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csp3 25yr anniversary mods (Read 35813 times)
Tripwr1964
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csp3 25yr anniversary mods
05/13/18 at 12:49:10
 
who all has the 25yr mods and what do you think??

mine is in the shop now.... i am very excited to get it back!
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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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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #1 - 05/13/18 at 13:02:00
 
Mine's on order. .. I won't be seeing mine for a few months but I can't wait.
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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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Tripwr1964
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #2 - 05/13/18 at 13:19:11
 
lon, oh i thought you had one modded already... must be getting some post all mixed up.
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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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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #3 - 05/13/18 at 14:42:21
 
No. . . I hemmed and hawed whether to see if one of my two CSP2+ could be modded but decided to go with a new one instead for the black top plate and for the 4-pin headphone jacks. . . . Expensive but I'm sure it will be worth it, I don't expect mine for at least 6 weeks perhaps longer.

Should be amazing with headphones, as much as I love my Taboo Mk IV after a month with the Monoblocks I can now hear the step down from that sound.
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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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Archie
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #4 - 05/13/18 at 18:31:01
 
I can't be very technical, but I get more resolution and realism from my system with my modified CSP3.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #5 - 05/13/18 at 18:34:24
 
Technical or not, that's the description that describes what we would hope to get from the component! Thanks.
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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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Archie
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #6 - 05/13/18 at 19:07:33
 
I listened to Supertramp's "Breakfast In America" lp this morning and the bells just about knocked me over with their resonance and pure tones.   Smiley
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #7 - 05/13/18 at 19:10:46
 
I really don't like that album but I take your point!
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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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Archie
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #8 - 05/13/18 at 19:50:49
 
They can be shrill. Well tamed on my analogue system though.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Tripwr1964
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #9 - 05/14/18 at 03:04:16
 
Lon ever tried some things never change (super tramp)?

It is cd only... but i think their best work.....
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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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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #10 - 05/14/18 at 04:13:36
 
Yeah I've heard it, I think I've heard them all but. . .I'm just not a Supertramp fan. . . . not my style of music.
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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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jorgen
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #11 - 05/15/18 at 15:13:16
 
What headphones is best suited for the csp3-25? Or, are the LCD 3 a good option With this amp?

Those are ones im using now, and if a good match With the CSP 3, 25 i will be one step closer to getting one
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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #12 - 05/15/18 at 15:21:20
 
I have a CSP2+ and a Taboo Mk III and Taboo Mk IV and two pair of headphones. To be honest, the LCD-2 that I have sound better with the Taboos than the CSP2+ and the Oppo PM-1 that I have sound better with the CSP2+ than with the Taboos. The differences aren't dramatic, but noticeable. I really like both pairs of headphones.  I think that chances are the CSP3 25th Anniversary may work well with either. I'll find out when mine is built and arrives. . . .
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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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Tripwr1964
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #13 - 05/16/18 at 12:13:18
 
well just picked my csp3-25 yesterday.
25th mods
step atten
silver rca's

it's nothing short of stunning, from the min i flipped the switch.  i ran a little analog and digital thru it last night and i about shit.  

the realism and detail are amazing!

i can't wait to get home from work tonight Grin
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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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Stuart
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #14 - 05/16/18 at 12:36:55
 
Received my CSP3-25 couple days ago and it sounds fantastic.  Put some top notch tubes in it (Amperex USA pinched waist 6922 input, Telefunken E188CC ‘65 X2 output and Mullard metal base GZ34).  The transparency and air is incredible.  Very layered and resolving.  Going to run this combo of tubes a bit before I do more rolling.
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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #15 - 05/16/18 at 12:40:07
 
Awesome! Thanks for weighing in gentlemen!
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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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Tripwr1964
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #16 - 05/16/18 at 14:19:23
 
it's not cheap, but far exceeded my expectations and worth every penny!
i don't even have my hawthorn augies hooked up yet, and don't think i need them.  the pre has woken up my maggies, big time.

i kept the input that steve provided 6n5p, nos amprex 6922 output, and nos mullard metalbase 5ar4 rectifier.  i am planning to run it in with these... but this tube compliment is pretty darn nice.

nice to hear from others with this mod.  sounds like we are all hearing the same thing.

