 at 01:05:00

Ehhh well she's a PhD graduate... so not born behind a barn. Maybe its more like the male equivalent to: it was on sale, I saved a lot...  

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/23/17 at 19:51:17

The Mono's are now on bench, and I checked the waiting list, and from what I can tell, I'm actually the only one so far to order these...so this will be a lonely thread...

Still looking for tubes for some rolling, is the 6922 tube the one with most impact on sound?  

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 01/23/17 at 20:54:20

Jorgen, yes that is my finding. †I have a pair of 2008 monoblocks with beeswax caps and other upgrades. †I have the Russian output tubes in, a 50's RCA 5U4G rectifier and I think 50's RCA OA3s. †In the input position I've tried a bunch of things but my favorites are the Amperex 6DJ8, 6299 and 7308...all white labels. †But a good cheap tube is the Chinese tube Steve recommended for 20 bucks shipped for a pair. †Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by JD on 01/23/17 at 21:10:29

Agree with Mark. My fav of all time is Amperex 7308 made in USA with USN CEP written on the tube. Recently noticed that the top of the tube is also crimped. I think they would be awesome in your application.
Would love to jump on the mono wagon but funds do not allow.

JD

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 01/23/17 at 21:15:54

In my opinion in such a simple circuit every tube matters and will influence the sound of the whole complement. I recommend burning the amp in with the tubes supplied and then experimenting with each tube type over time.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/23/17 at 23:52:23

You are spot on to my plan, but I have a need to have replacement tubes for each spot just in case and I might aswell get some which are an upgrade it at least different. I do trust Decware to supply a good combination, but gonna get some that's interesting.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 02/01/17 at 19:34:54

I never gave it a thought, but it turns out these amps are fitted with one input, I guess I just took a peek on the pictures and didn't think much more of it, but it turns out there is s RCA pass-through or something. Not a big problem though, I can add a switch box or a ordinary pre. While I decide or wait for needed equipment I can use my moniTor as pre

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Archie on 02/01/17 at 20:37:12


Quote:
I never gave it a thought, but it turns out these amps are fitted with one input, I guess I just took a peek on the pictures and didn't think much more of it, but it turns out there is s RCA pass-through or something. Not a big problem though, I can add a switch box or a ordinary pre. While I decide or wait for needed equipment I can use my moniTor as pre


That's how I ended up getting a CSP3 to use in front of my ZMA.  By the time I factored in the cost of a quality switch box, I figured, why not?

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 02/28/17 at 23:59:23

At last the amps are here. A friend brought them from Florida and to my place outside of Oslo. Except for one tube that is ringing a little,they made here in perfect shape. Decware know how to pack important stuff!
First five or so hours with a digital source, but now I have rearranged my setup and am able to play vinyl through the ZP3. I know Steve writes the Decware should have the same sound signature but I'm not sure I hear the same stuff as before. The sound is quite different compared to the MiniTori I'm very very familiar with. Not sure how to put words to it but it seems like the music I'm listening to is more forward in the room, almost as I'm closer to the soundstage. Now I have to figure out what positions the bias setting is best and if I prefer the 4 or 8 ohm setting best. I know from before that amps will grow as the get some hours of usage and burn in, but they sound great out of the box. My speakers will need more hours in the days and weeks to come to give max of the potential, but this is like love at first sight.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 03/01/17 at 00:04:22

And on the bottom it says #002/003

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 03/01/17 at 01:41:05

Cool. I look forward to hearing more about your amps as time goes by. I hope more mono amps are out in the field soon. Inquiring minds want to hear more about them.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 03/04/17 at 13:03:41

The first couple of days I was a little worried about a small transformer vibration in one of the amps. Steve answered me quickly and he wasnt worried, the vibration went away after a few days, as he suggested. Wasn't a big issue, and didn't affect sound quality. Still very satisfied when it went away. The amps are more quiet than my miniTori, close to no hum in speakers. At the moment I'm very impressed with power I can squeeze out of them. I'm getting plenty of headroom for my use with 95 (or so) dB sensitive speakers. Keep in mind my speakers are new and developing as well as the amps so I don't know the potential yet.
Even though I was happy with sound quality straight out of the box I notice development. With a very good source as the ZP3 and a good jazz recording I'm sitting with the musicians and can separate each performer and instrument from the next.

