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Great Amp's & Great Service (Read 19292 times)
stone_of_tone
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Great Amp's & Great Service
02/09/17 at 19:50:40
 
ZMA being fixed.

My ZMA took a surge and you can read what happened below from Steve. It can happen...... .

Oh, I so wanted to put the backlit lights in the meter's!

But, with the insurance + shipping to Decware, the return freight and my PAC-S's are ready to ship and I have to pay for......I did not get the backlit's. Plus, I might need new KT66's.....but maybe not.... . Look forward to testing those puppies. I think my dual triode 6922's are fine.....from what I could assess at the time-I still ran her. I have some other expenses too, coming up. So, those that get the backlit meter's, don't rub it in.  :D

All good. I'll have my seasoned Zen Mystery Amp back in due time.

Thanks again Steve for your attention to this matter and giving me peace of mind.



Hi Larry,

Amp tested perfectly fine, however the meters did not.  Two of the meters had lost their calibration causing them to read faulty. Starting in Jan 1st 2017 all the meters in Decware amplifiers are being disassembled and fully rebuilt by Decware before being installed into the amps.  Part of the rebuild process includes tighter calibration and an upgraded resistor which can handle many times the current over a stock one.  This results in better sound, which is why we have incorporated it into all new Decware amplifiers that use meters.  

We will be making this meter upgrade available for any pre-existing Decware amplifiers in April or May of this year.  The price will be $100 + $25 per meter.

Also, optionally we can while quantities last, replace the meters with Decware Rebuilt Meters  that have lights.  These warm backlit meters can be installed for $100 + $50 per meter.

Please feel free to copy this information into the forum.  

I am rebuilding all 4 of your meters at no charge.  If you would rather have the lighted meters, it would be $200.

Thanks,

Steve
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #1 - 02/09/17 at 20:04:23
 
Far as Benchmark goes, if you followed my Thread about it. Rory, was very professional about the situation. He understood, since my Amp took the surge the moment I engaged the DAC1 with power to my ZMA....I can't trust running it again (very unscientific on my part-I know), even though the unit checked out fine back at Benchmark in Syracuse. I did decline getting another unit.

The resistor(s) was/were probably worn enough, that it was going to happen with the next Pre unit of any kind, I might have tried. However, I'm to reticent to have tried again with a Benchmark refurbished unit. End of Story.
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Lon
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #2 - 02/09/17 at 20:04:37
 
Good news Larr, and you got express attention and should have the amp back soon. Whew!
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Matchstikman
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #3 - 02/09/17 at 20:23:41
 
I got my Rachael in December, 2016.  Dang.

As it is, I'm not sure what to do with the meter.  I mean, can I move it around?  Does it tell the time?  Can it predict the weather?   Heck, what would it cost me to remove the dang things?    I gather the most it does it tell me one side is better than the other, right?
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #4 - 02/09/17 at 20:38:19
 
To funny Match. I can picture having a beer or two and staring at that meter with ya.   Grin

For the ZMA:
When you get a new Quad....you get to see how good they really are matched from the vendor you choose.
During there life, you can bias and BALANCE them as they age/ware.....for optimal performance.....down to the last drop.
.....and you know when it's time to let them go too.
I would not be without them thar meter's.
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Matchstikman
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #5 - 02/09/17 at 21:01:03
 
Can you bias on the ZMA?  If you can bias on a Rachael I don't know how to do it.

Stone, I just don't see you hanging on to a tube until it wears out.  Heck, if I was the ZMA I'd be afraid to be sold at any moment.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #6 - 02/09/17 at 21:12:09
 
Grin Grin ....oh, yeah you can bias and balance the ZMA. No, you can't with the Rachael. So, yes I did wear out my initial Quad from Steve. Well, long in the tooth for me they were....maybe not other's.

Grin, No, not sold at any moment! She/ZMA, is to harmonically awesome and true to tone and texture, to ever get rid of.

Can I Listen to a Rega Elex R or Bel Canto C7R DAC/Amplifer = yes. However, they are not my Zen Mystery Amplifier.