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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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Stuart
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #17 - 05/17/18 at 01:26:38
 
Has anyone tried using 2C51/WE396A with a pin adapter with the CSP3?
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Stuart
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #18 - 05/17/18 at 01:28:21
 
To the person trying to PM me about LCD3 questions, please email me at cityill@me.com.  I haven’t posted enough to gain messaging privileges yet!
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Ace-Tone
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #19 - 05/17/18 at 01:43:40
 
Hey Tripwr.  One of my go to reference LP's is supertramp - crime of the century...Wow! An awesome sonic roller-coaster. I keep telling myself I should get the mobile fidelity mastered LP. Perhaps after I have the SE84UFO25 in hand!
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SE84UFO25, ZP3, Zstage, ZR2, ZSB, DM947, HERESY iii's
VPI-Traveler2 +SS Zephyr MKIIIes.
Cambridge CXC. Schiit Bimby DAC
IC's Audio Envy, Decware, RAC-PC's, Mapleshade Dbl Helix+Spkr wires & jumpers
Blue Circle PLC FX2X0e, Herbies, GIK, PI Audio DIY treatmen
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Tripwr1964
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #20 - 05/17/18 at 17:20:36
 
ace,  yes i love that one too!

i have MFSL, Japan, and us version of this.
i'd recommend going after a Japanese version.  i like it better than MFSL version... and it less $$$.

working from home today giving the csp3 some break in hours listening to radio paradise.  i still cant get over how well this pre has matted with the rest of my system.  it is the best senergy i've ever encountered.  

i did listen to my sennheisers 650's last night.... and the mind blowing continues!!

between this csp3 and the 25th zen, i think it may be your best sounding decware gear i've heard.  oh and lets not forget the DNA2's!  like those a bunch too!

my maggies love this combo CSP3-25 and cary 120s.  the mids are beautiful, and the lower mids are much more solid.  the depth and detail of the sound is crazy.  you just close your eyes and imagine yourself anywhere.  thks Steve!
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20180517_103414.jpg

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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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #21 - 06/12/18 at 23:28:02
 
My CSP3-25 just went to "Packing and Shipping" after passing "Quality Control." So looking forward to this, plan on running it for w few hundred hours as a headphone amp and then using it to feed my Monoblocks.

Steve sent me a photo today:

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35078815_10215025822775612_273608473525092352_n.jpg

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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Archie
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #22 - 06/13/18 at 01:00:32
 
Lon, is there any difference between the CSP3-25 and a modified CSP3?
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #23 - 06/13/18 at 01:14:43
 
No I don't think so, that's just what I and I think a few others are calling the CSP3 with the 25th Anniversary mods.
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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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Archie
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #24 - 06/13/18 at 01:18:59
 
I'm very much looking forward to your impressions.  My sound has improved since I had the mods done and while I made other changes, I really think I'm hearing the CSP3 modifications.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #25 - 06/13/18 at 01:35:29
 
You know me, I won't be quiet about the component. Yes, I suspect you are hearing improvements with yours!
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #26 - 06/13/18 at 04:43:22
 
Meanwhile, the Anniversary mods for CSP3 are going great.  I've done enough to get good at it, and have fine-tuned the mod for both Type I and Type II beeswax caps.  Here is Lon's CSP3 with the mods.




The mod is an option now in the shopping cart for anyone who wants to purchase a new unit built this way.  It can be found in the shopping cart under the signal-cap section where you choose what type of signal-caps to have your CSP3 built with.

The one pictured is a CSP3 built with copper foil (type II) beeswax caps and then updated further with the Anniversary mod.  There are a total of 12 Jupiter Cryo-Treated beeswax caps in this modded unit, several poly film caps and two miniature solder-into-place voltage regulator tubes that will last the life of the preamp if they're not shorted.  

