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25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier (Read 263406 times)
alper_yilmaz
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Posts: 302
Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #750 - 10/19/18 at 19:41:43
 
So, I just put the order for the SE84UFO25!  Now the wait starts!  Am I supposed not to sleep till I receive it?  :)

Upon the tube comments I received here, I asked for the amp to be shipped without the tube complement.  I can always get them at a later stage anyway.  Also, no volume controls for me...  I try to keep it as simple as possible, and I will be driving it with a high-gain preamp anyway, and would like to control the volume from there.

Please keep an eye on the stuff I will be putting on sale on the Classifieds section to finance this.  I will have a TABOO mkIII and a ZBIT on sale.  Also, as time to receive the amp gets closer, my SE84UFO will be available.  Just FYI...

Cheers,

Alper

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Mac Mini with Roon, Rega RP6, Rotel RCD-1070 & Marantz CD6005; Hegel HD30 & Copland DAC215; Decware SE84UFO25, Decware SE34I.2+ & Copland CTA405; ProAc D28, B&W DM630 & Rega RS1; Stein and BlackNoise filters; DH Labs power, interconnect and speaker cables
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JOMAN
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #751 - 10/20/18 at 05:28:45
 
Alper,

As hard as it may be try to get some sleep now, because you may not be able to after you get it!
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pursuitofnow
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #752 - 10/20/18 at 18:44:16
 
Alper, pm'd on the ZBIT.
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Classic Signature | ZP3 | ZSTAGE | DirectStream DAC | ZTPRE | ZBIT | ZROCK2 | SE84UFO3 | Super 3 HO XRS | Deep 8 | D4 | ZSTYX | Uberbuss | Digibuss
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alper_yilmaz
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Posts: 302
Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #753 - 10/20/18 at 20:14:06
 
PM'ed back Jim.  Thanks...

Alper
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Mac Mini with Roon, Rega RP6, Rotel RCD-1070 & Marantz CD6005; Hegel HD30 & Copland DAC215; Decware SE84UFO25, Decware SE34I.2+ & Copland CTA405; ProAc D28, B&W DM630 & Rega RS1; Stein and BlackNoise filters; DH Labs power, interconnect and speaker cables
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Ace-Tone
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6+ years with
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #754 - 10/23/18 at 15:24:26
 
Closing in on 200 hrs on the UFO25.
And... this thing is doing some magic on some LP's that I love but, felt a bit disappointed in the LP's engineering. I expected a bigger badder sound stage that in the past just didn't happen to the degree I expected!
So, last night I spin Genesis "the lamb lies down on broadway" and presto change-o & wahlahhhh a detailed big ballsy presentation with awesome bass with details and depth like I've never heard, but always dreamed of....at last!! Also putting a smile on my face were: WAR "eric burdon declares war" &  Savoy Brown "raw sienna". A smile from ear to ear is a pale description of my enjoyment.
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SE84UFO25, ZP3, Zstage, ZR2, ZSB, DM947 Monoliths 946+mid
VPI-Traveler v2 w/Zephyr MKIIIes.
Cambridge CXC. Schiit Bimby
Audio Envy, RAC-PC's/IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+Spkr wire & jumpers
Blue Circle PLC FX2X0e, Herbies, GIK, PI Audio. Lonely Raven PC
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Lon
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #755 - 10/23/18 at 15:54:32
 
Yes, the amps keep getting better and better. All those caps burn in, settle, and BOOM! These amps are an adventure . . . they engage you the way few other components can or will. Each tube, cable, footer . . . that's all like a kaleidoscope. And recordings you thought you knew are no longer the same.