The other amps I have had from Decware has been better and better with use even after first and second year, so this is what I'm expecting with these as well.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 03/04/17 at 14:03:31

Jorgen, I've skimmed this thread and want to say I love my set of 2008 Monoblocks...I'm the second owner. †They were upgraded with beeswax caps and better resistors before I bought them...mine don't have the new UFO transformers of course. When you get to the point you want to know about tubes to try, I'll tell you my opinions if asked.

I'm pretty sure Steve could have given you two inputs. †I think mine have two inputs and two outputs though I'm only using the inputs that weren't covered by gold caps when I got it. †I have given you a picture of mine below...tubes and cables have all been changed since the photo. †Mark.

PS...for some reason the photo didn't post...so I'll give you the audiogon posting when I bought them...that has several photos and a description.

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/tube-decware-se84zsm-monoblocks-with-ckc-mod-jupiter-caps-upgraded-plate-resistors-2014-05-19-amplifiers-98296-snohomish-wa



Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by seikosha on 03/04/17 at 14:13:33

Hi Jorgen,

Congrats on the new amps.  Like you, I have a Mini Torri too.  My Zen sounds very different than the MT.  There definitely is a midhall (MT) vs front of the hall (Zen) difference between the two amps.  For me, I often think that the MT goes a little too far in the spectrum and sometimes can sound too thick.  That said, with a good recording, the MT can really shine, but overall, I definitely prefer my SE 84, and yes it's also much quieter then the Mini.

Keep us posted with your impressions.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 03/04/17 at 15:02:50

Wow, I bet you are in heaven listening to these. These are the amps that tempt me the most. . . though I don't see them in my future as I'm not sure that the amps would have quite enough "oomph" for my HR-1s in this large room--though with the ZBIT perhaps. If Steve could fit his treble cut circuit on these. . . well I might try a pair one day if I were to clear out my audio extras!

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 03/04/17 at 15:06:07

I'm telling ya Lon...They're a bargain at $2390 for a pair.   ;) :)  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 03/04/17 at 16:07:22

I'm sure they are Mark, but that's money I don't have right now! IF I were unhappy with my Torii then I'd be motivated, but I'm not, I am crazy in like with this machine and its flexibility.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 03/04/17 at 16:33:18

The "issue" with only one set of inputs was just me not paying attention so i never asked. A bit stupid of me. That said, i can use my MT as pre i guess, read somewhere in the forums users have tried that with positive results. For now im very comfortable with switching cables. Maybe a dedicated pre will come later.

i ordered these with upgraded caps, and stepped attenuators. The ZP3 has this aswell so i was opting for making them as good as possible.


Im looking for tubes but havent decided anything yet, and any advice will be very welcome.


I have to say this is sonic bliss and cant find enough hours to sit down and just listen

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 03/14/17 at 16:11:58

Day after day and night after these amps evolves. I have had some issues with bad rectifiers and scored some NOS NIB yesterday from my local pusher. Great to hear both amps and ZP3 without the tube added high frequency ringing I was bothered with. Huge difference in sound from entry level DAC and HQ riaa and a proper deck. I have been playing around with bias switch and have found the preferred setting, also checking differences between 4 or 8 ohm.