The headphone section is also bypassed with the copper foil beeswax caps.  

All of this takes a preamp / otl headphone amp that already sounds better than all of it's competition and punches it through the stratosphere.  



For the techies that want to know what is different, while we have a picture to look at... the standard CSP3 is built with a novel power supply design.  It features a simple pie filter using two caps and one resistor.  Very Zen. To negate the need for a choke, regulation, or anything else the power supply transformer is rated at 170 mA while the circuit draws only 30 mA.  The other novel part is that it is a signal node supply, meaning that all the B+ comes from a single point for all three tubes.  No attempt to segregate whatsoever.  This kept the timing the same for all three tubes which promotes cohesiveness.

The Anniversary mod takes the 10K 6.5 watt dale resistor in the pie filter and adds another 10K to it, dropping the value in half and doubling the wattage rating.  Heat drops in half.  Voltage increases.  Then it is sent through an added 1K 6.5watt resistor to a pair of miniature VR tubes which drop the voltage back down to the original value but without heat, and segregate the voltage between the two channels, so each VR tube serves 1-1/2 audio tubes.

Once the voltage gets through the VR tube, which acts like a miracle filter being in series with the supply, it then is accumulated in the cryo treated beeswax caps using a .47uf for each channel because it is big and has to supply 1-1/2 tubes.  Then we bypass that with another cryo beeswax cap at .022uf to balance out the speed for high frequencies.  These caps then feed the plate resistors of each tube.

The main filter caps also have to be bypassed with film caps, and the same applies.  There are two bypass caps for each filter cap to maintain a balance of speed to properly feed the VR tubes.

The performance went up, the distortion went down (it was already super low) and the noise floor that was also super low dropped even further.  The VR tubes can offer in some cases ten times the ripple reduction as an equivalent resistor with the same voltage drop and do it with no heat... so this mod is basically like running your CSP3 off high voltage batteries with bottomless current.  It doesn't get any better than this... but it's not cheep unless you put it in the perspective that nothing retail is available that does this, and a power re-generator for 6 grand or more isn't going to be half as good.

On a side note, someone is going to ask, so the cable I use from and to the input/output jacks is MOGAMI from Japan.  It's copper, with a copper shield, no foil.  On the inputs the stereo shielded cable is used from each pair of input jacks which works well for the lower voltage source signals generally 2 volts or less.  From the output tubes we use a stereo cable for each channel, paralleling the conductors.  This prevents crosstalk when the unit is set to the full 30 volts of output and even when it's set at unity gain the dual conductors sound more juicy.



Steve



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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #27 - 06/13/18 at 04:55:07
 

I get exited just looking at it.  Ever since that one night I teased myself with the first one I've been without!  We've been so busy I just haven't had the time to make myself one... but I will.  I've built around 10 so far so I've been able to listen to them but it's not the same as getting one burned-in.


Steve
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #28 - 06/13/18 at 13:50:58
 
I've been staring at this picture since you sent me a copy via Facebook yesterday. Amazing. . . I was bearing the wait as much as I could before this. . . but now the wait is harder. Smiley I can't wait to hear this.
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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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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #29 - 06/13/18 at 14:41:12
 
I'm really enjoying the pair of Sophia Electric Aqua 274B I bought for my Monoblocks. They are a very precise and powerful element in the amps and very stable and work with any of the tube complements I build around them. So I ordered another one to use with this CSP3 that is coming. . . . I already know that it will work wonderfully in my Taboo Mk IV if it isn't the best for the CSP3 with the mods.

It never ends. . . but that's a good thing.
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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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Tripwr1964
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #30 - 06/13/18 at 17:53:09
 
yeah i can stare at that wiring for hours too.... work of art!!
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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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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #31 - 06/13/18 at 18:27:24
 
OK, I know the cost of modifying a current CSP3 to a 25th Anniversary model has been posted.  Could someone post again?  I think it was about $600 something plus shipping... Thanks, Mark.
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"The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with the concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, deceptions, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night and his affections dark as Hell. Let no such man be trusted." William Shakespeare
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sucks why continue?