Now there is just not enough hours in the day.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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alper_yilmaz
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #756 - 10/27/18 at 11:19:57
 
By the way, we can use the 6N1P, 6N2P, 6N5P and any 6922 variety on this as an input tube, right?
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Mac Mini with Roon, Rega RP6, Rotel RCD-1070 & Marantz CD6005; Hegel HD30 & Copland DAC215; Decware SE84UFO25, Decware SE34I.2+ & Copland CTA405; ProAc D28, B&W DM630 & Rega RS1; Stein and BlackNoise filters; DH Labs power, interconnect and speaker cables
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Lon
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #757 - 10/27/18 at 15:15:18
 
Yes! I'm using 7308 in my 25th Anniversary Monoblocks.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Rivieraranch
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #758 - 10/29/18 at 14:53:40
 
You can also use a 6BQ7.
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MINI TORII ANNIVERSARY MODIFIED; SE84UFO; ZSTAGE; MONOLITH SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK2 KAB MODDED TT; ONKYO 6 DISC CD; MARANTZ 2226B; SCHIIT MULTIBIT DAC; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Palomino
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #759 - 10/31/18 at 03:17:37
 
Here is a TIDAL playlist of the songs Steve references in this thread:

https://tidal.com/playlist/7a15fde2-6fbd-4cf9-8741-dbb400361dd5
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 3.5, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Ven Haus DIY Silver ICs, 25th Anniversary Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Zen Styx Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speaker
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MrDerrick
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #760 - 11/03/18 at 23:55:36
 
Finally made up my mind and ordered a SE84UFO25 along with a ZBIT to mate with my ZTPRE.
I can't wait to see how well they power my 107dB 18 ohm horns.
The horns only respond down to 170 Hz, the bottom end is handled by self amplified SUB225 bass units.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #761 - 11/04/18 at 00:02:39
 
Congrats Derrick!  I would love to hear those Avantgarde Omega horns powered by the ZTPRE, ZBIT, and Anniversary Zen.  I can't imagine it being anything other than stunning with the system you are piecing together.  

Those are gorgeous horns and I have always been intrigued by their products, but have not had an opportunity to hear them live.  

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Canary Audio Grand Reference//ZMA//Zen Ultra//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Canary Audio MC-10 Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Tannoy Westminster Speakers
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Ace-Tone
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #762 - 11/10/18 at 22:49:44
 
UFO25 closing in on 300 hours and has settled down to giving day in, and day out, consistent beautiful music. I had asked Steve about upgrading my Monoliths and he said they are fine. He said the ZP3, Zrock2 & Zstage are now the weak links in the chain. Glad he posted the upgrade list.
So, I will start with the ZP3 upgrade first. Then the Zrock2. Zstage will be left as is since system sounds fine without it in the loop. Zrock2 is still needed on those recordings with wimpy bass!!
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SE84UFO25, ZP3, Zstage, ZR2, ZSB, DM947 Monoliths 946+mid
VPI-Traveler v2 w/Zephyr MKIIIes.
Cambridge CXC. Schiit Bimby
Audio Envy, RAC-PC's/IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+Spkr wire & jumpers
Blue Circle PLC FX2X0e, Herbies, GIK, PI Audio. Lonely Raven PC
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Lon
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #763 - 11/10/18 at 23:04:03
 
Ace, yes, this new listing has me wondering how to afford a few upgrades! I think I'll order a new ZROCK2 with all the mods and then use the one I have in my second system. I am thinking of getting my Torii Mk II modded, and then use that in my second system and then sell the Torii Mk III that I have as well and alternate in that system. They both safe fantastic amps but the Mk III should be easier to sell.

And then there's the conditioner. . . . I would like to try one on my analog components, which just happen to total six, matching the outlets. Hmmm. This will spur me to sell guitars and basses and instrument amps. . . I could sell a dozen. . . and still have a dozen! Anyone looking or something in that category. . . Wink

Exciting time for Decware fans! But not for our wallets. . . .
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Ace-Tone
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #764 - 11/11/18 at 00:12:32
 
Hey Lon,

   I hear you on selling instruments to fund audio equip. Since starting my Decware journey nearly 5 years ago I've sold a few of my old classics (guitars - acoustics & electrics) that I never took out of the house anymore. Once the band broke up it was time to get some cash for the Man Cave/ rehearsal room / recording room....now, just an audio man cave/ Decware room.
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SE84UFO25, ZP3, Zstage, ZR2, ZSB, DM947 Monoliths 946+mid
VPI-Traveler v2 w/Zephyr MKIIIes.
Cambridge CXC. Schiit Bimby
Audio Envy, RAC-PC's/IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+Spkr wire & jumpers
Blue Circle PLC FX2X0e, Herbies, GIK, PI Audio. Lonely Raven PC
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Lon
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"Love without
guts is
worthless!"
Philip K. D*ck

