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06/20/24 at 20:04:55†

Most recent 50 posts

1  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Today at 19:40:20 
Started by Dan259 | Post by will
Hey Dan and Lon, you are welcome.

If my amp has an attenuator, I don't use the CSP3 for a "preamp" myself... To me the amp is more transparent and neutral across the volume range, so it is my primary volume adjuster once the tube stages are integrated for enhancing the signal optimally.

As to the the output tube pots versus main attenuator on the CSP3, like Lon suggested, I would experiment. Back when there were pots on the input and the output tubes, using the CSP3 for sound more than volume, I liked 8 on the outputs and I think 7-9 on the input tubes depending on all else, but mainly based on CSP3 tube choices. So for me, finding I always had the output pots at 8, I took the attenuator pots out of the circuit and put in a really nice NOS WE resistor to make it always about "8," a more transparent setup than the pot. Somewhere in there Steve took out the inputs, and not sure his specific reasoning, but guessing for greater transparency like me, but guessing also for simplicity in tuning for headphones, two pots easier to get a handle on than 4???

Anyway. I would play with it... and in my experience the balance between the tube pots and main attenuator will effect the sound, so potentially a good tool in my book.

The ZRock will definitely play into this... so if you are using it more as a tuning device than a notable bass enhancer, maybe set it a little above unity gain to a place you like the sound, making it sound nice, but knowing it is not causing a big spectral balancing shift.

Then I might start with the CSP3 pots at 7 or 8, and try "riding the gains" between the ZMA and the CSP3 at a loud enough volume to hear well, but not uncomfortably loud... maybe close to your louder listening levels, telling the story clearly. The idea is to keep the volume as close to the same as possible while "riding the gains." So as the CSP3 goes up, the ZMA goes down (or visa versa) while seeking the most beauty for the signal... in spectral balances, weight, body, clarity, dynamics, lucidity... †By keeping the audible volume as close to the same as you can, you will hear the signal changes the CSP3 is giving most, while not letting a little higher volume trick you into thinking a certain CSP3 gain level is best when it may not be quite there.

Then maybe play a while like that with pretty low key gain tuning adjustment as you go to refine the sound, but mainly keeping the CSP3 in the same range, and using the amp more for volume changes, while getting to know your CSP3.

Then once it feels pretty good, adjusting ZRock within this sort of setup, it is easier to learn each component and the whole. That combination under your skin some, you might try lowering or raising the CSP3 output tube pots a bit, adjust for optimal gain again, and let that soak in.

Then for leaner recordings that need more signal strength to wake up, you can try loading the CSP3 a little higher in the balance until it sounds better. Or for dark/muddled recordings, try raising the ZMA in the balance and see if that tightens and clarifies the recording to a more satisfying sound. And comfortable with that, same with the ZRock.... After a while this becomes second nature and actual gain riding is not needed for me... It is a great learning tool, but finally, I hear the beginning of a known recording at current settings and know to crank the CSP3 some, or ZBIT, or ZRock, or tune one down and one up... or drop one or more... optimizing the gains together for a given recording (when needed).

This, or some variation, might be a good way to get to know your CSP3. Then adding tuning the ZRock gain will be pretty easy, and also telling. Then when the ZBIT shows up, you will more easily hear it and be able to use it optimally.

2  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Today at 19:16:16 
Started by Dan259 | Post by Lon
My advice: play around with both!

Thanks for that reply Will. I would certainly use either the ZTPRE or the CSP3 with the SEWE300B if it had the "passive preamp" the other amps did, but it's active gain stage is perfect for the amp and using its dual volume controls is a great gain-riding end point.

3  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Today at 18:45:22 
Started by Dan259 | Post by Dan259
Wow, I really appreciate that very lengthy and informative response. It brought me to a different level listening.

Regarding adjusting the CSP3 output knob against volume. Should i adjust the output level to see increase volume or use the volume control? I can really understand how this two words.

Thank you again.

4  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Today at 18:35:55 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon
Dexter Gordon "The Montmartre Collection" Muzak 2 cd set Japan MZCB-1400, disc 2

I have had this material on LP and cd before and it has never sounded better than here.

5  AUDIO FORUMS / Replacement Tubes / Re: †CYROTONE Tubes by Don Thomas - New Video
 on: Today at 18:12:35 
Started by Steve Deckert | Post by Lon
I have moved away from Cryotone tubes in my main system, finding that I preferred the Shuguang Black Treasure 300B-Z in my SEWE300B to the only remaining Cryotones in that system, the 300B-WC 9 (surprisingly, I did not expect to prefer these). I just this week received the Cryotone 5U4G which seems to be a Chinese tube. After about 40 hours I struggled to keep it in the SEWE300B as I have better rectifiers for that amp, but I am enjoying it in the CSP3 with all the mods in my audio/visual system. In that system every tube is a Cryotone tube except for one RCA 5U4GB rectifier in the power amp. The larger room allows these tubes to shine more than they do in the less forgiving smaller room my main system is in.

6  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Today at 17:30:25 
Started by Dan259 | Post by will
Yes, I know, here I go again, but I hope this might be useful for some.

