EQUIPMENT FORUMS >> TORII JR >> Considering Torii Jr

Message started by Riche569 on 11/17/19 at 17:10:05

Title: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Riche569 on 11/17/19 at 17:10:05

Hi I am new to Decware amps but have been following them for a while. I currently have an inexpensive tube preamp and solid state amp. I'm considering purchasing a Torii Jr during the Black Friday sale, but have never heard them and wonder about the claim of SET sound from EL34 tubes. I'm also considering the Line Magnetics 845ia SET amp which is considerably more expensive. †Does anyone have experience with Line Magnetic 845 SET amps and have any idea how they compare to the Torii Jr in terms of tone, detail, imaging etc. †Thanks!

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Donnie on 11/17/19 at 18:33:09

Welcome to the forum.
What speakers are you trying to drive? That has as much to do with the sound as anything.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Riche569 on 11/17/19 at 19:22:33


Right now I'm trying to drive the Focal Aria 936 which are supposed to be about 90 db but while rated at 8 ohms I believe they drop below 4 ohms. I would also like to sometimes use them with the KEF LS50's although I know those are even less tube friendly. I might consider speakers geared towards low powered tube amps in the future. †I've also considered the Pass XA25 which, again is more expensive or the Rogue Stereo 100, which I haven't heard. I know that would give more flexibility with speakers but don't know how it would be in terms of tone.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Donnie on 11/17/19 at 20:48:29

It would probably best to speak to Steve about how those speakers would pair up plus he would be the best one to describe the sound of the amp.
It is all about synergy.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Riche569 on 11/18/19 at 23:43:35

OK thanks Donnie I did talk to Steve a while back, maybe I'll contact him again. †What I was wondering is if anyone has experience with the Torii and a Line Magnetics or other SET amp and could give me any idea how the sound compares and also if the Torii is closer to SET sound than typical EL34 push pull amps. Thanks!

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by jslateiv on 11/22/19 at 15:25:15

Hey there,

  I have (in the past) owned both the LM-518 and 219ia 845's from Line Magnetic.  I currently am running the SE84/25th Anniv.  and a  Torii Jr.  The 845 based amps are pretty different in terms of sound presentation compared to anything else I've ever owned.  Like Donnie said alot of it has to do with synergy towards the speakers your driving.
  I currently have the Jr. on my TV setup and it is pushing a pair of Triangle Celius's.  I think their in the ~92db range and roughly 6ohm avg.   The Jr. pushes them just fine in a large room for music AND theater duty. The Jr. shouldn't have any issue driving the Focals.  4ohm is not a prob. for the Jr.  I would think that for any normal listening you wont have an issue with the speakers getting loud enough.
   When I had the 845's (i did not have the Triangles)  they were mostly used with a pair of efficient Zu's (~98db) but also a pair of Meadowlarks that were less efficient, ~88db.  They drove the Meadowlarks just fine but sounded better driving the efficient Zu's.  
 In terms of comparison between the 845's and Jr.  the 845's are a dense, wet, lush type of presentation (compared to anything).   I think that the Jr. would be a better match and would handle the speakers with more authority.  I felt that with the 845's the 'lushness' increased as the speaker sensitivity dropped.   The Jr's are def. a step up from Rogue's PP circuit which I have listened to on many occasion (and owned as well).  I have owned SS amps including N.Pass's J2 but always come back to tubes.
  I really liked both the 845 amps I had but ultimately found Steve's 25th Anniv. amp was just a perfect compliment to my current Zu speakers that are in my main system.   The 845's always bothered me a little too.  My understanding is that if one of the 845 tubes fail and shorts it will/can take out some (or alot) of the circuit components in pretty spectacular fashion due to the ~950V that they run off of.   I really liked how they light up though, lol.    Between the 2 speakers I had at the time, I really felt they sounded better and were a much better match for my more efficient Zu's,  even though they had plenty o power for the Meadowlarks.
 Not sure if any of this helps but I hope does..