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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #32 - 06/13/18 at 19:37:44
 

The mod is $570 assuming the unit has beeswax caps.  $920 if it doesn't.  $1175 if it doesn't and you want type II beeswax.

CSP2 can also be done but adds $100 due to changes that have to be made to the internal layout.

Steve
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #33 - 06/13/18 at 19:40:17
 
Thanks, Steve...I'll write this down so I don't have to ask again.  Mark.
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #34 - 06/13/18 at 22:29:50
 
My CSP3 Anniversary mod is one of the first Steve did and being naturally curious, I pulled mine apart to look inside.  While my layout is different from the picture above, I can generally identify everything (my caps are type I and not type II).  However, I definitely don't have those three fuses.  What are they all about?
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ZR2 (25th A Mods)
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ZMA (25th A mods)
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #35 - 06/14/18 at 02:46:16
 
The fuses protect the power supply from shorted rectifier tubes.  Something we've adopted in recent years.

Steve
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #36 - 06/14/18 at 15:27:12
 
So, I'm unprotected!?   Shocked
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Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
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ZP3 (25th A Mods)
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #37 - 06/15/18 at 00:11:37
 
Archie, based on your posts I gather that you’ve at this for quite some time.  It’s taken this long for you to realize that you’re “unprotected”?

Just when I thought I was “secure” with my Decware system... along comes the A-Amp.  So I think “this is it” I’ll order one and I’ll be “safe”.

Then comes the CSP3 A-Mod, just as I’m ready to send mine off to finally achieve ultimate and final “protection”, I find out that there’s going to be an actual CSP3-25.  Hell, it seems that even Steve can’t protect himself from himself.  What chance do we have???
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #38 - 06/15/18 at 01:39:18
 
LOL JOMAN!   Cheesy

I don't see any way of protection from Steve's innovations but now I'm a bit worried about blowing my power supply by blowing a rectifier.   Undecided
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ZLC
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ZR2 (25th A Mods)
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #39 - 06/15/18 at 01:45:21
 
Then you’ll just have to get a CSP3-25... Cry
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #40 - 06/15/18 at 01:56:28
 
I can't.  I need to save up for the ZMA Anniversary upgrades!!!! Tongue
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ZLC
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ZR2 (25th A Mods)
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ZMA (25th A mods)
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #41 - 06/15/18 at 02:16:38
 
In that case, let’s hope the power supply of your CSP3 never smokes up! Wink
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #42 - 06/18/18 at 21:17:27
 
Has anyone listened to the CSP-25 with headphones yet, such as the Senn HD800?

I am looking for an end game headphone amp, and supposedly the CSP3 is legendary for use with the very detailed HD800 headphones (I already have a Taboo III for planar headphones and speaker duty).

Please, can someone let me know if you've had the chance, and if so what they are like? Also, the HD650 would be a great test too -  I see Tripwr above has tried, but not elaborated other than "mind blowing".

I am considering an Eddie Current Zana Deux S (which also functions as a pre-amp), amd is pretty much the same price as the CSP-25 with Jupiter Cu Foil caps.

Steve, when you say: "The headphone section is also bypassed with the copper foil beeswax caps" - what does this mean?
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #43 - 06/18/18 at 21:58:53
 
I'm sitting here waiting for delivery of my unit, and will be using it exclusively as a headphone amp most of the week to break it in. However I don't have any similar headphones, I have two pair: an Audeze LCD-3 and an Oppo PM-1. The CSP2+ I have works excellently with both but exceptionally with the Oppos. I am expecting great sound with this 25th Anniversary CSP3.
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #44 - 06/18/18 at 22:52:58
 