From Dan: "Actually Iím now using the ZRock, my Zbit is coming next week. As soon as put CSP3 after Zrock I noticed right away an improvement in SQ. That is why Iím wondering if additional ZBit is an overkill."

So it sounds like you have a CSP3 and ZRock in place and like them, the question being whether using a ZBIt will further improve your sound (or not).

More than the very relative nature of transparency and "purity" depending on all that makes the system and room, I think the question with nice gain components like these is more, does it improve the signal quality and system versatility without notable sacrifices. In my system, any component added will be at some cost to signal "transparency." But with a revealing system/room, transparent and neutral cables, feet... here, the benefits outweigh minor losses.

Like you with the ZRock and CSP3, both with a fair number of parts and designed to intentionally shape the signal in their own ways, transparency losses are generally not what most notice... more the beauty these things can bring to the signal... hopefully set up and tubed well enough to make the signal more musical and awake in a given room.

Yet like Lon said, since getting his WE300B, he prefers the sound without a Decware preamp in front of it, though he still uses other gain stages for signal tuning. This may be different for you in your room and system, but by Lon liking the sound better without these pres, the implication to me is that the ways his CSP3 and ZTPre effected the signal were not beneficial, or fully "transparent," the other side of the question and story... a really nice component not improving the sound in Lon's particular setting, and for his tastes. So a potentially important consideration depending on all else.

Right now I am using a ZBIT+>ZRock2+>CSP3+ between my very resolving front end setup and very resolving amp. The +'s indicate they are all seriously modified to musically increase transparency, resolution, complex speeds, fine detail and space, etc, with nice balances throughout... allowing the system to be more complete and captivating.

It was/is about refinement of all the good stuff already there with my mostly Decware setup (during most of my modification years), progressively resolving more and more, but still having the nice baselines Steve and Bob originally created. And the more that was musically revealed, the more easily areas that could benefit from more refinement showed. So refinement led to refinement, and once one component or cable, or the speakers resolved and revealed more, the others needed similar refinements to bring their musicality up to match. Parts and wires that are known to be good, and starting with really nice designs and quality, then it is mostly a matter of finding the parts and wires that are synergistic with the component design toward making it more musically resolving...That for me led to hundreds of tests over time, but when the synergy happened, improvements were often beyond the sum of the parts, and this process after a few years resulted in preferred parts and wires, making the next steps easier.

Over lots of years now, everything in the system has been tested and reevaluated based on the ever renewed matrix, one improvement leading to more. With refinement in resolution and speed came more complex detail and space, more immediacy, faster and more natural and complex dynamics, and balanced across the range, tighter more impactful bass, richer and more complex textures and decays throughout, and clearer more endless highs with fine detail complexity resolving hardness into musical realness....

Taking me back to "transparency" and "purism." The story above is to illustrate one baseline for adding things, a baseline that has been worked over from power, to source, to room, not only to solve weak links, but also to awaken already beautifully musical designs into more magical ones. And the more a system is refined in this way, the purer/more transparent the whole is, making it easier to add equally good components (and associated cables) without notable sacrifices in purity...

But no matter how deeply refined a setup is, with a Decware baseline (especially with A mods), we know we have a really good start, and the main thing then to me is that we do not have things that hobble our sound without knowing it, bringing everything else down with it. And the more of these there are, the more loss of transparency adding something of equal quality might incur.

Especially at the beginning, if our power does not fully support resolution and speed with spectral balance, these issues will read through everything else. Equally, if our front end can't pull full musical resolution and speeds musically, that will make the rest of the components, cables, speakers, and room that follow less capable of producing the beauty... If it is not there at the start, it is not there at all. Or the speakers could be weak links, or cables.... feet.... If we are not pulling musical resolution and balances everywhere, and with relative equal sonic quality, the whole suffers in the senses of purity and transparency, and the ability to seamlessly add more parts for tuning the signal is also effected. Like improvements in musical resolution are progressive, so too are impediments.

So I think theoretical "purity" is a moving target depending entirely on how pure each component or cable or whatever are to begin with... And equally importantly, how transparent and pure the system and room is as a whole.

This is part of why going with a number of Steve's designs and cables together can be a good start, because they are creatively designed to fulfill Steve's sonic needs, and they are treated with similar care and attention for their ultimate sound. So though always evolving, all are made with his best ideas and parts preferences to meet his objectives. This causes them to naturally be compatible as family, each fitting into a baseline of the "purist" design Steve feels is "right," and something that can be built on with synergy. And, not for all, but for most, especially in system/rooms that are mostly set up for resolution and speed within realistic and complete spectral balances (without a lot of diversion from compensation), this stuff is transparent enough to add gain stages and hear the beauty they were designed to give more than potential sacrifices, especially with care with tubes, cables, platforms, feet.....