Posts: 16914
Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #765 - 11/11/18 at 12:54:01
 
Ace-Tone wrote on 11/11/18 at 00:12:32:
Hey Lon,

   I hear you on selling instruments to fund audio equip. Since starting my Decware journey nearly 5 years ago I've sold a few of my old classics (guitars - acoustics & electrics) that I never took out of the house anymore. Once the band broke up it was time to get some cash for the Man Cave/ rehearsal room / recording room....now, just an audio man cave/ Decware room.

Yes Ace. . . I'm finally readying myself to sell some of my instruments. It's hard! I don't like to part with things and get attached to them. But arthritis is setting in, especially in my left hand, and I just can't/don't play as much as I did before. I have some instruments I'll never sell, but about half of what I have could go away and fund mods for my audio systems. We'll see. I may put a few up for consignment in Cleveland which would save me from advertising and shipping etc. Wish me luck, I've "meant" to do this many times and haven't!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #766 - 11/30/18 at 03:12:12
 

Looking forward to spending some consecutive time with my 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier...  Every time we build one I have to give up my amp for the bench sample to be meticulously duplicated.  Obviously I am going to build myself one so they can just keep it for a bench sample like most of the other amps.  Problem is we've been too busy and after this recent surge of orders I can see the only way I'll get one any time soon is to build it myself during the late evening hours... Just like I did the first one.

I QC'd #38 today.  

So now you know the reason for "Final Listening Room Evaluation" on the build sheet... I have been listening to all of your amps instead of my own, each one for a day or two and then on to the next.

Steve
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JOMAN
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #767 - 12/03/18 at 18:38:20
 
Went in for a knee replacement a couple of weeks ago and for the first time in about three weeks listened to my system.  The shine hasn’t worn off and the UFO25 still stops me dead in my tracks.  I did make one change that I thought would be worthwhile posting about...

My renovation is now complete and in a couple of weeks the system is going int it’s new home.  My Digital Cable wasn’t going to be long enough so I would have to get another.  The cable that I have was made by Take Five Audio with Neotech silver 75 ohm cable and WBT silver 75 ohm RCA’s.  In my opinion it is a good to very good cable but before buying another I thought I would check around and came across the following review: Best Digital Coaxial Cables - Audio Bacon.

Among the cables reviewed a couple caught my attention one of which was Snake River Audio, Boomslang.  A little more than I wanted to spend but it was risk free so I sprung for one and tried it today.  (It did cook for 200 hours before I got it and still needs some burn in)

The reviewer pretty much nailed it in his review so I won’t get into the details other than to say it is replacing my TFA cable.  A couple of noteworthy observations:  In comparison the TFA had a certain treble glare that I didn’t notice until now.  The Boomslang produces beautifully balanced results giving enough of everything with voices and separation that are the best yet in my system.

If your looking at getting a very good digital cable this one is worth putting on a short list and an amp like the UFO25 deserves something like this IMO.



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Lon
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #768 - 12/03/18 at 20:03:49
 
Hope you are recuperating well from your surgery John, and congrats on the Boomslang! Glad it worked out so very well!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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JOMAN
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #769 - 12/03/18 at 22:01:39
 
Hey Lon,

Yes I am, mutch better than expected.  I’m fortunate enough to live close enough to a world class Orthapedic & Arthritic Hospital.  From start to finish the team was outsdanding.  I went in on the 19th and was home on the 21st.  Now I’m walking only using a cane on stairs and to get in and out of the car.

The recuperation involves exercise and a healthy dose of music from my system.  Got the UFO25 just in time!
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Lon
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"Love without
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Posts: 16914
Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #770 - 12/03/18 at 22:41:15
 
Great news! And yeah, these 25th Anniversary amps. . .wow they sound so good!

Was your Take Five Audio the Deluxe version? I think so as I think that's the silver one. I have it and it works really well for me. I'm going to pretend I never heard of your new one. Wink
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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JOMAN
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #771 - 12/03/18 at 23:25:31
 
Yes, it was the Deluxe version.  I have had it for some time and liked it a lot as well.  If I didn’t need a longer cable I probably would not have looked around.  In fact I could have saved a few $$$ because Gene was willing to use the existing WBT RCA’s and put a longer length on.