@doukhobar, been listening off and on with my hd650's with very nice results.  i am finding this combo very enjoyable with detail detail detail.  i am hearing new layers and detail on recordings i am very familiar with.  so it's like the first time allover (how many things can you say that about?)!

month into this and i still feel this upgrade to be worth every penny.
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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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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #45 - 06/18/18 at 23:07:13
 
so are these type I or II in this baby?
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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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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #46 - 06/19/18 at 00:47:10
 
Looks like Type II.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #47 - 06/19/18 at 01:17:28
 
I received my 25th Anniversary CSP3 and am listening to the very first disc. I'm using the stock 6N1Ps and 6N5P and a Sophia Electric Aqua 274B rectifier. Listening to the Audeze LCD-2 at the moment.

This is certainly more detailed sounding than the CSP2+ that I have (with Type 1 beeswax caps and stepped attenuator). At the moment a bit brighter as well, but I believe that will not last long. Soundstage is wider and as Trip mentions there are "layers" very discernible. Thes presentation is not entirely different from that of the Taboo Mk IV but different, a "bigger" sound.

I don't have any dynamic headphones to try but I really find it hard to imagine that one wouldn't be fascinated and satisfied with the sound.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #48 - 06/19/18 at 01:40:19
 
Thanks Lon. As we know, the Taboo is a great pairing with the Audeze cans. I think I wish I could hear more about Tripwr's headphone experience, especially since he has the HD650. There are alot of CSP3 fans in the headphone world. I love that it takes E88CC tubes, with one matched pair - as I have so many of these tubes available. Alot of fascinating high testing singles, and quite a few interesting pairs to use as well (besides the rectifiers, which seem interchangeable in all the Decware gear thankfully!). Lon - have you thought of getting a pair of dynamic cans, like the affordable HD650 for the CSP25? Dynamic hp are supposed to be a much, much better pairing with the CSP family. Since I own a ZBIT and have a balanced DAC, I don't have a heck of alot of plans to use the preamp function, through it's always nice to have an extra preamp on hand. Has anyone compared the soundstage directly to a CSP3? The Eddie Current gear is supposed to have incredible sound staging...
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Torii Jr, Taboo III, Dennis Had Firebottle amp & LP2 pre, ERR speakers, Omega 3XRS, Omega Super Alnico XRS, Bryston BDP-1, Kora Hermes DAC, Pear Audio Robin Hood TT w/Cornet 1 tonearm & Hana SL cart, ZP3 Cryo Beeswax caps, Bob's Devices SUT, HD800, LCD2, Zenwave
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #49 - 06/19/18 at 02:15:45
 
I purposely used the Audeze for first listen because though they sound great with the CSP2+ that I have they sound a bit better with the Taboo. I really have no need for dynamic headphones, or another pair of headphones, nor a budget for them. My Oppos (32 ohm) sound FANTASTIC with the CSP2+ and so I anticipate they will be excellent with this preamp, it was the Audeze performance that I was most interested in experiencing.

I went for this preamp because I wanted to have the 25th Anniversary mods in a preamp and in the Monoblocks, it makes sense to me that this would have the synergy and compounded improvement that Steve reports.

And I was surprised to discover that the Taboo Mk IV drives the Traps very well . . . I was never settled into the sound of the Traps with the Taboo Mk III, but here the UFO transformers once again show their superiority. I took the Taboo Mk IV out of the system this afternoon and spent some time with that combo. This is a good outcome as then I can use the same amp for headphones and speakers upstairs fed by a CSP2+ and not use the Torii Mk II or Mk III for the Traps as I have. And the CSP3 25th will definitely fill the Taboo Mk IV role in the main system for headphones.

And PS: this preamp is DEAD SILENT.

I've no experience with Eddie Current components, I'm sure they might be great. I'm a Decware guy through and through. . .just the way it's been for me for amplification and pre-amplification for the last twenty years.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #50 - 06/19/18 at 17:46:37
 
Well, 17 hours have passed and the CSP3 25th Anniversary Edition has been playing constantly feeding either the Audeze or the Oppo headphones.

