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CSP3 + SS amp (Read 3222 times)
Tommy Freefall
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Posts: 291
CSP3 + SS amp
02/09/18 at 21:12:43
I have a 20 year old SS Bryston 2B power amp (about 50 wpc).

The Bryston is built like a tank, but obviously it doesnít have that signature Decware sound

Iím wondering how well it would pair up with a Decware CSP3, CSP2+, or CSP2 pre-amp?
Does a SS amp paired with a Decware Pre-Amp sound as nice as a stand-alone Decware amp?
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Torii MkIV w/ 25th ann mods
Rachael SE34I.5
ZStage, ZBIT, ZRock2
Tascam CD-240
Border Patrol DAC
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PI Audio MiniBUSS
Zenhead, Grado 325e
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Re: CSP3 + SS amp
Reply #1 - 02/09/18 at 21:16:08
in my opinion. . . no. I've two CSP2+ and a CSP2 (yeah, a problem) and I've paired them with a few solid state, a chip amp, a class D and a few other tube amps.

The preamps definitely improve the sound of those amps. But. . . they don't sound like Decware amps as a result. They sound like the amps themselves with a bit more of tube goodness in the case of the tube amps and a bit of tube goodness in the case of the other amps. Better. . . the source sounds better is really how I would put it. But the "Decware amp" "sound" is in the Decware amp.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SE84UFO3-25th x2, CSP3-25th.Taboo Mk IV; Rega RP3 w all GrooveTracer mods PS Audio: DMP+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls, Reference spkr cbls;Mapleshade:Samson V3;;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati intrcncts, Iso-Pods;headphones:PM1,HD800S,ZMF Ori
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Re: CSP3 + SS amp
Reply #2 - 02/09/18 at 23:19:48
FWIW, when I first approached Steve about amps (ZP3) he told me that the main amp was actually most important and to start with that.
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Re: CSP3 + SS amp
Reply #3 - 02/09/18 at 23:57:25
I agree that a CSP2+ or 3 before the Brytson will not sound like a Decware amp, but it might really help the Bryston be more complete and inviting, while adding an interesting piece to any system choices. Especially a CSP3 with beeswax caps, being a little the more refined-to-date, would give tube goodness, but also is OTL, no small thing to me. Especially with a truly revealing front end, there is something about that OTL tube lucidity and dynamics that takes "normal" high quality tube implementation to a potential that I find seductive.

I have been tuning, my now a little older CSP3 (one the first of the version), with more transparent connectors, volume, and bypass caps, and it is incredible, taking Steve's signature potential deeper into itself. But, though these are really good improvements, with the right tubes and setup before (vibration, cables, etc), it was really, really good.

It is what it is now though and this is what I know. If I had to give it up or my also tuned up Zbit (which I love too), though known for clean transparency, I would give up the Zbit. The CSP's potentially powerful effect from OTL tube spaciousness and lucidity, and associated, pretty impressive gain riding, you can tune the CSP signature with your amp signature to easily balance and coax more beauty from your recordings.

And of course, if you love tubes, with three tube positions, each with powerful effect for tuning the others....and with separate volume adjustments on the input and output tubes before the master volume...you can tune the CSP3 to many, many variations of its sound...

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All Modified: Power-PSA P5, Brickwall/Shunyata Defender>RevolutionMacMini/PureM>Kitsune Singxer/Gustard x20pro or NOS Tranquility DAC; CSP3, ZRock2, Torii IV, HR1, DIY ZBIT; Cables DIY: PCs, ICs, USB, I2S, Speaker; Feet- Archie's platform, alum/ball bearing, SR+
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