The “glare” only became evident in direct comparison (damn!) and the fuller or weightier presentation was also evident.  There are still things that in someways I prefer with the TFA, the attack for example is one.

Some things are more obvious with the TFA which made me think that something was missing with the Boomslang.  Then I realized that nothing was missing in fact there was more but presented in a better over all balance.

The difference with the vocals were very obvious favouring the Boomslang.  

I think that the TFA did a slightly better job with soundstage depth and as important as that is to me the balance of the Boomslang won out.  Now I still have to put a few more hours on the Boomslang so we’ll see.

I need to spend more time with the Boomslang but you know when you get this gut feeling and you just know it’s going to stay, and yes I tried to ignore it as well Cry
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JOMAN
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #772 - 12/03/18 at 23:28:22
 
Lon, did I read somewhere that you were setting up a second system??  Ahem....
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Lon
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"Love without
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #773 - 12/03/18 at 23:31:14
 
Yes, I know what you mean, sounds like it's a great cable.

I'd be inclined to move from the TFA if I didn't use the DirectStream Memory Player so much and its HDMI/I2S connection. I use the TFA for my Oppo UDP-205 into the DirectStream DAC and it's always hi-res content and it sounds really good, so good that I won't spend the money now to try to improve it. Later on, if money's there. . . it's possible!

Keep recuperating and enjoy the listening!
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Lon
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"Love without
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worthless!"
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Posts: 16914
Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #774 - 12/03/18 at 23:36:17
 
Ha ha. I've been playing around with a bunch of components in the second system for over three years now, and before that I had two systems in my place, a system at my parents' and a system here which was then my girlfriend's home, now ours.

Don't use a digital output in my second system, go right from a Denon universal player into either the preamp or the amp.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w/25th mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Statement spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3; Oppo UDP-205; VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Crazy Bill the Eel Killer
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #775 - 02/19/19 at 01:38:45
 
Hello all,
just ordered the SE84UFO25. Can't wait. Will be using it to drive my HDTs and my Fostex TH900MKll Sapphire blue cans. MOST excited to get it here.

Question for Steve. What mono pot are you using for the vc/gain function ?

Thanks,          Crazy Bill
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Palomino
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #776 - 02/21/19 at 18:18:52
 
Sounds like a killer combo CB.  

I had some anxiety buying even though I got to listen to the amp by myself (and maybe one other guy) for several hours at Decfest.  Would it be that much better than my Rachael?

Well, over time listening to mine that answer has gone from I think so, to yeah, to oh wow.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 3.5, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Ven Haus DIY Silver ICs, 25th Anniversary Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Zen Styx Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speaker
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #777 - 03/05/19 at 04:02:07
 
oh, wow! Huh   I was waiting for that  ;)
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Steve Deckert
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #778 - 03/05/19 at 04:20:55
 
I can tell you it never gets old... that is its undeniable magic trick.  Every time you listen to one of these amps the experience is new, and to say the very least - pleasant.

I love mine!  In a bug-out situation I would take my amp, my gun to defend it and rations to survive long enough to keep listening to it ; )
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lazb
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #779 - 03/05/19 at 23:19:00
 
Yeah, after all those lost years and dollars messing with "audiophile" equipment and finally discovering, too late in life, DECWARE, I am lamenting not having enough years left to "listen" to it and enjoy the music while I am at it! So my heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to Steve and his family and crew!   Smiley
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Palomino
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #780 - 03/05/19 at 23:21:54
 
That post is a little old now.  Things have only gotten better!  Very addicting.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 3.5, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, Ven Haus DIY Silver ICs, 25th Anniversary Zen, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Zen Styx Speaker Wire, DIY Big Betsy and Crystal 10 Open Baffle Speaker
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Ace-Tone
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6+ years with
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Loving it!!!

