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Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp. (Read 5266 times)
Morganc
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Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
07/23/12 at 04:03:01
 
I just picked up a used Zen 84C and have a few questions about it.  I changed out the tubes to NOS and am loving it right now Grin.

My amp says it was manufactured in 2005, serial number 608,  though when I opened the amp it has a date on a little block of wood of 2007 signed S.D. And I assume that is Steve Correct?  On the outside of the amp it says SE 84C EX (the EX is in a different color and I am assuming that Steve added it in 2007.).

I was going inside to see how many and what size caps I would need and there are many caps inside.  Two pairs that say 0.33 and a few others in a larger size.

The question I have is:
1. Should I just send this amp to Steve for the V Cap upgrade and the Hazen Grid Mod all together?  
2.  What does the EX lettering mean?  
3.  How close sonically is this unit to current production?  
4.  Any idea on cost for this level of upgrade with the Mod and the V Caps?

Thanks
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Lon
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #1 - 07/23/12 at 04:20:34
 
This should answer your question about the EX specification:

https://www.decware.com/paper52.htm

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Morganc
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #2 - 07/23/12 at 06:49:40
 
So since I have 8 Ohm speakers with a crossover, albeit a small crossover, At 98 dB Sensivity, the EX mod would not be in my best interest correct?  

I have noticed in certain passages a bit of distortion at moderately high volumes, though not at the volume where clipping is occurring.  I'm assuming this is due to this mod?  I originally thought it was due to bad tubes as it has gotten a lot better with a change to different tubes....and may have disappeared all together.....hmmmmmmm
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #3 - 08/22/12 at 06:46:31
 
Morganc, Sorry to threadjack, but are you enjoying your Pendragon's?
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Sean
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #4 - 12/15/21 at 20:53:05
 
First time post. Sorry to dredge up a super old topic, but it's relevant to my situation. I got the Decware bug a month or two ago and when I saw the wait list, I thought there's no way to satisfy my curiosity with that wait time. Not complaining, but I was at a crossroads with my current system. So I kept an eye out for a used model to tide me over and help decide if it was for me. I picked up a SE84C-EX. Of all the models to get, this one is probably not for me after reading Steve's white paper on the mod. Ack. Well, if it didn't work out I could probably get out of it for little to no loss.

I recently got a set of Tekton Pendragons with the 7 tweeter array, an upgrade over my Lore's. The Pens are "rated" at 95db, there is talk Eric inflates his specs. I was using a Jolida 1102 amp just wasn't working out. It's a 20ish w push pull currently using e84l's. At lower volumes it was small and non-detailed sounding. By the time the sound opened up nicely, the volume was too high (Yeah, I just wrote that, volume too high!). I listen mostly after the kids go to bed. If I turn it up too loud I have two monsters and an angry wife to deal with. So I keep it moderate and that seems to suit the SE84c-ex perfectly, even at very low volumes the SE84 has loads of detail. So far, so good. Now, if I turn the amp up past 1 o'clock on the dial it is pretty loud and begins to distort, but I rarely go to 12 even when no one is home. Still good so far and if I need louder, I have other amps. Also, my room isnt very great with high volumes. I have treated the room, but not for super high volumes. And because my listening space is my wife's daytime work space.

I sent an email to Decware and haven't got a response. Pretty sure they have close to 1,000 other things they're working on. I'm really looking to see if anyone has any insight on using this amp with the EX mod with my current speakers. So far everything has met my expectations. Should I leave well enough alone and just enjoy it or should I really look into unmodding it? Ride it out as is until I get a new model? I guess my big question is, am I missing out on something even better because of this EX mod?

One other note, This amp my have originally been a 240v version, then got the 120v EX mods.
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Donnie
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #5 - 12/15/21 at 22:12:12
 
Sean,

First of all welcome here.

Second, If you like what you are hearing, don't worry about it and just listen.
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Archie
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #6 - 12/15/21 at 23:57:51
 
I barely scanned the White Paper but a previous post mentioned distortion.  Unless you are putting high voltage (over 2 volts) into the amp, it shouldn't distort at full volume, generally.  Definitely pursue an answer with Steve.  I know he specs some amps for 4 to 8 ohm speakers and differently for 16 ohm speakers.
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Sean
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #7 - 12/17/21 at 00:30:58
 
Thanks.

I forgot to mention, I think it was the second night I had the amp I had it on, but not playing, while my daughter and I were playing games. I kept hearing something ringing in a high frequency, but barely audible. Turns out the Sovtek 5y3GT was the culprit. After removing the tube and tapping on it, sounded like loose parts rattling around. Replaced it with a 5U4GB and no more annoying ring.

I'm using the amp with a Jolida JD9 phono pre and turntable. The JD9 could be a contributor the distortion, it's a gain monster.

In any event, I'll reach out to Steve/Sarah again.
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Sean
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #8 - 12/31/21 at 16:58:13
 
Steve got back to me, "The EX designation simply set the amplifier up to drive 8 ohms speakers.  The standard version was for 4 ohm speakers so you're probably lucky it worked out that way."

Lucky indeed.

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Sean
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Re: Zen 84C EX: question about my New (to me) amp.
Reply #9 - 05/20/22 at 16:54:09
 
I took a bit of a hiatus from my Decware amp. Why? That "weakest link" thing bit me square in the ass. I was running a Mofi Studiodeck with a AT OC9/III into a Jolida JD9 and then into the SE84. While it sounded good, it was just not right, highs and lows were just not very present. Pulled the SE84 and put my Jolida 1102 back in and things sounded better. I had the thought that maybe the crossover in the speakers was just not compliant with the 2 watt amp.

After running the Jolida a few months a turntable I had rebuilt for a friend had an issue so it came back home for repairs and testing. I needed a spot to test it so I put it in a living room system in place of a Dual 721. About 4 years ago I bought the 721 and tore it completely down. Took about 6-7 months to slowly rebuild it. It wasn't getting much use in the living room so I wanted to give it some use. Pulled the Mofi and put the 721 in its place. Holy moly, the Dual brought back highs and lows. Both the Mofi and Dual have the same OC9 cart. After a couple days of running the 721 I had to hook the SE84 back up. WOW. I have blissfully gotten lost in the music again, I'm not getting to bed on time because "just one more side".

I have no idea where my current weakest link is and I'm 100% content with that. The Mofi is sitting at the end of bench in time out!
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