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Riche569 on 11/29/19 at 00:59:04

Thanks jslateiv, that is very helpful, I appreciate it.  I guess I have to decide now whether to take a chance and order the Jr without having ever heard a Decware amp.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by jslateiv on 11/30/19 at 16:50:59

I don't think you'd be disappointed but everyone 'hears' different.   I certainly don't think there would be any kind of issue at all with the Jr. on your speakers.   The Jr. is an honest and smooth sounding amp.  Not like other Push/Pulls that can (to me) sound dry and not very engaging.   This is compared to SET designs that I prefer.  Decware's PP type amps are about the only PP's I've heard and liked.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Riche569 on 12/01/19 at 17:32:07

Thanks jslateiv. I was ready to place the order but my wife is not agreeable about having those tubes staring at her in our living room so will have to hold off for now, but the dream of owning a tube amp is still there.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Donnie on 12/01/19 at 18:00:04

So the next time that your wife wants to buy something, tell her that it doesn't go with your aesthetics. Fight fire with napalm!
I'm lucky to have a listening room that my wife won't set foot in, 4 sets of speakers are sitting in here right now.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Riche569 on 12/01/19 at 21:09:19

Yeah I'd like to have that freedom but the only room in our house with enough space to for a good speaker setup is the living room with the big TV which is a shared family space.  I have a smaller system in the bedroom.  I still have my eyes on a tube amp.  I bought a solid state amp and tube preamp as a compromise  and it sounds good but I still want to get a tube amp.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by lazb on 12/01/19 at 21:15:49

put it in a cage or behind a door so the tubes are not visible. some folks are so "the look" sensitive that compromise is a very difficult negotiation.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by jslateiv on 12/01/19 at 21:35:53

Try to explain how it's a beautiful AND functional piece or art.   Mine sits right below the TV in the Den/family area and while it does give off some light when all others are off,  it doesn't distract from the TV. On the positive side,  everything sounds ALOT better then from a Home Theater receiver!  My wife also really questioned the placement (just below the TV),  but ultimately she realized it really was no big deal.   Here's to you convincing your wife of the same!  Best of luck!  

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Tommy Freefall on 12/02/19 at 18:33:07

Riche, if it provides you any comfort, I bought my Torii Jr. sight unseen, and unheard.
A roll of the dice based upon Steve Deckertís reputation and engineering/equipment philosophy.
No regrets whatsoever Ė the finest amp Iíve ever heard.

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by Riche569 on 12/03/19 at 00:24:24

Thanks Tommy that's encouraging to hear. Being new to all this I have some more questions. Jslateiv, I listened to a Line Magnetics 845ia and I was very †impressed by the tone and the imaging. It sounds like you had an amp like that and are now using a Decware amp. Was there a reason you didn't stay with the Line Magnetics?

Would there be an advantage to going with a Zen Triode SE84UFO instead of the Torii Jr, with SET vs PP and EL84 vs EL34? It sounds like high efficiency speakers play a big part in the overall sound. Would you mind telling me which Zu speakers you have? Any opinions of Zu vs Omega? Thanks

Title: Re: Considering Torii Jr
Post by jslateiv on 12/03/19 at 19:35:22

Hey there,..   I sent you a PM the other day.  Not sure if you noticed it in your Decware 'Inbox' or not...

The 845ia is a re-do of the LM-518ia.    It was a good amp and sounds like a typical 845 based design.   I do not care much for 12ax7's as input tubes and ultimately became a little worried about what was going to happen when an 845 tube failed.  They have ~900V's on the plate and I understand that if the tube fails/shorts,  it can do so in spectacular fashion (at the cost of the amps other internals).  I moved from the 518ia to its BIG brother the 219ia beast.  Still a very similar sound but a bit more refined and focused, and I was able to use a seperate preamp and completely bypass the input tubes on the 219.  You cannot do that (bypass the input tubes) on the 518 or newer 845ia.   I ultimately sold the 219 and while I liked it, I was looking for more refinement than I felt it could give.  This was after living with each for ~1yr.

 The SE84UFO  is not a good match for your speakers.  If you want to use that amp or other similar offerings  you really need a pair of speakers ~95db or higher.  The higher the better.    Yes,  you can still hook one of those amps to your speakers but you will most likely not get the vol. you want and there will be a def. loss in 'impact' from the combo compared to using a Torii Jr, etc...

I can't speak to Omega except that there a lot of Happy owners out there and on this forum.   My Zu's  are highly modified  Omen's.  Modifications made at Sean Casey's recommendation,..  they include internal bracing,  dampening, wiring harness, Base plinth,  Drivers, etc...   I would estimate they are in the ~98db range of sensitivity.  A few db of speaker sensitivity can go a long way but when you start getting around ~90-92db  you really need an amp with some power to give you the needed headroom and allow a good volume range.   Just my .02cent  but I think most others would agree.   Hope this helps.  


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