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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #781 - 03/07/19 at 23:44:59
 
UFO25 really broke thru (consistency) around 300 hrs. But, it is still getting more better, more better. Absolutely astounding last night. Can't wait to fire up more vinyl this eve. For awhile it seemed CD's weren't too far behind vinly. Now...forget it..vinyl is stomping CD playback. I may need to seriously consider a good DAC to even the playing field a bit.
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SE84UFO25, ZP3, Zstage, ZR2, ZSB, DM947 Monoliths 946+mid
VPI-Traveler v2 w/Zephyr MKIIIes.
Cambridge CXC. Schiit Bimby
Audio Envy, RAC-PC's/IC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+Spkr wire & jumpers
Blue Circle PLC FX2X0e, Herbies, GIK, PI Audio. Lonely Raven PC
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Lon
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #782 - 03/08/19 at 00:09:44
 
These amps do keep getting better and better, that's been the case with any of the Decware components.

I have been enjoying vinyl again recently and my 25th Anniversary Monoblocks really make the sound awesome.
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #783 - 03/08/19 at 00:31:44
 
You’ve got me thinking I should break out the turntable again.  

I listened to a group of favorites last night.  It was like I was listening to a remastered mix of each song.  Like every 10 days I get a different mix.

Tonight I am listening to all live tracks.  Monstrous sound stage.
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #784 - 03/11/19 at 22:35:34
 
Hello Steve. This thread is very instructive. Please keep it up. In particular, your post just below the top (included below) that helps me think of cost/benefit a new way. Wink

"It comes at a price, adding the OA3 regulation for each output tube that is...  Rather than the two capacitors used in the power supplies of the SE84UFO and SE84UFO2, this uses a few more. The first cap comes off the rectifier tube just like the other amps but then the power supply is split into three separate filters, one for each tube.  This adds 7 additional caps and nine additional poly film bypass caps. There was no option other than to spit it into three separate supplies due to the 30mA limit of the OA3 tube. And because the large gap beautifully slows things down, all of the caps have to be carefully bypassed to speed things back up. This stretch between speeds expands the transient playground to a very large window giving a more immersive sense of depth and complexity. The slow side of its personality creates unbelievable liquidity. The fast side of it's personality reveals stuff you had no idea was there, and that Zen duality creates an infinitely variable speed power supply that fills in the middle.  

It's not real practical, but it is something you do when you're trying to not be practical, and voyage well beyond that point of diminishing returns, through the neutral zone and into heavy waves of total realism... something I think the little Zen deserves after being such a trooper for so many years!!

Who would have thought 25 years ago when Eric Barbor of Svetlana contacted me to see if I had any interest in an EL84 substitute called the SV83, such incredible effort would have ended up going into the amps for it.  25 Years ago it was a $4.00 tube.  Who would have thought a $4.00 tube would justify a $2500 wholesale price pair of amps (and counting). The bizarreness of it from this perspective just makes it even more desirable to do, just to see how much further can we push the resolution of this amazing output tube, which is actually a Russian 6P15P-EB.

We've always known that EL84's are faster than virtually all 8 pin output tubes, be it pentode or triode wired, but the 6P15P-EB was nearly twice the bandwidth and subsequent speed and as a result nearly perfectly neutral.  So there is no reason not to see how fast the tube actually is... just know it's expensive aka painful, but worth it. I predict it's going to hurt fairly bad until the moment it arrives. Most of the pain will go away in the first hour. I would say 90% of it. By the third week you will begin to understand that the amp is easily worth twice what you paid for it, and it's limited production ensures that it will always hold it's value and you will then become forever pain free."
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #785 - 03/19/19 at 19:16:00
 
I seem to have hit new level yet again.  More 3D front to back in the soundstage.  I'm at about the 200 hour mark.

Interesting.
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #786 - 03/19/19 at 19:21:36
 
Great! Doesn't really surprise me. Mine kept slowly improving over the months. In part I think the amps were improving with use, and in part I was learning better how to listen to them, that is wrapping my brain around the sound field's differences, and still more in part because of small tweaks to gain stages, speaker positioning, etc.

These amps are I think lifetime partners! (So far no one I know of has died with one in their possession. . . .)
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #787 - 03/19/19 at 22:27:00
 
I am not keeping track of how many hours any more, but I should be around 130 hours or so.  The amp keeps on getting better!  There is so much detail in the music that I seldom turn my preamp above 11 o'clock (it has a max output of 8.5 V and there is no volume control on my Decware).  