The above mentioned pusher almost had me for a pair of real gold pin Siemens or telefunken 6922 NOS  tubes. Approximately 250 USD a pair. He also wanted to sell different el84, but I want to read up and hear what you guys recommend.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 03/14/17 at 16:50:01

Jorgen, I went through the research phase on the EL-84s for my Taboo MK III and Zen Monoblocks, and after reading others experiences, I decided to stick with the Russian tubes and roll everything else. †I stocked up on the Svetlana branded SV83 and the Military Spec tubes and called it a day. †I have enough for my lifetime...maybe a few more lifetimes too †:) †Lon here does use EL-84s and is very happy with them...might do a search for his impressions. †

On Telefunken and Siemens tubes, after reading Joe's Tube Lore and falling in love with the Amperex input tubes...6DJ8, 6922 and 7308....I decided to not do much searching...did get some Mullard 6DJ8s, maybe a few others. †But I'm currently in the stocking up on spares mode. Hope this helps and saves you some time and money. †Mark.

http://www.audioasylum.com/scripts/d.pl?audio/faq/joes-tubes.html

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 03/14/17 at 17:02:23

Jorgen, refresh my memory, what Amps do you have?

PS...nevermind Jorgen...just looked at the title of this thread...Duh.  I have the 2008 version of your Monos...love them and will never sell them.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 03/16/17 at 00:01:15

Yeah the title sort of reveals the type of amps.

I'm getting more and more impressed with this new system. Both amps and speakers have developed properly and amongst other factors detail and resolution is very impressive. Big difference when goes from digital to analog source. I'm hearing more in each and every recording, and lots of fun finding this in material I know very good. Instruments are very easily to follow, and I can choose what instrument I want to focus on. I'm very aware to cost per watt is pretty high with these amps, but to me it's very much worth it.
I think I had pretty nice setup earlier, but it is those small steps in the right direction that drives guys like us, and I'm getting quality back for the investment. It's kinda of fun to be the only owner of this version, but to any lurkers, go for it.

I have a question though, when close to clipping, would the OA3 start pulsating? I have noticed this when I turn volume to between 2 or 3 o'clock so to speak? Not sure what is the max setting. I'm using stepped attenuators. Can't her any noticeable clipping tendency at that point, but wanted to ask if any of guys would know.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 03/16/17 at 00:30:41

Not many bought the 2008 version either from what I could tell. †In regards to the OA3...I think that happened when playing the Omega Alinco Super 7XRS at 93dB too loud but I never have seen it with the Zu Audio "Souls" at 99 dB. †With the "Souls" there's plenty of headroom. Mark.

PS...thinking about it I may have seen a flickering Rectifier with clipping with the Taboo MK III...it could never provide adequate volume with the Omegas. †It's been so long, can't remember. †The answer is that tubes can flicker when clipping occurs.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 04/07/17 at 21:04:47

Did my first "modification" in a tube amp today... Steve shipped the new covers with etched symbols. He took the time to talk to me a little on the phone and we had a ten minutes conversation about the amps and how I liked them. I really wish English was my native language, a little afraid to not understand and be able to explain my thoughts. He wanted to know how I liked the amps and we spoke a little about what find in terms of difference between these and my MT.

I was able to switch the covers, but was a little nervous that I might screw up and was very careful. Still easy enough.

Tonight I have planned to just spin records and enjoy. It ain't difficult. Even though I find them to be really good with a entry level DAC I very much prefer vinyl and the ZP3. Very reaveling in terms of quality with the recordings. That also means very rewarding with good ones. Fabulous in  soundstage and detail, and I like systems that offers this kind of detail and transparency. Very very good when I play with low SPL, that is must for since I often listen to music at night when the others are sleeping.

Using; ortofon 2m black with a mission 774 tonearm modified with silver tonearm wire and WBA RCA output. Deck is a modified Thorens 160mk2. Daves cable from TT and from ZP3 to amps. I have replaced input tubes (telefunken NOS) and rectifier with NOS from Western Electric. Amps with same rectifiers as ZP3. Speaker cables also from Daves cables. Speakers are now properly burned in over > 300 hours I guess but not counting. I really like these HO Alnico drivers from Omega. I will before summer try some HQ and expensive gold pin input tubes from telefunken but these are pretty expensive, on the other side they will last a really long time so no worries.
Still waiting to hear from others who have bought these amps...

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Martindfletcher on 04/08/17 at 20:42:11

Guys I have a Rachel on order and a thinking about switching to the mono blocks or bridged ufo2. †I want to drive zu druids 101db but 16 ohm in a 20ft x20ft room. †Any thoughts on what would sound better? †Rarely listen loud, but would like to crank it every once and while.