Looked at from another angle, in my case, my signal continues to grow musically "purer," creating a new baseline from which to judge transparency and purity. And from this new baseline, stock things I tend to have, including Decware, need to be tuned up to fit in. Here, adding another component, even with A-mods, is a hit on resolution, speed, transparency that I can't tolerate without refining that component to match the rest. But once tuned to match, each component a little more awake, making the whole more awake, it is beautiful. And interestingly, looking at musical transparency, at this point, I feel sure my ZBIT/ZRock/CSP3 together are more ultimately transparent and revealing of more levels of complexity than the either the stock CSP3 or ZRock2 were alone.

This is not to dis these components, many of which I enjoyed for years without serious modifications. It is more about pointing to the relativity of "transparency," and to how important it is to have all parts support the whole without sacrifices as much as possible.

For relatively pure musical system synergy, refinements in resolution and speed are the biggest parts of it, so much of all the other good stuff rising out of these. And supporting this, to me, is easier if nothing is very far into "compensation." If each choice leads to signal improvements within a relatively neutral frame, the consistency of this grouping can have a powerful synergistic effect, while being less confusing than if a system is made up of a progression of compensations.

As an example, if I had tuned any one of my system components to be dark and slow as a compensation, it might have felt good at the time, but would not have complimented the ultimate goal of refined neutrality that is needed to pull the most of available resolution and speeds while refining all complex balances together. My system, getting better and better all the time, I use relative neutrality as a safeguard in modifications, but also as a means to keep things optimal as more improvements come along.

Finally, with each system part having relatively equal qualities, and each being nicely balanced and transparent, the qualities Steve's innovative gain stage additions bring to the system so far outweigh the minor hit to transparency. I can hear a little more pure transparency when I pull any stage out, and really like that less "massaged" sound. But I tend to fall back to all three, adding complexity and tune-ability toward a sound I overall prefer, and importantly for me, one that is more easily tuned to make different recording mix qualities sound better. Each of these stages offer their own character traits that I like a lot once tubes and cables are sorted. And by mixing and matching those individual qualities to each together, when right, something pretty beautiful can happen....

And once tuned together, I really don't think of this as four components individually (including the attenuator on the amp allowing for more gain tuning), more four components as one... each contributing its own special traits to the whole. Then changing any tube, or gain level, I hear the change in the component, but ultimately it is part of the whole.

For example, you might love the tube grouping you are using in the CSP3. Then trying a more powerful tube in the ZRock that makes the sound a little bold and intense, but otherwise has compelling traits.... you might find that a slightly milder input tube in the CSP3, or rectifier, or the power tubes, tone things back to where the overstated ZRock tube is beautiful. Alternately, by adjusting the gains down a little in the ZBIT, ZRock, or CSP3, a mildly overstated tube might possibly come into balance in the whole.

Anyway, I too am big into gain tuning, and all in all, I think I can say that tuning the gains together optimally, balancing the balances from different gain stages to sing best together... that alone can be a really powerful tool... perhaps more powerful than another component, or component upgrade.

I find gain tuning not only can enhance signal qualities, but they can refine the system and room into more ultimate balances, balances that can show more of what is there in recordings musically. With careful attention to all balances, and as little as possible overt coloration, and often associated, smearing or masking (like muddled bass leaking upwards)...From using more compatible gain stages, I can refine complex information more, using the special qualities of each together to optimize bass and weight, dynamics, density, clarity, lucidity...

This can be done with just one gain stage balancing its gain qualities with an integrated tube amp's, "riding gains" between †the amp attenuator, and gain attenuator... like your ZMA and say your CSP3. Or with two, or with three, like you will have if you stay with the ZBIT. Then, as long as they are set up to avoid off-balancing the system/room in any notable ways, there is potential for some pretty real beauty.

My guess is that you will probably enjoy the ZBIT in your blend. And relative to your concerns, the way I hear them, the ZBIT is likely the most transparent of the three, so a "safer" addition, and it will add some nice potential for tuning in the magic by carefully increasing source voltage to enhance what the ZRock or CSP3 are working on.... increasing musical complexity.

Finally, a caveat in my experience. Considering Dom's thought about running the ZBIT full power bringing graininess, I never go there, but sort of remember the very top of the ZBIT range being too intense and off feeling to me too..... But this reminded me of similar and perhaps related things I have experienced with multiple stages between source and amp. I don't know the technical details on impedances and those effects, but in my system, the more gain stages I have between the source and amp, the easier it is to overdue the signal somewhere along the line and create distortions.

Each of these gain adjusters (and the ZStage) will give more clarity and dynamic hit at higher gain settings. And if each is set to notably enhance dynamics, density, body, lucidity... together the adjustments to signal power are progressive, each building on the last.

So if each gain is sort of maxed for sound preferences (not maxed on the knob), each tuned to liven up the sound while having relatively neutral spectral balances in the room, and not feeling overstated/over-saturated... Then each stage is making the signal musically stronger. With all balanced together, and at fairly high gain levels, if we turn up the first one, the ZBIT in this case, then I think it can potentially push the ZRock, or CSP3, or both, beyond there limits before the amp. Or it could be fine in the gain stages and show up in the amp.