I still have not started tube-rolling.  As soon as I hit the 250-300 hours threshold, I will try some of my favorite rectifiers (Sophia Electric Aqua 274B, NOS Mullard GZ32 and NOS RCA 5Y3GT) as well as some input tubes. What are your favorites, by the way?

Let's see...  :)

Cheers,

Alper
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #788 - 03/20/19 at 21:21:32
 
I only have about 30 hours on my 25th. ( #50 )
It arrived last Tuesday, on my birthday no less, I ordered it on November 3rd, as my birthday gift to myself. ( along with a ZBIT, silver ref cables and a red ZTPRE face plate )
Only having 30 hours the sound is very impressive, I am also burning in cables and a ZBIT, keeping listening too 4 hours at a shot.
One thing that I have to say is that pictures do not do this amp justice, you have to see it in your hands.
Being my first Decware amp, I am working through the gain path adjustment learning curve.
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #789 - 03/20/19 at 21:25:48
 
MrDerrick, Lots going on and lots of seasoning to go through, but I bet you have a lot of enjoyment ahead of you!

Thanks for weighing in and keep us posted as you experience the evolving sound.
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #790 - 06/20/19 at 04:35:14
 

Tonight is another new listening experience with the 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier!

Since I first heard this amplifier with it's stunning dynamics and speed, I've had visions of moving on from 94dB 8-inch drivers to something much larger so I could fully experience the dynamic potential of this magic amplifier.  My thoughts were more along 15 inch drivers at well over 100dB so I can recreate the visceral experience of the TORII MONO's or the ZMA turned up as loud as they will go on the 94dB speakers, which btw, really HIT hard at those power levels.

So tonight I have achieved this goal and for the first time I think ever, I'm hearing a 2 watt Zen Triode amplifier simply smash it as though I was listening to the ZMA on the DNA2's or the HR-1's as loud as it will go.  The only thing is... that this is a lot better.

It's a lot better because it's a crossover-less full-range 15 inch driver over 100dB efficient with insane bass and attack.  It's tight, it sounds real, it sounds live, just like I've said about the amp on the 94dB speakers, but only a lot more so if you can even imagine that.

It is shorting out my head to hear this tonight as I play heavy electronic music through it to loosen up these ultra tight new drivers, because the bass and the hit is well outperforming the big amps and at a nightclub volumes and from a 2 watt amplifier which when you hear this you know it's impossible but it's happening and frankly the amp is no where near clipping, which again, to not see the VR tubes blink with the bass hits at this sound pressure level just seems impossible.  I guess it's been a long time since I heard such efficient and hard hitting speakers... the only thing that comes even close to what I'm hearing right now is the Imperial horns in the DIY section of this web site.

It can be so frustrating to try and find the words to communicate the experience of this amplifier and now that I'm hearing it almost twice as loud I'm just dumfounded.  This years DECFEST is going to be the brain smoker of all time because of this.  Every year is a little more impressive than the one before and now this is going to just be insanely good.  This would totally blow everyones mind had I showed it at Axpona or really any of the shows this year.  You hear and feel what you know is 400 watts and you find out it's only 2.  Something you'll never forget as long as you live.

God bless this amplifier and the matching preamp which is near release.  I'm not rushing it because it's so good, like the amplifier, that it has to be perfect in every possible way and the only way to know if it is, is to evaluate it over time in multiple setups.  So far I couldn't be more pleased.

Steve
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #791 - 06/20/19 at 05:17:12
 
Things are cookin' now!  Hearing so many "firsts" it's almost mental overload.

Intervals - Boris Blank from the Album Electrified in 24bit, 88.2kHz on this system has just set a new peak for the best sound I ever heard from a system -- ever.  

The projection of these currently secret speakers is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Even my Acoustats don't do this.  The Dynamics, the Energy just comes out of you instead of the speaker and it's so frikin REAL sounding that we've gone well past the usual face palms until my forehead gets sore to joyous profanity and walking around in the disbelief circle next to the listening chair.  That's serious folks.