Jorgen how do the monoblocks sound compared to the mini torrii?

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Rivieraranch on 04/08/17 at 21:35:00

I would switch to the monos. The sensitivity of the speakers would not be a problem with 2.7 watts. The Rachel is really mild. You should ask Steve to bias the monos on the hot setting.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 04/09/17 at 00:27:04

I can't tell you to switch from the Rachael to these because I haven't heard that amp and probably never will either. So I can't compare them. I first bought the MT without knowing what it could offer in terms of sound signature and quality and I immediately started to love that amp. I have enjoyed tube rolling with that amp and sound is very nice. When I got the mono amps, and learned how they sound, i realise they are quite a few notches better on the parameters I enjoy and prefer. They reveal every part of your system and the recordings you are listening to. The MT are more forgiving I guess, and that was Steve's comment as well. They are able to fill my listening room in a way that it could seem like being amongst the musicians while they play. I enjoy deciding to follow one instrument all the way through a song, hear how that instrument is fluctuating being in the back or in front, if that makes sense? To some they might be hard on some recordings because they reveal pretty much everything that is or isn't there.
I enjoy music like Talking Heads and other bands with a love for a sort of complex approach and that suites these amps very well

I ordered mine with a bias setting switch, but use them in the more forward position.
I still haven't tried them with different tubes apart from the rectifiers that was doa and I'm looking forward  to hear how they react and change with NOS good input and output tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen am
Post by Martindfletcher on 04/09/17 at 03:34:00

Jorgen it appears there is a silver and a gold rca connection on each block from the pictures.  I assume 1 is an input, is the second a preout or another input or something else or perhaps imam just confused. No online manual for these,

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 04/09/17 at 06:13:51

Yes. One is an ordinary input and one is a pass-through RCA. I didn't realise before to late. The pass-through is guess is for use when bi amping

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 04/09/17 at 12:18:56

Well Jorgen, I'm glad to see how much you enjoy your monoblocks. I added a ZP3/TT and a CSP3 to my 2008 modded version of the Monoblocks which until now had only been playing CDs with a Jolida 100 CD player.

The CSP3 changes things a bit...more weight and density, a fuller, warmer sound with an enhanced bottom end.  I just started tube rolling this morning so things will get even better.

As to your earlier comment on pulsating OA3s, I've got it again...now when I use the ZP3 through the CSP3, with even moderate volume, no where close to clipping, I see pulsating.  I don't see it when playing CDs.  I'm pretty sure it's harmless and it doesn't seem to affect the sound quality.

I have two sets of RCAs and a toggle switch but in setting up the CSP3 I wasn't able to figure out which was a bypass...when the volume is off on the Monoblocks, the CSP3 didn't have sound as I would expect with a bypass RCA.  So what I have is the same as with my Torri...a situation where both the Monoblocks' and Torii's volume controls work and I "ride the gain" for optimal results.

The first tube roll was a Beckman labeled 1964 Amperex 6922 replacing one of the 6n1ps that Steve sent as stock in the CSP3...a very nice upgrade in sound.  I'm using a pair of these in the Monoblocks as well.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Rivieraranch on 04/09/17 at 16:35:32

You boys are having too much fun with those mono blocks!

Are you sure that Jorgen is not really "Victor Lazlo" from the movie "Casablanca?"