Yes, thanks Lon.....very pleased Steve opened her up right away...... .
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Archie
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #7 - 02/09/17 at 22:26:40
 
Now I've got Meter Worry!   Tongue

Stone, I've got lights in my meters and the left side lasted maybe 6 months before going out for good and the right generally work, but not always.  They were cool but not worth the $200 you saved.

I don't remember exactly what things looked like when I had my ZMA open but I'm hoping that meters might be self-service-replaceable if they go on the blink.  I think they may have threaded studs with nuts for the wires.
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Matchstikman
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #8 - 02/09/17 at 23:53:27
 
I don't think the installed meters are necessary.  It would have been better if I could have a multimeter to test the amp.
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Archie
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #9 - 02/10/17 at 01:28:48
 
Quote:
I don't think the installed meters are necessary.


Not sure if this pertains to the Rachael or ZMA but I wouldn't want to be without meters on the ZMA.  On the Rachael I would guess they'd be nice to help insure matched tubes, check tube strength and watch for the clipping limit.
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Lon
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #10 - 02/10/17 at 10:37:13
 
The only component I have meters on is the Taboo Mk III I use as a headphone amp in my only other system. They are totally superfluous and I probably would like the amp better without them. . . .
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #11 - 02/10/17 at 16:58:21
 
Yes, as I said in my reply #4, being able to BIAS and BALANCE the quad of Output Power Tubes is king. I would not want to wonder how well they are matched when they arrive new and wonder about their status/life as they progress with 100, 200, 300....900 hours on them-you get the picture.....glad to have them!

Yes Archie, I thought the same thing; what if they burn out? Anyway, as I said in my first post, with the round trip expense of the repair on my ZMA and my PAC-S's were ready-I had to pay for, and shipping charge on those too.....I can't afford the backlit meter's.

Archie, I would not get meter worry. It would take one heck of a jolt to do to yours, what happened to mine. If it ain't broke...... . Also, you might be right Archie about doing the meter's yourself with threaded nuts and wires too.

I called Sarah and paid the Bill(s)!
Thanks again Steve. The new robust meter's and the stronger resistor(s).....will make her damn near bullet proof. I asked Steve if I could tube test the quad that was in her/ZMA at the time of the surge....he said no problem. Here's hoping my KT66's/right channel pair survived.

My quad of 6922's at the time....I think are fine..... with the 0A3's. I was able to run the ZMA post Benchmark surge....and the 6922's and 0A3's were fine. So were the KT66's until the Bias ran away on the right side. Knowing now, that resistor was failing to full fail, after the hit/surge.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #12 - 02/10/17 at 17:08:42
 
https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1365130519

The Meter's look threaded Archie. However, I can't tell, but the resistor's for each side, probably need to be silver soldered.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #13 - 02/10/17 at 17:19:07
 

Match - if you want something for only occasional use/testing with your multi-meter, then this is the kind of thing I use to bias my guitar amps.

https://www.amazon.com/Eurotubes-Bias-Probe-Octal-Tubes/dp/B019PAVXPG/ref=sr_1_1...

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Matchstikman
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #14 - 02/10/17 at 17:24:34
 
Lonely Raven, that's a nice tool to have.
I would have preferred a $25 tool over an expensive meter than does the same thing.

Just my 2 cents.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #15 - 02/10/17 at 17:26:44
 
Yes, nice NOT needing to use an multi-meter for the ZMA!

Cry Cry,  I'm out of town until the end of February....so I can't receive my ZMA and Pills in next week. Steve, DeVon and Sarah, are gracious to hold my ZMA and ship later for me. I'm visiting my mom and dad in South Texas. My mom has Alzheimer's onset. As my mom would say,  "you're coming to have some fun too"!  I will.

PS-nobody try to rob my house....I have at least one or two students here studying at any given time.   Grin  Plus, their is nothing to steal, cause' the ZMA is not here...... . Cheesy Cheesy
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Archie
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #16 - 02/10/17 at 17:35:35
 
Stone,

I think you're right.  I'll try not to worry at this point.