When each gain unit is set to add signal speed and power, transients become faster and more powerful. So if on the edge of distortion with amp settings, even if the signal into the amp is not distorted per se... stronger faster transients peaks will create amp distortions at a little lower listening levels. The ZMA has enough power with many more sensitive speakers for this not to be an issue, but an interesting thing to observe if pushing things close to limits.

I hope these ever-evolving stories and ideas based in experiences and thought might help in seeking and discovering the big beauty!


7  AUDIO FORUMS / Classifieds / Re: WTB ZROCK2
 on: Today at 17:11:52 
Started by safebelayer | Post by Veronica

We have a brand new ZROCK2 for sale. Give our office a call for pricing and details, if you are still interested,

Veronica Moist

8  AUDIO FORUMS / Room Treatment   / Re: My Audio Journey Evolution, The Final Stage.
 on: Today at 16:09:41 
Started by red pill sanctuary | Post by red pill sanctuary
RockWool has the ideal density and absorption rating for this particular requirement. It is easy to work with, cuts cleanly, and is much safer for exposure than using pink fiberglass. I still suggest wearing a face mask and gloves when handling.

Review this chart and you can compare the airflow resistivity of RockWool, and fiberglass insulation. As you can see, there is a substantial difference in airflow resistivity between the two. †Fiberglass has its place in certain applications, but here, the Roxul is favored for better absorption and resistance overall.

Now it is just a simple task of inserting the Roxul behind the support straps to hold it in place.

You will notice that I have set the distance of the Roxul backward enough to allow a degree of airspace between the insulation and the metal face plate. This is absolutely critical for the effectiveness of the diaphragmatic action to function properly. The thicker the insulation ( along with the properties of the insulation used), along with the degree of airspace, actually determines the level of absorption and airflow resistivity attained in the end result. †This particular application is very useful for midrange to lower midrange absorption. Unfortunately, this is not deep enough to absorb energy within the low frequency registers. †That task is left up to the huge bass absorbers which are built for that purpose.

Take a look at the detail and you will notice that there must be a provision for the sheet metal face plate to be attached and still maintain a flush setting within the baffle wall. The goal is to have the metal face and the surrounding wall be seamless after the finish is applied. †The metal gets attached to the MDF frame using only sealant as an adhesive. If these panels leak air around the perimeter, the diaphragmatic action will fail. This unit acts like a spring, slowing down the energy passing through it, while absorbing much of this by heat and dissipation.

The effectiveness of this wall assembly is very beneficial in it's ability to slow down energy hitting it from the return bounce of the room itself. The reflections are reduced in amplitude as the sound waves hit the metal plates of the diaphragmatic absorber modules which are working at different levels of sound reduction by the size of each unit. The return rate of energy back into the room is greatly retarded in size and speed. That difference in time and space is the very thing that helps to create a more spacious and less restrictive room. The end goal of any audio room is to (remove the boundaries of the room to the point where the room itself is no longer a noticeable part of the equation). †This is how we make a small room sound like a much larger space while maintaining a live and natural purity to its final form.

It is necessary to install additional support straps with the larger sections of Roxul to keep it securely in place. We absolutely do NOT want this insulation to become relaxed and bow in the center. If that happens, it leans against the metal face-plate and thus resulting in failure of the unit to be effective. Heavy duty cardboard works great and it is free. †I used a heavy duty stapler to attach them to the MDF.

This full scale baffle wall is now ready for the metal face-plates to be installed.

9  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Today at 14:27:14 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon
Miles Davis "Sketches of Spain" Blu-Spec CD2 2023, mono disc

The mono Sketches is a different experience!

Followed by

Mario Adnet "Jobim Jazz" Adventure Music cd

10  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Today at 12:39:55 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon
Tom Harrell "Visions" Contemporary OJC cd

11  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: Classical Music Thread
 on: Today at 12:31:44 
Started by CAJames | Post by Dominick
JamesÖ.. thanks for the tip! †Iím streaming the Scott Ross favorites now. †Excellent choiceÖ.Iím really enjoying it. Heís got great technique and all of notes are crisp. † †The Claudio Colombo 555 Sonatas on the piano is good. †I gave it a second listen last nightÖand while I liked itÖ.I felt that itís lacking a bit soul. †I think †Iím going to see out another piano Sonata from a different artist to see the difference. †

12  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Today at 11:26:27 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon
This one again to start the morning. Got to sleep in a bit more. . . Fiona the dachshund slept longer than usual.

Duke Ellington "Copenhagen 1958 (Bonus: After Hours 1950)" Storyville cd

13  SPEAKER FORUMS / Zen Master Series Loudspeakers / Re: Open Baffle rear firing tweeter
 on: Today at 03:06:24 
Started by Geno | Post by Geno
What normal folks would call, a waste of a day, audio nuts like us, call, necessary experimentation(or something like that)  

With Steve talking about how great the upside down baffles sound, and Hifi Cave, showing videos of same, Iím sure that many open bafflers, have considered trying to do something a like. I know I have.

Kudos to you for giving it the old college try - nothing ventured, nothing gained. Glad you ended up a happy camper in the end.