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 04/09/17 at 19:08:05

RR ; Had to google the reference. LoL. I'm not Victor..
But I can confirm I'm having really fun with them. I am considering a pre as stated earlier. Mostly because it would be easier changing between sources. And also because I would like to max out the potential of my system.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Rivieraranch on 04/09/17 at 19:29:26

If you added a ZSTAGE instead of a pre I think it would do you a lot of good. I used one with my ZEN and it allowed a lot more weight and body into the music.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 04/10/17 at 00:02:58

True, but I used both a CSP2+ and a ZSTAGE with a C amp and the CSP2+ yielded better sound imo.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 05/08/17 at 09:50:21

The Wife took a trip to Barcelona thursday and i have been playing Music since she left... a lot of hours. Took the effort and arranged speakerposition properly since i could leave them in the better position for a few days. Again i was amazed by how big impact position changes how the sound is presented. Speakers was almost gone, and I had to mute the sound to find them again ::). I also had time to try my MT with these speakers and i was actually surprised how big difference there was compared to the mono amps. The MT is a very good amp indeed, but it is not as good as the mono amps. They are tighter, presents music more naturally and with better resolution. A bit strange how my memory works, bigger difference than expected.

And I had a journalist visiting Thursday because he wanted to Write an article about the setup. I Guess its mostly because Decware isnt a well known brand here, neither is Omega and he wanted to do a piece about a different setup. He took lots of Pictures and he texted me later that he found the system very interesting, also commented that he enjoyed the sound a lot. The article will be published in a few weeks online, sort of a "@Jorgens place" kind of thing , more than an ordinary review. Looking forward to reading it. †

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by pursuitofnow on 05/08/17 at 16:22:50

Nice update. Please share the link when it's up.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 05/09/17 at 12:04:14

...and now i feel a little bad for my MT and that i wrote that it doesnt measure up to the mono.. it has a mighty personality, and i do want it to be happy. To be happy i have to use it, with my headphones it is very good, so the MT is in service 7-8 hours a week.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/12/18 at 01:49:56

Well, I'm now waiting for the Mono Zen Amps; I ordered a  pair of SE84UFO3 with the 25th Anniversary upgrades and I'm eager to hear them!

I'm really enjoying my Taboo Mk IV driving my HR-1s and I know this will be a great step up.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 02/12/18 at 02:21:19

Wow!  What's that going to cost? I didn't realize he was through with the development phase.  Mark.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Steve Deckert on 02/12/18 at 03:02:56


The 25th anniversary mod adds $1360 to a pair of the SE84UFO3 amplifiers.  If anyone want's a pair prior to the release of the stereo model, you just have to write that you want it in the comments section of the order.

Steve

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by mark58 on 02/12/18 at 03:18:03

Thanks Steve. I'm enjoying my 2008 pair of Zen Monos with upgrades now. I'll be eagerly awaiting impressions, Lon. :)

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/12/18 at 04:13:23

You know me, I won't be withholding impressions. ;)

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 02/15/18 at 02:46:42

I am enjoying my SE84UFO3. They are coming along very well. I had a toe tapping session today.






Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/15/18 at 03:05:22

Great Juan! Look very nice. The first pair of 25th Anniversary, eh? I'm looking forward to mine.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 02/15/18 at 09:03:30

Just regular SE84UFO3. † [smiley=ahhhhhhh.GIF]

They arrived before the recent R&D breakthroughs were posted. I am thinking about upgrading, but I want to get to know what I have first.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/15/18 at 10:17:39

Oh sorry, I thought perhaps yours was the one that was shipped out. Good idea to break these in and get to know them if you do decide to send them in for the upgrades.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 02/18/18 at 13:51:32

Even without the upgrades these are fabulous amps, but I really want to go for the upgrade. My problem is that I have to ship them from Norway to Peoria, I guess at least 4-500 usd for the shipping alone. And a total cost of close to 2k is quite a lot. Yet, from Steveís post I read that it should be worth it.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 02/18/18 at 18:33:26

I agree. The SE84UFO3 are great amps. I do not think I will be upgrading them because I would have to ship them back.

I thought long and hard before I pulled the trigger on the original purchase. I have no regrets now that something better has come along.

I have put the SE84UFO back in my music system while I wait for more details on 25th anniversary editions.

My SE84UFO3 are now in my TV system continuing to burn in.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 02/18/18 at 18:39:48


Quote:
Even without the upgrades these are fabulous amps, but I really want to go for the upgrade. My problem is that I have to ship them from Norway to Peoria, I guess at least 4-500 usd for the shipping alone. And a total cost of close to 2k is quite a lot. Yet, from Steveís post I read that it should be worth it.