And so far almost every track is doing this, so it's totally not a fluke!

I feel like the long range goal with this amp was to get to the Moon, and now we've just completely blown past that and landed on Mars.  This is just un-real.


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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #792 - 06/20/19 at 16:54:49
 

It's morning now, and the sound is exactly the same as it was when I went to bed... a true reality test.  

There were several times last night when I heard music get louder without distortion or compression than ever before, and wondered how it was possible! Still having a hard time with that even  just thinking about it. I have never gotten anything this loud before in this room. The closest was my OTL amplifier on the corner horns several years ago. That was a 20 watt amp into 8 ohms.  So the great irony here is that all this has happened and is happening with 2 watts (well lets call it 3 watts).  

I'll be honest with you, the sound is making me want to run back to the tube safe here at Decware and wrap every 6P15P-EV in felt and lock them away. Prior to this experience they were worth the asking price X 2. Now that I hear for the first time what they can really do, their value to me has just increased ten fold.

This experience with these secret speakers has completely reinforced my plea to all SE84UFO25 owners to get high efficient speakers with good bass response. It's just such a rush to experience this kind of scale and meat from any system, let alone one that is "low power", yes I had to put that in quotes since low power has now become a misleading term.

As you can tell, I wasn't prepared for what happened last night and through to the present. Have never owned speakers this good or this efficient.  I'll get into the speakers in other posts when I'm ready to reveal what they are.  Meanwhile, I can promise that all 56 SE84UFO25 owner's have not heard what the amp can really do! And I would bet that virtually all of them if they were here to witness this, would be as stunned as I am!

BTW, the speakers had exactly 1 hour of break-in before last nights listening session began. When have you ever heard speakers that sounded good in the first hour?  If they actually get better I'm going be trying out my first pair of "Depends undergarments".

-Steve
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #793 - 06/20/19 at 18:57:27
 
WOW, Steve! Now the 25th Anniversary amp owners are going to have to save money for the new 25th Anni. pre amp AND new speakers! It's getting expensive. Can a person be sad and happy at the same time? DECFEST is 4, 5, 6 of October this year?
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #794 - 06/20/19 at 19:13:47
 
lazb wrote on 06/20/19 at 18:57:27:
WOW, Steve! Now the 25th Anniversary amp owners are going to have to save money for the new 25th Anni. pre amp AND new speakers! It's getting expensive. Can a person be sad and happy at the same time? DECFEST is 4, 5, 6 of October this year?

Just jump off the merry-go-round Joe! I did. I'm so happy and I don't want to make any equipment changes. Of course that means you can't go to Decfest. . . .
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #795 - 06/21/19 at 03:42:49
 
GOING!
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #796 - 06/21/19 at 15:25:44
 
I'm going too and I already want the speakers!!
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #797 - 06/21/19 at 21:34:14
 
Steve,

Please give us a sneak peak at the speakers.  My guess is that they must be some kind of open baffle design. Maybe an idea you came up with while listening to the Betsy's...
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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #798 - 06/22/19 at 03:22:48
 

Quote:
WOW, Steve! Now the 25th Anniversary amp owners are going to have to save money for the new 25th Anni. pre amp AND new speakers! It's getting expensive. Can a person be sad and happy at the same time? DECFEST is 4, 5, 6 of October this year?



I'm on a mission to go where no man has gone before, to explore the unknown...  It's my Hippocratic oath, I have no choice. How would it have been if the Star Trek Enterprise landed on a planet and the captain decided we've seen enough so we're just going to sit here and get old?

If I have my way, before it's over we'll be able to illuminate the air with recorded sound without audio gear. And since it's never actually over, you can look for that just in a time that will be just around the corner.

Happy listening!

Steve

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Re: 25th Anniversary Zen Triode Amplifier
Reply #799 - 06/22/19 at 03:27:54
 

Geno -  it's actually been a variation of two speaker systems that are closely related.  My post in the ANALOGUE TAPE FORUM was system A, and my post here was on system B.  The two are similar and closely related but completely different... vastly different.  

I'll post more about them once I've had more time with them, because the consequences of posting these particular speaker designs are far reaching.

Steve
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