14  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Today at 02:57:12 
Started by Dan259 | Post by bloodlemons
I'm just going come right out and say it: I had my ZMA for about 4 years before finally landing a CSP3 earlier this year and the combination is phenomenal and I'm (lightly) kicking myself for not going for a CSP3 a long time ago. The ZMA is marketed as not "needing" a preamp -- and it doesn't -- but if you want to hear your amp do things you didn't know it could do... It's a killer pairing.

I have a ZSTAGE too, and it hinted at what a full preamp could do, but there is really no comparison. I loaned my ZSTAGE to a friend as soon as I got the CSP3. It's a great little unit, no doubt, but kinda spendy if you're eventually going to end up with a full preamp anyway.

15  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Space Tech Lab Super Tube Rectifier Arrived!
 on: Today at 02:47:06 
Started by GroovySauce | Post by bloodlemons
What amps are you guys running KT170s in? Will any Decware amps handle anything in that category over KT88?

16  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Space Tech Lab Super Tube Rectifier Arrived!
 on: Yesterday at 23:50:44 
Started by GroovySauce | Post by funch
I meant to type 104. I blame my hyperactive finger for the extra zero. I assigned it to the zero 'cuz it is one, but it still messed up the job.

17  SPEAKER FORUMS / Zen Master Series Loudspeakers / Re: Open Baffle rear firing tweeter
 on: Yesterday at 23:48:03 
Started by Geno | Post by Gilf
I spent not an insignificant amount of time today putzing and listening. Several hours tweaking the tweeters placement, adding and removing resistors, dampening, listening and moving things, and adjusting the W-15 crossover and volume.

Then I took the tweeters off. I unscrewed the upper portion of my baffles and put the lower w-15 section in the corners. The upper plate with the F-15s I arranged in Steveís new impossible speaker design. That led me to the garage and made an adjustable bracket device to dial in the angles, provide upper reflection, and the tried also adding tweeter front facing, and rear facing. Lots of adjusting, listening, switching polarity of the tweeters and subs, more listening, moving, adjusting, listening.

When I finished I put my original baffles back together and hefted them back to their place on the blue masking tape on the carpet. No rear firing tweeters. They sound sublime. The best. The best Iíve ever experienced. The imaging. The punch of the bass. The click on the top end of the kick drum or click of the drum stick on the drum skin that is perfectly aligned with the resonance of the drum, the creamy midrange that is like swimming in saltwater, the layers of cymbals like umbrellas all around me, and the sound stage that is so deep it is 15í beyond the wall.  The best.

Sometimes you have to mess around and waste a day to realize how good it has been all along. Oh well, parts back in the parts bin and a smile on my face. Life is good.  [smiley=peanuts21.gif]

18  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Space Tech Lab Super Tube Rectifier Arrived!
 on: Yesterday at 22:22:09 
Started by GroovySauce | Post by Lon
They are probably both Shuguang. Cheesy

19  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Space Tech Lab Super Tube Rectifier Arrived!
 on: Yesterday at 22:05:15 
Started by GroovySauce | Post by CAJames
Posted by: GroovySauce      Posted on: Today at 13:54:10

CAJames, Your Cossor tubes say LinLai? My Cossor 845s say PSVANE. So bizarre.

Technically the box says it, not the tubes, but yes LinLai. And they are clear glass where yours are smoked, yes? I don't think it is a big deal, my guess is whoever pays the licensing can use the name.

I got a tracking update that my STR landed in LA this morning, so hopefully only a couple more days. I'm getting excited!

20  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Space Tech Lab Super Tube Rectifier Arrived!
 on: Yesterday at 21:54:10 
Started by GroovySauce | Post by GroovySauce
CAJames, Your Cossor tubes say LinLai? My Cossor 845s say PSVANE. So bizarre.

Funch, Do you mean a STR-104 MK2 or a STR-1004? When I spoke with Al he said the only advantage the 1004 has is you can run the 875A rectifiers (shipped with) which the other STRs cannot run.

Bloonlemons, Love the photos! Those 872A are cool looking tubes.

Hearafter, I like the wood trim.

Iím still blown away with how much changing the tubes in the STR changes the sound. I

There are some similarities. Clean, low noise and detail galore are a few of them.

Even in the same family they can sound wildly different. 845s do seem to have the most space and air. I have only tried 1 pair of 211s and 2 pairs of 805s.

I Borrowed my brothers Linlai E-845 the most holographic tube Iíve tried in the STR so far!

Dana, along the same thoughts as CAJames. The STR will give you a change in a different facet vs the change going from UFO to UFO25.

The 805A that are shipped with the STR-1002 are very rich and lush compared to other 845s Iíve tried.

Iíve read other places that the 4 pin jumbo and the xenon and mercury tubes can take 150+ hours to fully open up and show what they can do.

Iíve noticed this with the jumbo tubes I have. The first 10-20 hours are not what they will sound like at 150+

Iím optimistic that Iíll get to try my amp with 4x jumbo tubes in the next week or two when my brothers STR-1003 and STR-104 arrive.