I can envision talking myself into a pair of SE84UFO325 and moving the SE84UFO3 into backup or 2nd system duty. A very compelling argument!

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 04/06/18 at 11:56:19

My SE84UFO3-25 Monoblocks are built, tested, and packed! Should ship soon. Exciting!

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Acetone on 04/06/18 at 16:17:32

Lon,  Sweet! Can't wait to hear your impressions. I'm saving for the ufo25.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Crazy Bill the Eel Killer on 04/08/18 at 02:42:45

Hello Juan,
Are those Mapleshade platforms under your amps ?
If so, did they make a difference ? ;
Inquiring minds want to know !!

Cheers, † † † † † † † † †Crazy Bill † ;D

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 04/08/18 at 11:31:25

Yes. Mapleshade platforms. They serve the purpose and are consistent with my other platforms and audio rack. I bought them when I decided to order the SE84UFO3 so I have not used the amps on anything else. Thanks

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 04/08/18 at 11:41:51




Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 04/08/18 at 11:43:54


Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 04/08/18 at 11:49:32

Look beautiful Juan. I get my Monolocks tomorrow.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 06/04/18 at 22:38:54

I donít know too much about DAC and have a gut feeling that this might the area in the audio chain were we first hit the point of diminishing returns. Still my Cambridge dacMagic has been my weakest link. Not a bad component, far from it, but I know now I have some potential here. Yesterday I got myself a AURALiC VEGA. So fun to find a good step upwards

This is really something else. And Iím still just using it with redbook material

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/06/19 at 20:21:01

Hi guys and happy new year!!

I wanna ask a question concerning one of my monoblocks. A couple of times i have noticed a repeating "thump" sound in one speaker. First time i turned them off and later back on again the sound was gone. Later it happened again.
'
Last night it once again occurred and i also noticed the VR tube was "blinking" and in the same pace as the sound in the speaker. So changed that tube and everything seemed ok. Later the same symptoms occured. But maybe the rectifier tube didnt seem to glow, not sure though..

Anyone with an idea what this could be?

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 01/06/19 at 23:20:47

Jorgen, I've occasionally had similar sounds. . . in my case I think it's one of my sources shutting down causing it. It hasn't been a problem that damages components or diminishes the sonic qualities.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Steve Deckert on 01/07/19 at 00:44:24

All OA3 tubes will blink on and off during start up and do it again during shut down.  The volume should be turned down during this period.  Once the output tubes begin to conduct current and the OA3 blinks on for the first time or two, you might hear a thump through the speakers.

Additionally, in order to keep an OA3 (or any VR tube) lit, the tube or tubes it serves must be drawing current.  If for example, the input tube started drawing less current because it is wearing out or failing) this would create the condition you described during operation.

Steve

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Archie on 01/07/19 at 01:02:40

Ever since I got the Anniversary mods on my CSP3 I hear a medium and rising pitch "wooooooop" from each channel on startup. †It started in the right mostly and now it's longest and loudest on the left. †I know this because I don't have my volume down at startup. †Oops. † :P

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 01/07/19 at 01:17:27

My CSP3 with the 25th Anniversary Mods has done the same thing. My wife likes to pretend it's ME passing gas. . . .

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by HockessinKid on 01/07/19 at 01:39:05

🙈🙉🙊

HK

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Archie on 01/07/19 at 17:06:38

Hilarious!  It is a really funny sound.  Totally unexpected.  (The CSP3 I mean.   :-[)

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 01/08/19 at 17:11:49

Hi and thanks for replying

Maybe i wasnt clear when i wrote my question. Its not related to when i turn my amp on or off, i have noticed that especially the ZP3 blinks a lot when turned off. The tube blinks when it, the amp, has been running for hours, and the thump-thump-thump sound is heard in the speaker in the same pace as i can see the blinking. If i turn it off, and wait a while before turned back on the symptom is gone. as i wrote, i have changed the VR tube, but a few days later i noticed the same problem, so i have thought maybe its not the VR tube, but maybe something else.. like maybe the rectifier, but i do not know, i have currently changed the rectifier to see if the problem goes away. The thing is that, as stated above, the problem have appeared when amp has been on for many hours..

