AUDIO FORUMS >> Reviews >> The SE84UFO3 Monoblocks with 25th Anniversary Mods

Message started by Lon on 06/17/18 at 16:14:54

Title: The SE84UFO3 Monoblocks with 25th Anniversary Mods
Post by Lon on 06/17/18 at 16:14:54

Early April I received a pair of the Decware SE84UFO3 Monoblock amplifiers with the 25th Anniversary mods. I have been using these amps daily with the exception of a few weeks in May when my wife was very ill and I listened to headphones via my Decware Taboo Mk IV amplifier instead. They are now certainly “broken in” and on the way to being “seasoned” amplifiers.

First off I have to point out that I have done all my listening to the amplifiers plugged into a PS Audio P10 and with a Decware ZTPRE, ZBIT and ZROCK2 feeding them from the PS Audio DirectStream DAC as the main source. I know that my system needs the gain and EQ tailoring these Decware components provide and have not listened to the Monoblocks without them in the signal path. I refer to these (mostly to myself!) as “The Z Amigos.” They really have increased my listening pleasure since they were introduced into my system.

And I’ll just flat out say it: I love these amplifiers. Period. They came, they played, they conquered. I was immediately relieved to find that their 2.7 watts per channel give sufficient power for my Decware/Turning Point Audio HR-1 speakers, and I can listen to all my sources with satisfying volume levels. Now I won’t guarantee that will be the case for all others—I am aware that I don’t play music as loudly as others do. And my system also contains a TV, DVR and Blu-ray player, and I know I don’t play these sources as loudly as others do. But the Monoblocks get loud enough that I don’t play them wide open and I have extra gain should I need it. “The ZAmigos” provide a lot of density to the amplifiers, and the amplifiers handle that signal with impressive speed. Steve Deckert has stated that both speed and density “equals Watts” and with both speed and density the sound these Monoblocks deliver resembles in heft and perceived volume the sound that my Decware Torii Mk III delivered in the same system. This is an amazing accomplishment for me, and one that I am very grateful to experience. I personally find that with my system each recording has a volume level that “seems correct.” The Monoblocks let me get there each and every time.

I have rolled a lot of tubes in these Monoblocks the last few months. This has been perplexing at first because each tube complement has its own beauty. Once the amplifiers were “broken in” I found that I could build very satisfying complements around each choice of rectifier or input tube or output tube or voltage regulator tube. It’s great to have options! One can be satisfied with the stock complement or with blends of many NOS and current production tubes. This is a plus. . . it’s also a rabbit hole that you can fall down . . .I find myself listening for days to a complement and then rolling tubes. That I think will stop and I’ll just sink into the music. But you won’t be bored with these Monoblocks—you can change a few tubes and have a new listening experience!

These amplifiers image and do the “soundstage” thing like no other amplifiers I have had. I find in my room that I can’t set up for the ultimate soundstage experience, but I am certain that if one can the rewards would be large. There’s a clarity with these amplifiers that comes along with body and dynamics. They produce a sound field that naturally fills the room and gives you detail woven seamlessly into the rich tapestry of sound.

Steve’s goal with these amplifiers and their single-chassis sibling was to squeeze every drop of fidelity out of the “Zen” amplifier circuit. He’s a perfectionist yet I think he feels he has accomplished this goal. I believe he did, and I am tremendously pleased to fire these amps up whenever I can. If you think you’d like these and that they will work in your system. . . I bet you’ll love them.

Title: Re: The SE84UFO3 Monoblocks with 25th Anniversary Mods
Post by Acetone on 06/17/18 at 16:38:07

Thanks for your input Lon.
I expect to have the SE84UFO25 by Late August (sooner I hope).
I plan to use my current fave tube compliment in my SE84-CKC in the UFO25 which are = Mullard GZ32 (58') / Lorenz-sel PCC88 (7DJ8) / 6P15P-EB (OTK - gold grids, 82') /  Mullard 0D3a (60's)  /  Sylvania 0A3 (70's). I also have some RCA 03A's  51'  to compare with the Sylv as well as other variants and manufacturers of above tubes. My dedicated audio room is well treated - bass traps - absorbers - diffusers.I am chomping at the bit for the 25th. I can't imagine my set up sounding better so this (I hope) should be a mind blowing improvement!  HAVE A HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!

Title: Re: The SE84UFO3 Monoblocks with 25th Anniversary Mods
Post by Lon on 06/17/18 at 17:01:02

Ace, you're going to be surprised that things CAN get so much better. . . but you know that. And yes, differences in tubes will be very apparent. . . they always are in Decware components, but even more so in this Anniversary set up.

Hope yours arrives as soon as possible!

Title: Re: The SE84UFO3 Monoblocks with 25th Anniversary Mods
Post by 123154 on 08/07/20 at 21:07:45

I just bought and awaiting the arrival (in packing stage) of my Se84ufo. I'm using caintuck betsys a modi3 streaming from PC... and audioquest cables/wire. any suggestions for upgrades after my honeymoon with this amp?

Title: Re: The SE84UFO3 Monoblocks with 25th Anniversary Mods
Post by Lon on 08/07/20 at 21:09:46

I can't imagine not recommending the 25th Anniversary mods if you haven't incorporated that in your order. That will bring the most profound upgrade I would believe.

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