With the Oppo the soundstage is a bit less wide but seems a tad taller and there's a bit more dynamic contrast. And excellent bass response, tight and deep.

Mine may be a bit different than others. I had asked Steve about implementing the glass resistors in the CSP3 with these mods and he said no, it's too early to mess with that, it would take a different value than he had and yet. . .just before it shipped Steve sent me a pic of the wiring of this CSP3 and it shows a pair of black glass resistors, he bypassed the input gain controls (they are there but do not operate) and wired the signal directly to the input tube incorporating the glass resistors.

There's a real sense of strength to this preamp, and like the Monoblocks I've had two months now detail spills out entwined in the stream of music, nothing highlighted, rather detail is organically presented. That's as close as I can come to explaining the difference between this and the original CSP preamps I have.

As Joe teased me about above it's going to be tempting to put this in front of the Monoblocks right away but I want to get at least another forty hours or so on the preamp before making that change. There's a lot of caps to "settle" and the good thing is that Jupiters sound good as they do so!

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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #51 - 06/19/18 at 19:50:05
 
Lon,

It took my CSP3 about 70 hours to settle in fully after the 25th Anniversary mods.  In addition to the strength you noted, I found additional clarity and a "greater sense of realism" to the music.

As some have noted with the 25th Anniversary amp and mono's, the music sounds like your at the recording microphone.  The soundstage is more forward then un-modified.  It will deepen and widen as you get more hours on it.

I just added a set of Isoacoustic Orea isolation devices under the CSP3-25 today, replacing some Herbie Tenderfeet.  They made a noticable improvement.  If you hook the preamp up to your mono's be careful, your ears will never be the same. Smiley

Happy listening during the break in period.

HK  
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dyna 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono OR MWI modded Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th mods pre > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii15+ speakers > Snake River Audio & ZenWave cables.
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #52 - 06/19/18 at 19:55:54
 
Yes, I think it was I who said with the 25th Anniversary Monoblocks it's as if you are the microphone. Thanks, I suspect you are right that 70 hours or so is right, about the least amount of time. I'll either connect it to the Monoblocks on Friday (if I have time, my wife is having a procedure done Thursday and I think she'll be home on Friday) or next week.

This is a very good preamp. I do expect to be very pleased with it feeding the Monoblocks.

And yes, those Oreas are pretty darned good, certainly better than Tenderfeet. They haven't unseated my VooDoo Cable Iso-Pods under components, but they're close to as good and cheaper.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #53 - 06/23/18 at 12:15:38
 
I am going to start a mantra for me and Decware: "You needn't worry."

My worries for the last purchases all vanished immediately upon receiving the units. The latest: I was worried that the ZTPRE to ZBIT to ZROCK2 to CSP3-25 to Monoblocks would be one or two components too many--needless worry; I was worried that the CSP3-25 wouldn't be good enough as a headphone amp to replace the Taboo Mk IV in my system--another needless worry.

As it's the weekend I've already switched over to headphone listening and I must say. . . wow, this is the best headphone amplifier I've ever owned or even imagined hearing. Before this was received my CSP2+ worked excellently for my Oppo PM-1 but the Taboo Mk IV was a better fit for the Audeze LCD-2. The CSP3-25 however is already a better fit for both headphones. There is a wider soundstage, and there is an increase in instrumental definition without in any way seeming "etched" . . . Dynamic contrast, volume level differences in instrument presentation, all these are the best I've heard. Pace is very present, but when mellowness is asked for, there it is.

I'd say that for a headphone system this preamp will not disappoint. It fits both of my headphones to a T!
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #54 - 06/23/18 at 12:19:24
 
I added more headphone listening impressions to the CSP3 25th Anniversary version here:

https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1526212150/50#53
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #55 - 06/25/18 at 21:36:05
 
Well, I am back to using OD3, a pair of Westinghouse bottle-shaped, in the Monoblocks and so I rolled some tubes in the CSP3-25. I'm really getting great sound with an orange globe Amperex 6DJ8 and two black anode 6N5P . . . nice balance of clarity and tonal accuracy.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #56 - 06/26/18 at 15:28:25
 
@jorgen, you asked about headphones with this modded preamp.