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Archie on 01/08/19 at 17:22:36

Have you tried swapping out all the tubes with known, good tubes?

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jslateiv on 01/08/19 at 17:43:35

As Steve and Archie said, make sure your 3 front end tubes (ax7/au7) are good.  If they are start to get weak and their bias has dropped too low then there would be less current running through the VR tube possibly causing the condition you're experiencing,..   I believe these VR's require at least 5ma running through them to keep them 'alive'.    In the ZP3  there is probably not much more than that being pulled with a know good set of input tubes.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 02/03/20 at 18:16:33

Finally i got the opportunity to ship my monos back to decware for upgrades. Really looking forward to hearing them, when i get them back in a few weeks. . Since my last post I also bought a CSP3, without 25th ann upgrades.
What do you guys think, will i have the full effect of the upgrades before i upgrade the pre? Best result without pre? The CSP and my miniTori is next in line for a trip to Peoria

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/03/20 at 18:43:39

You'll get great sound without the pre. Will get a bit more flexibility as far as gain riding and dynamics with the CSP3 stock. With the mods done to the CSP3 even more so. I have the Monoblocks with the mods and have run the CSP3 with the mods and currently use the Monoblocks with a ZTPRE (no mods) and the CSP3 with the mods with a Taboo Mk IV with the mods. Two great systems!

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 02/03/20 at 21:42:06

HI Lon

Im sure i will get great sound with upgrades, but if in my shoes would you use the pre, if not upgraded?
In my system I guess i will, just because of my need to have two sources, and because i think the pre added some favorable qualities, at least before any upgrades.

Main system; Upgraded turntable from Thorens. ZP3 to CSP3 to monos to HO Omega speakers with Dave Cables all the way. Streaming is Tidal HIFI to Auralic Vega DAC.

For headphones: MiniTori feeding LCD 3 from Audeze. But in retrospect maybe i should have chosen a Taboo....More usage as a headphne amp than as a stereo amp. †Using PC to DACmagic plus. The MT makes a little hum, and the CSP3 isnt enough power.
BUT then...  really like my MT. Like really

Im pondering if I should get long RCA cables and place mono amp close to speakers. Not sure if identifiable in terms of soundquality with short speakescables and long RCA as an alternative to short RCA and long speaker cables, but would be a way to have room for everything.

I have asked if possible to get meters added to the monos, i dont think it would be possible, but doesnt hurt to ask. †Also asked if it is possible to have adjustable voltage on the pass-through RCA

Chheeezus my computer is set for Norwegian, im not really this bad at spelling...

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/04/20 at 01:56:27

I definitely would use the CSP3 without mods as long as they had matching output caps, and maybe later upgrade to the mods. I am using a ZTPRE without its mod and love the sound. . . .

I have never tried short speaker cables. long RCA. . . .

What pass through RCA do you mean?

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 02/04/20 at 17:52:47

My monos has RCA out, one on each amp, i thought they was called pass-throu RCA. i also thought they have a fixed output of 2 or 2,5v. When i tried with a sub, with 0.7V needed input, i had very little gain control for the sub. I might be wrong on several of these assumptions though.. †

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/04/20 at 18:46:18

Thanks for explaining. My Monoblocks don't have an RCA out, I wish they did have a pass through audio as then I could feed my Taboo Mk III headphone amp from them and have the ZROCK2 settings that it would benefit from. But alas mine just have two inputs, one silver, one gold, each supposed to be the same, an input, one to be used at a time.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 02/04/20 at 23:35:24

My monos have the pass through as well. Mine is variable, not fixed. Inside jack is input and outside jack is output. Iím using the output jacks to feed a Klipsch subwoofer. Thanks