I think there is something to BIG or jumbo tubes. Linlai 6SN7, KT170s and PSVANE KT150s all sound really good. All have an expansive sound stage.

21  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 21:39:50 
Started by Kamran | Post by GroovySauce
I also have two SnubWays. I've had a lot going on so listening time has been extremely limited. I'm also burning in new tubes so lots of variables right now.

Kamran, great write up as usual!

I'm not sure if it's the KT170s or a combo of KT170s and the Snubways. I've never heard my or any other system sound so clean before. Often when things get "clean" they loose some of the soul and life of the music. I'm happy to report that the soul and life are still in the music. The KT170s for sure blow the sound stage open way more than the KT77s I've been running. Based on others reports I'm sure it's a combo of the new tubes and the SnubWays.

The only grip I have at the moment is the aluminum case is large and makes fitting all the plugs and plugins difficult. The case is really nice and if it was twice the price I would still be very impressed.

Between very little listening time and new tubes, I don't have a comment about perceived volume with and without the SnubWays.

Placed an order for the Main Stream.

I'm still waiting for the Air Core Sluggos to become available to replace the copper Sluggos I'm using in most of my components.

22  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Yesterday at 20:58:12 
Started by Dan259 | Post by Dan259
Thank you guys. When my ZBit arrives I will compare with CSP3 or Zbit alone.

23  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Yesterday at 19:21:56 
Started by Dan259 | Post by Dominick
I agree with Lon. †I run a pair of 25th Anniversary modded SE84C+ monoblocks and/or my Torii MKIV 25th into ZSB, a ZBIT, ZRock2, and a CSP2+ and have no complaints. †IMHOÖ.when playing vinylÖthe ZRock2 is a game changer. †When I am playing the monoblocksÖI run the gain out my ZBIT at approximately 70-80%. †With the Torii I run it at like 90-100%. †
The ability to add or take away gain from each of the components, will allow you to tailor the sound to your liking adding more weight to the music.

One thing to think aboutÖ.the electrical/power topology of your DAC is likely going to be different than the ZRock2 and the CSP2+ feeding into the ZBIT. †The internals play a part behind th scenes that we sometimes forget. †I sometimes feel that pushing my †$800 Schiit Bifrost 2 DAC through the XLRís at max voltage gets a bit grainy. †Now if I had a boutique DAC like the Holo May DAC that uses an external torrodial power supply, then I would bet that the voltage will be cleaner signal going into the ZBIT. †Thatís where the PS Audio power plant shines and is truly a great unit and has been on my hit list for a long time now.  We know that Decware doesnít skimp on the internals, but canít vouch for other mainstream companies.  When running multiple Decware components, there is a synergy that takes place due to the extensive voicing that Steve goes through which yields his house sound.  


24  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Yesterday at 19:19:45 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon
Duke Ellington "Copenhagen 1958 (Bonus: After Hours 1950)" Storyville cd

Classic jazz done with Ellington style and grace. My kind of symphonies! It was a good night in Copenhagen, and the sound is decent.

25  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Yesterday at 19:17:23 
Started by Dan259 | Post by CAJames
Posted by: Dan259      Posted on: Today at 11:00:59

Can you correct me, i thought ZMA has pre amp incorporated. Does it differ from Sarahís preamp?

Yes. What Sarah has is different than all the other Decware amps. Lon is correct that ZMA (and all other amps ex Sarah) has essentially a passive preamp that you can use to attenuate the sound. Sarah, for technical reasons related to driving the 300B tube, has an additional tube (preamp) gain stage that no other Decware amp needs.

26  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Yesterday at 19:06:58 
Started by Dan259 | Post by CAJames
Posted by: Dan259      Posted on: Today at 09:51:01

...Is there any advantage using CSP3 in addition to ZBit and ZRock...

I guess to me the question is what are you looking for? I think a lot of posters have all three, or at least a ZRock and preamp of some kind and, like Lon, enjoy having all the knobs to tweak their sound. For me personally, I prefer a more minimalist approach to maximize the transparency in my system and I only have a preamp between my source and UFO25s. So I guess I would answer your question by saying if you're interested in tuning your sound beyond what you can today, and as a practical matter that mostly means by rolling tubes in the CSP3, then absolutely there is an advantage. But if you're happy with where you're at today then you may be better off without a CSP3.

27  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Yesterday at 19:06:12 
Started by Dan259 | Post by Lon
Okay Dan, first off I have to say that I have not heard a ZMA or been in the presence of one. But I am under the impression that the ZMA has gain adjustment but NOT a preamp stage. So you can attenuate the output but there is not an additional gain stage in front of the amplification stage. I may well be wrong, but I have never seen mention of a preamp stage in the ZMA nor is one mentioned on the product page.

I originally got a ZBIT because my DAC put out a measly 1.3 volts in single-ended RCA and I needed to harness the 2.6 volts available from the balanced output. That made a great difference, and since then I've relied on it for a large part of my gain tailoring even though the Mk II version of the DAC I now have has a beefier RCA output. I have noticed no significant loss of transparency using the ZBIT and ZROCK in my system (and in the past a CSP3 or ZTPRE), just a benefit.