I was looking over this same thread yesterday.  It's a trip down memory lane!   Smiley  It all makes a lot more sense now though, 3 years down the road.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #17 - 02/10/17 at 17:49:39
 
Archie, I know right? To think it will be 4 years in a couple months, when Steve started the Thread for this magnificent beast that is the ZMA. IT does make more sense now...... . I agree.

Time fly's and why I'm taking a little extended time to go to South Texas........as well.  The modicum of wisdom I have obtained over the years has informed me....do it today....not tomorrow.
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Archie
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #18 - 02/10/17 at 18:10:48
 
https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1409130590/30

Replies #41 & #57:  These might be better pictures of the meter connections.  I only see threaded connections -- so far.

BTW, this whole thread will blow ZMA owner's minds!   Tongue
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #19 - 02/10/17 at 19:29:04
 
Yes, you might be in luck Archie if you DIY. But, once again the resistor's? Once again, I would not worry.

Hey, you ever notice how Solid State reviews harken to Tube~
soundstaging and dimensional capabilities. It always cracks me up.
So, I ACTUALLY OWN A TUBE AMP (ZMA).....for just these capabilities. Plus, the ZMA does not roll off or have softer top octaves. ....and of course the ZMA is NOT Hi-Fi like and the ZMA IS more totally natural.

The awesome balls/power of these Bel Canto Mono's though I like (BC is pushing the Envelope for Switching Amps). However, they could not replace the ZMA for me, as per my above mentioned and tube rolling. You can read between the lines that the Bel Canto will come up short  - but close.
http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/bel-canto-ref600m-power-amplifier/?page...


So yes, new and potential ZMA owner's should read the ZMA/Steve's Thread. It is mind blowing and all true to the EAR.
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Archie
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #20 - 02/11/17 at 19:15:14
 
Quote:
Yes, you might be in luck Archie if you DIY. But, once again the resistor's? Once again, I would not worry.


Stone, I'm not seeing the resistors.  There is one inside the meter but that's not the one you're talking about, right?
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ZLC
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #21 - 02/11/17 at 20:30:44
 
I was assuming the resistor's were external near the meter's. Heck, if they are internal in the meter's, in the rebuilt new better calibrated meter's..... ? By all means, if this makes them plug and play (screws to the wires and mounting) sent to you....you should do it.

My ZMA returns Wednesday.....ships on Monday. I called Sarah and  she said Jake will definitely get it out on Monday.  Steve had it all done and I missed the cut for UPS when I called at 4 pm on Friday (yesterday). I rearranged my schedule to be home for it. My UPS Choice acct, won't hold at my UPS store. I need to be home..... . Only two business day transit there and two back (safety catch on Thursday...I'm home too). But no reason it should not be here on Wednesday....weather is good and I'm glad I'm a two business day transit here and there....some less wear and tear.

I was having them hold it....but I'm able to be here to get her back in/home. Thanks again Decware gang for the service and willing to hold it/much appreciated....but I need it back now.  Cool.
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Archie
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #22 - 02/12/17 at 01:03:34
 
https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1365130519/75

I think the resistors are shown in Post #77.  This is the post in which Steve showed us he was human.  D'oh!
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ZLC
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #23 - 02/12/17 at 06:16:05
 
Well, come on now. Steve was only being humble amoung Gods.

Good call Arch, you ain't jest in' .  You did re-read the whole thread.  ;D
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #24 - 02/17/17 at 00:21:08
 
My ZMA has retuned and Back in the Saddle she is ~ and running beautifully.

Of course, I installed the quad of KT66's that were in at the time knowing from Steve I can tube test them. They (1, 2, 3 or all 4) did take the surge and had "run away" bias, pretty quickly and I shut it off and this time with the new, probably damn near bullet proof resistor's, in the meter's/no issues = No worries-confident it was only this quad of output tubes damaged when the resistor(s) blew in the meter(s), and the input or inverter tubes might still be good..... .

So, I had my old matched quad of KT66's/that came with the Amp. I replaced these at 22 months with approx., 2300 to 2400 hundred hours on them. So, even though a little long in the tooth for output tubes...they should have enough life in them to bias correctly and play until I get a new quad in..... .

