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Everyday use (Read 5488 times)
Bona
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Everyday use
08/17/17 at 23:25:32
 
I just purchased a pair of Zu Audio Omen loudspeakers. My plan is to use them to replace my surround sound system with a higher quality 2 channel setup. I use the system for everyday TV watching, movies, as well as, music. Based on everything I've read, and the high sensitivity (97db) of the speakers, the SE84UFO amp would be good for the job. I've never had a tube amplifier before and have a couple of questions.
1.) Is it practical to use a tube amp for this role?
2.) Am I correct that the pairing of the SE84UFO and the Zu's is good. If not, any other suggestions.
3.) I understand that tube amps run hot, but how hot to ambient temperature of the room?
4.) How long do the tubes last. I know things are variable, but a ballpark hours would be great. Would like to rough out the yearly operating cost.
5.) At first, I will not have a dedicated DAC and will use my Plasma TV (Pioneer KURO) analog out. Will the line level out be correct as input to the amp?
Any other advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Lon
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #1 - 08/18/17 at 00:54:16
 
Welcome Bona!

1) Yes, I do this every day, Decware is great for music and TV and movie audio!
2) I don't have experience with Zu or other high efficiency speakers but others here swear that the match is wonderful.
3) In my experience the heat is not an issue, especially not a little Zen amp.
4) I run my amps almost every day and about 8 hours at least the weekdays. Power tubes last me a year to a year and a half, input tubes three or four years, rectifiers longer.
5) Likely the line level out will be sufficient.

Here's hoping you soon join us in Decware audio bliss!
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JOMAN
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #2 - 08/18/17 at 02:43:40
 
Hey Bona,

I have a SE84UFO2 paired with Omega S3HOXRS and am absolutely thrilled with the combo.  I have not heard it with the Zu however.  I'd recommend that you talk to Steve.  

I do have the Pioneer Kuro. (Love it too). I feed the video from a OPPO BDP103D via HDMI and the audio out of the OPPO via good SPDIF/WBT RCA into my ZDSD.  The SPDIF cable is silver with silver WBT RCA's.

Like you, I didn't start there.  Originally I had an earlier OPPO model and fed the audio out of its DAC.  That was OK but not in the same league as what I have now.

So if your willing to start with the line outs of the Kuro, which probably will work, as Lon pointed out, but dodn't judge the SE84UFO2 on that set up alone.  This is a BIG/LITTLE amp, feed it from a decent source eventually, and I think you will surprised at the end result.  

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Tripwr1964
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #3 - 08/18/17 at 12:20:22
 
thats what i have been doing all summer too.
ufo2/betsys/alpha15a

i don't get a crazy level of volume, but more than enough for 95% of my needs.

i use it as ht and 2ch listening.  now i have a pile of midfi ht shit in the corner!  haha
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jorgen
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #4 - 08/18/17 at 15:04:11
 
Yes you should be plenty happy with speaker and amp combo, not LOUD but plenty sound spl for everyday use.

The heat should not be any big issue with ufo2 amp.

I have a spare set of tubes at all times, they don't cost much, but you can choose to buy pretty expensive ones with some sonic advantages, but the stock tubes will satisfy. If they last three months they will last a long time, some report 5-10k hours. No worries there either.

I would invest in a cheap DAC if in your situation, big difference compared to the one in your TV and in most CD players (that isn't quite expensive)

It's a pretty amazing amp for the cost, and even haven't heard the ZU speakers I've read good things about the combo

Good luck with taking a decision
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Bona
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #5 - 08/18/17 at 21:50:00
 
Thank you everyone for the quick responses and help. Looks like my plan isn't crazy  :) and should work out fine. I think I'll put a DAC on my list of things to get.
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Bona
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #6 - 08/22/17 at 03:49:37
 
What do you guys think of using a Schiit Bitfroast DAC with this setup? I was also thinking of the Schiit Saga Preamp. I don't think it's necessary but it would add source select and remote volume control. But not sure if the preamp would negatively affect the sound quality. Thanks again and any ideas welcome.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #7 - 08/22/17 at 04:44:50
 

The Chicagoland Decware guys have played with Shiit DACs - and I think we all liked them. I think we're split 50/50 as to who likes preamps or not.

I have a 20 year old Zen amp that's been updated with UFO mods, and I have a ZMA, and I prefer both straight from the source, assuming the source has a good amount of voltage to drive the input section well.

Personally I'm a fan of detail, and being close to the music, so any DAC you get that's "honest" sounding without being edgy, will go well with the Decware amps.
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Tripwr1964
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #8 - 08/23/17 at 18:47:30
 
i have a bifrost 4490 feeding my ufo2
and a bifrost multibit feeding my CSP3

love them both!
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CSP3 25yr, CAD 120s MKII, Sunfire Signature600, Sota Star Sapphire, SME309, Hana SL, JC3+, Schiit bifrost multibit, CXC, MG1.6QR w/ ext xo & mye stands, OB Augies. herbies iso, VH audio flavor diy pwr cords, Beden 8402 & Dueland IC's,
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stone_of_tone
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Re: Everyday use
Reply #9 - 08/24/17 at 03:46:55
 
Bona, like LR, I prefer running my ZMA direct with a good amount of voltage to the ZMA from my ZDSD DAC with Steve's output stage.

Like trip though, I do use a Pre occasionally, via my ARC Line Stage.

I had a Schiit Saga for a couple weeks in my System. I will tell you for $300.....it was one hell of a Pre with remote. Obviously, not my ARC....but pretty damn good what the Schiit guys are offering for that little. You can try it for 15 days I think it is....their trial period..... .
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