28  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Yesterday at 19:00:59 
Started by Dan259 | Post by Dan259
Hi Lon, you are always very helpful and i respect your opinion in every topic. Iím in a long three year list for Sarah 300 B.

Can you correct me, i thought ZMA has pre amp incorporated. Does it differ from Sarahís preamp? So you think when using ZMA it needs a CSP3 against when using Sarah which has  its own preamp?

Actually Iím now using the ZRock, my Zbit is coming next week. As soon as put CSP3 after Zrock I noticed right away an improvement in SQ. That is why Iím wondering if additional ZBit is an overkill.

Well as you said when I get my Sarah in the future. I can get rid of the CSP3.

Your thoughts.

29  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Yesterday at 18:49:29 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon

Cannonball Adderley "Burnin' in Bordeaux: Live in France 1969" Elemental 2 cd set, disc 2

I took the Cryotone 5U4G out, it just is not yet cutting it, and put in the Zenith 5U4G in, instant relief.

30  AUDIO FORUMS / Reviews / Re: Zen In The Rocktopusís Garden
 on: Yesterday at 18:20:19 
Started by LiquidBlue | Post by LiquidBlue
Thank you all! I appreciate the kind words and feedback!

HK, funny about friends and how their paths differ. Was something I wanted to post about, having good direction. Also, reminds me of a funny story I thought I'd share. I was recently visiting friends and family back east. My friends wife is always scared when I come over and talk music, because she thinks he's gonna want to buy something big. I told her there can be huge improvements made with little to no money. They have a dedicated listening room, but it's in the early stages with setup and treatment. One night I came over. We sipped some bourbon and I showed him how to align the cartridge with a protractor. We then moved his listening seat and speakers around. He was amazed with the results. About an hour later his wife walked into the room, mumbled something about the speakers being out into the room. We told her to have a seat and put on Crime of the Century. Her response, "WOW...WOW...OMG! OK you need to mark where these speakers are now and push them back when we're not using them".

...It's the small victories... † Cheesy

31  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Yesterday at 17:59:33 
Started by Dan259 | Post by Lon
I'll say this: don't worry about "degrading" the signal. All these differing gain sources add density and influence how detail is heard and digested, and do not degrade the signal--in my opinion and experience.

I'm using a ZBIT and a ZROCK2 with the SEWE300B which has its own preamp stage. I was using a CSP3 with all the mods or a ZTPRE with this amp and removed it because I did not need the preamp input as I was only using one source and the SEWE300B preamp section is FANTASTIC. But if I had a ZMA without that preamp secion. . . I think I would very much enjoy one of the Decware preamps behind the ZBIT and ZROCK2 and into the ZMA. I really like to tailor the sound with the differing gain stages and their presentation shaping abilities.

32  AUDIO FORUMS / Classifieds / For sale: ZMA - Zen Mystery Amp / Cryotone tubes
 on: Yesterday at 17:56:59 
Started by Nightrunner | Post by Nightrunner
Full 25th Anniversary mods - XLR input (also RCA of course). †Great condition, incredible sound. †I continue to love my 25th Anniversary amp (SE84UFO25) but am now experimenting with some Audio Research gear for different perspective. †Will include full set of original tubes from Decware, also very low hours (the Cryotone tubes have less than 50 hours total time). †Built Nov 2022, I purchased from original owner and had full "once over", test-to-spec, by Decware in Spring of 2023 when I bought it - serial #094. †Also includes first Decware premium power cord, the DHC-1 (originally $170), and Decware RCA Silver Reference interconnects (0.5M, originally $209), no cost. †
Will sell amp and tubes at 10% below original Decware + Cryotone retail price or best offer.
Thank you -

Mark Shaffer
(831) 915-1134

P.S. - Wasn't able to post photos but will be happy to show them if you contact me via email or phone. †Also have the Decware invoice from their test-to-spec when I bought it.

33  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 17:56:32 
Started by Kamran | Post by bloodlemons
Lon --

Interesting. OK, based on your experience I will start with one graphene in each of my Sorcers and maybe a third to swap into the CSP3 or ZP3 and see how that goes. I have copper, Super, and Super-Duper to mix and match with after that. It's tempting to put them into everything but that definitely starts to get expensive...

34  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 17:51:32 
Started by Kamran | Post by Lon
I've moved Sluggos around (including silver hollow ones not marketed by Verafi) and have settled on these in these locations:

Graphene in my PS Audio P15 regenerator
High Purity Copper in my PS Audio DirectStream DAC Mk II
Super Duper in my Decware SEWE300B

35  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock3
 on: Yesterday at 17:51:01 
Started by Dan259 | Post by Dan259
Hi, I would like to ask your opinion regarding using CSP3 with Zbit and ZRock. Is there any advantage using CSP3 in addition to ZBit and ZRock? I think the ZBit and ZRock increased the line voltage already and adding a CSP3 is duplication and unnecessary adding components which further degrades the signal path. Iím not fun of using headphones too.