Yes, they did bias perfectly and my input Ediswan's and my inverter Tungsram's (that were in at the time of the hit) are just fine too.....along with my NOS RCA 0A3's. The ZMA sounds great even with the old KT66's. The harmonic's/tone-texture, dimensionality and REAL is back baby! ...but, I do need to get a new quad.

Thank you Steve, Sarah, DeVon and the Decware crew for getting my ZMA back to me so quickly.

Also to note~Steve - special thanks on the backlit meter's! That was a nice surprise, the volume pot adjustment, plug in the back (near left input that was missing) and my three knobs are nicer too (volume and two balance). Plus, the plastic protection and your card with a new My Name and serial number tag....the original was a little smeared....nice touches~thanks.

And last but not least: The robustness and quality of the new meters/Western Electric are awesome. I like them to the eye/increments better too.

The Zen Mystery Amplifier is truly a masterpiece of Class A musicality.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #25 - 02/17/17 at 00:51:23
 
Also of note: I spent as mentioned in the Sign up/Pills Thread....quite a few hours yesterday and today ....and even though mostly passive-I liked what the PAC-S did going into the Solid State I was using.

So, I'm at my 4th hour back with the ZMA Listening. But, the first hour I left the PILLS S in. They seemed to be trying to hard to expand things if that makes sense. However, with Solid State and all else equal in my System...they made an improvement.

1) I need to get a new Quad of KT66's and put 30 hours on them first and then put my PAC-S's back in.
2) Play some of my compressed not so good stuff with them...that they are intended for..... .
3) Also, bring downstairs to my other Solid State Rig.

I'm gald I got them yesterday without my ZMA (Serendipity)....and found out what they can do with Solid State.....most encouraging!

Anyway, chow for awhile!

I'm off to catch a plane (Red Eye) to party in San Antonio, Austin, Waco (Chip and Joanna Gaines' place/Magnolia-Silo's), Corpus Christi, South Padre and Mission/McAllen, Texas. One big clockwise circle. ......and as Stevie Ray Vaughan did say: "Where the Sun Shines every day".   Cheers!
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waveydavey
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #26 - 02/17/17 at 02:01:20
 
Good news on the quick fix time on your ZMA.. Did you get a report on what had happened to it, and what was fried and needed fixing etc?
Thanks!
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #27 - 02/17/17 at 02:40:24
 
Hey wavey, just a resistor in a meter......it can happen. Steve put in some bullet proof ones and new sweet awesome robust meter's. Stone is a very happy camper!    :D Smiley

......okay, back to packing.....turns out, I don't have to be to the airport till 10 am, go figure......back to the music....to heck with packing..... . Cheesy
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Decware ZDSD DAC
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Decware ZMA/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #28 - 02/17/17 at 04:14:51
 
These new meter's are sweet..."all lit up"....thanks again Steve.
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Room Treats-M.Green & mine
Sony TPort
Illuminati D60
Shunyata Z-Alpha DigPcord
Decware ZDSD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030
XLOProPcord
Decware ZMA/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified
Kimber PK10 Palladian from wall
to PS Audio P3
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SonicSeeker
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #29 - 02/17/17 at 18:32:32
 
Great to have it back I am sure.
Tell Chip and Joanna High Smiley
My family and I are huge fans, plan on heading down that way in June.
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Great Amp's & Great Service
Reply #30 - 02/27/17 at 21:06:40
 
Back from vacation and found some time to enjoy my ZMA today (in between paying bills and back to work tomorrow)! She sounds better than ever, even with my old original quad of KT66's in right now.......(back-lit meter's ~ rock steady).

SS, Magnolia/Silo's was fun. Quite the complex they have there-worth the visit. It was chilly last Monday when I was there. I then headed straight for Mission Texas where it was 95 degree's and sat under a palm tree with my Cerveza's ........... Cool
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Room Treats-M.Green & mine
Sony TPort
Illuminati D60
Shunyata Z-Alpha DigPcord
Decware ZDSD DAC
Kimber Select KS1030
XLOProPcord
Decware ZMA/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified
Kimber PK10 Palladian from wall
to PS Audio P3
  IP Logged
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