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 02/04/20 at 23:52:25

Thats quite intereresting, and the solution on yours Lon is sort of weird, if i can say such a thing, and if i understand correctly that you can only connect one source but with both connectors? have you tried them as output?  I didnt ask for a pass-throu, and actually i kind of thought i had two inputs when i ordered it, and didnt learn until later that it was only one. †I just glared at the photos and assumed and had decided i wanted to try SET-amplification after I had gotten my MT. I justified to add a CSP3 for the two input option, and was curious what a pre would add. Havent heard it combied with the monos yet,

Are there any options on the mono upgrades i should ask for, other than the general 25th ann upgrade? i believe i asked for upgraded caps when i bought them, not vcaps though. i am sort of contemplating to ask Steve to bypass attenuators, just a fixed setting matching a CSP. What you guys think?

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/05/20 at 00:31:31

Jorgen, as I understand it (and as you can see from the manual below) either of the two input jacks can be used as an input for a channel, only one to be connected at a time I assume. Here is what the manual for the SE84UFO3 says:

The RCA input jacks are arranged with both a silver and a gold jack. Both of these jacks do the same thing and only one should typically be used at a ?me. If your interconnects are gold, use the gold jack. If your interconnects are silver, use the silver jack.

It's interesting that you both have used this as a pass through. I don't see how that is possible according to the setup outlined in the manual. I guess I'll try it. . . shouldn't harm anything to try I suppose.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/05/20 at 00:35:13

As for mods possible, the current model comes with the Type 2 Jupiters, and they seem to come with stepped attenuators standard.  That leaves as an option the 25th Anniversary mods which are worth it in my opinion, but not cheap.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 02/05/20 at 01:04:10

I have #14 & #15. I think there was a change in jack functionality on later models. I would get the 25th Anniversary mods if you can.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by Lon on 02/05/20 at 01:16:19

Actually Juan I am so glad that Jorgen mentioned the "pass through RCA" and that you verified that you are using your two jacks as an input and a pass through as. .. I just tried the second set as a pass through in my set up and hallelujah--it passes the signal through. That means I now power my Taboo. Mk III from the bypass that includes the EQ from the ZROCK2 rather than the second set of outputs on my ZBIT. This has improved my headphone sound a whole lot, it's just what I knew the ZMF Ori headphones I'm using there needed. Win win in my situation, and I seem to be getting the full voltage that is going to my Monoblocks out of the pass through.

Thanks to you both again, I'm a happy camper. . . get to eliminate one set of interconnects that was just a bit inferior to the others, and get better sound for that headphone situation Very happy with this discovery!

So probably Steve should add this info to the product page and the manual. I'll email him.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by busterfree on 02/05/20 at 01:30:02

Cool. Itís a neat function to have.

Title: Re: Anyone else waiting for mono zen amps?
Post by jorgen on 02/23/20 at 19:49:07

Shipped my amps to Decware 3 weeks ago and got them back today, pretty good since i live in Norway. So thanks to Steve and Sarah for being customer-oriented and for doing the work in no time.  And a hug thank you to my friend who brought them over the Atlantic and back


Apart from fixing a blown transformer I had them upgraded with the 25th mods, and shipped with a full set of new tubes (red tipped)

Since i have only heard a few tracks I will not comment on how they sound, (but i do notice that i do stop typing....)

I have used my MT for the last 7-9 months, the difference is obvious, and since the last time i used the monoblock I have added a CSP3 in the chain. I will get to know the new sound over the next few days, and im really forward to this.

I wanted to ask others who uses a CSP3 how you have dialed in the line level controls and headphone controls, and even how you set the volume on the monoblocks?

I use a ZP3 as source and a Auralic Vega as  DAC, i believe 2V out from the ZP3 and max 4V from DAC. Would this mean the should have indivdual setting for the 2 sources?

Also. I have a sub, and until now i have speaker cables running from the amps to the sub and then to the main speakers. I tried using the pass-through, but to much gain (?) i believe for the sub so couldnt dial it in to match.


(Since i needed 45 minutes to write this, i guess there is something going on here that i like...)

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