I really appreciate your take on this combination. BTW Iím using ZMA as my amp and ZSB with remote control to take inputs between Digital and Vinyl that is being sent to ZRock. Analog Vinyl records improves a lot with ZRock3

Thank you

36  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 17:49:39 
Started by Kamran | Post by Hearafter
Kamran- Thanks for such a thorough review on the Snubway! †My headline on the Snubway is ďDittoĒ. I am experiencing many of the the same results and my much abbreviated highlights on the Snubway are: Quiet blacker background, clearer details and separation of instruments, hearing subtle background instruments I have not heard prior, more 3D and holographic- music comes out into the room and seems to surround me more, with less noise I play at a lower volume to reach my preferred listening level at 60-70db. †I certainly did not expect this! †Looking forward to Main Stream🤪

37  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Sub for SE84UFOS
 on: Yesterday at 17:31:49 
Started by beaufleuve | Post by beaufleuve
thanks for all of these ideas. down with the flu but will be looking into them

38  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 17:15:07 
Started by Kamran | Post by bloodlemons
Well, that makes sense. Thanks!

I'm not sure how many Graphene Sluggos to order. Do any of you have a preferred location in your system for the graphene? I'm currently running Super-Duper Sluggos in all of my components.

39  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 17:14:32 
Started by Kamran | Post by johnnycopy
Mark you mention Peter Madnick in your post regarding design of the Main Stream. Is this the Peter that was formerly with Denneson, Audio Alchemy, and the Constellation Audio head engineer?

If so this is an exceptional mind/background that is collaborating on your new product, but actually I would expect nothing less given your own background, contacts, and the impacts you have made in Audio along your journey.


40  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: Classical Music Thread
 on: Yesterday at 16:30:56 
Started by CAJames | Post by CAJames
Dom, I suspect my box is physical media only. If you are going to listen a disc at a time you might try one of the "favorites"


I'm very interested in the sonatas on piano, I'll check out Colombo. Thanks for the tip!

In the mean time I have Mikhail Pletnev.

16/44 FLAC download.

41  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 15:52:40 
Started by Kamran | Post by Tony

There may be more than one way to place the order, but when I purchased the Graphene Sluggo I went through Damien Norwick,  sales.verafiaudio@gmail.com

42  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 15:42:55 
Started by Kamran | Post by bloodlemons
I finally noticed that the Graphene Sluggos are up on the Verafi site. The Positive Feedback article on the same says that If you're a current SDFB owner and would like to upgrade to the Graphene option, you'll be able to order one for 20 percent off the listed prices. Does anyone here know how to access that discount through the Verafi order form?

43  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: Classical Music Thread
 on: Yesterday at 15:41:09 
Started by CAJames | Post by Dominick
In staying with ScarlettiÖ.I found this album from Ross that Iím playing now. For some reason I had a difficult time finding your album, so this one was the closest I could find. I also did find the 555 Sonatas done on the piano by Claudio Colombo, which is q a nice piece. †

44  SPEAKER FORUMS / Zen Master Series Loudspeakers / Re: Open Baffle rear firing tweeter
 on: Yesterday at 15:14:31 
Started by Geno | Post by Gilf
Sorry, I see I missed a few posts over the weekend and my comments about L-pad and attenuation amounts were out of context.

Iím really liking the rear firing tweeters in their current configuration with the F-15s. Thanks again for pointing this out.

45  AUDIO FORUMS / General Discussion and Support / Re: Snubway by Verafi
 on: Yesterday at 15:14:21 
Started by Kamran | Post by verafi
Good Morning

Thanks to all of you guys - WOW!


Tour de Force review comments - thank you ever so much


Read your last post with great interest and excitement

Sharing (Main Stream) is Caring - hang on to your hat Smiley

So much to say to all of you but time is super short this morning

Many thanks as always


46  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Yesterday at 13:42:29 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon
Al Cohn, Billy Mitchell, Dolo Coker, Frank Butler "Night Flight To Dakar + Xanadu In Africa" Elemental Music 2 cd set, disc 1 ("Night Flight to Dakar")

47  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Yesterday at 13:03:28 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon
Miles Davis "Bitches Brew" Columbia 2 LP set, "Pharaoh's Dance," Record 1 side A.

My original album bought when I was a senior in high school.

Followed by

Jimi Hendrix "First Rays of the New Rising Sun" 2024 2 LP, record 1

Damn this sounds good.

48  SPEAKER FORUMS / Zen Master Series Loudspeakers / Re: Open Baffle rear firing tweeter
 on: Yesterday at 12:41:16 
Started by Geno | Post by Palomino

49  SPEAKER FORUMS / Zen Master Series Loudspeakers / Re: Open Baffle rear firing tweeter
 on: Yesterday at 12:15:29 
Started by Geno | Post by Geno
Good morning Tom.

What tweeters are you using?

50  AUDIO FORUMS / Music / Re: What's spinning?
 on: Yesterday at 11:55:31 
Started by Lon | Post by Lon
Grateful Dead "Mars Hotel" Mobile Fidelity Lab SACD

Looking forward to the 50th Anniversary release at the end of the week.