I use both Audeze LCD-2 and Oppo PM-1 'phones. Before this CSP3 the Oppos sounded best in the CSP2+ (with Jupiter beeswax Type 1 caps) and the Audeze sounded better in the Taboo Mk IV, (with Jupiter beeswax Type 2 caps) but both sounded pretty good in either amp.

With this modded CSP3 with Type 2 caps I was eager to hear what the Audeze would sound like so used those first. . . and boy, they sound fantastic! Best headphone sound I've ever heard. I also have tried the Oppo and they too sound fantastic, each 'phone has a different character and that character is clearly delineated with the preamp. I was hoping the CSP3 would serve as the headphone amp in my main system in place of the Taboo Mk IV, and it is doing so admirably.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #57 - 06/27/18 at 14:23:31
 
I'm coming up on ten full days with the CSP3 with the Anniversary mods. . .and once warmed up this morning the sound is incredible! I'm sure I've hit the "first fully broken in" plateau with the preamp and the tube-rolling I've done (including the use of OD3 in the Monoblocks) has really born fruit--there is a dynamic openness to the sound along with copious detail that has given me a clearer window into the sound than I have ever enjoyed. In my system there are so many possible adjustments and I seem to have settled on gain settings and mode settings that have "nailed" the mojo--I'm going to try my best to not alter any of the factors!

Really the CSP3 and the Monoblocks are "one" and should be talked of that way. The Monoblocks are also so responsive to tube rolling and gain settings that you have to consider every element of the amplifiers in tandem with the preamp. I have to thank Juan (busterfree) for his experimentation with the OD3 that inspired me to try that tube type for the first time--wow, the Westinghouse brand I'm using now in particular gives just the right amount of dynamic punch and a hint of warm winds to the presentation. The treble control circuit is an absolute necessity at least with the ribbon tweeters in the HR-1s; they allow me to dial in just the right balance in concert with the ZROCK2.

I haven't set my system up for sound staging and what many call imaging (I think of imaging as the realistic presentation of instruments in their recorded space) BUT I'm getting the best examples of both of these playback aspects with the 25th Anniversary duo of amp and preamp. And I'm getting mesmerizing headphone listening as well with detail but such a natural and smooth character, and layers displayed.

Every time I get to a benchmark pinnacle of music reproduction like this I wish I had been able to get there from the start, and wish it would never end. (Though it does end, for some reason Steve and other audiophiles and builders manage to make it BETTER!). I'm just going to continue to be grateful for all the efforts that went into the gear I have and for the journey that has gotten me here, and I'm hoping to listen (and watch) as much as I can.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #58 - 06/27/18 at 15:34:19
 
Damn Lon,  It all sounds awesome. But, your making me Jones more for the arrival of my UFO25. Still, Love reading your impressions...keep it coming when, and if, you can tear yourself away from the stereo!
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #59 - 06/27/18 at 15:42:01
 
Ace, you're going to be very happy when your amp arrives. It will be well worth the wait. Joe Lazenby picked his up last week . . . and we haven't heard a peep from him on the forum yet! (I heard from him via email though, he's lost in the excellent sound!)

Won't be much longer now I bet. . . ever day brings you closer. And you have great sound now too. . . .
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #60 - 06/28/18 at 13:46:52
 
Hi Lon, would you be willing to post a picture of your amp? I would love to see one. I think the only picture of this amp in the thread is of the internals...there is the one from Trpwr posted, but is that a CSP-3, or a CSP35? I dont see any OC3 tubes in that one, so I think it's his old CSP3?
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Torii Jr, Taboo III, Dennis Had Firebottle amp & LP2 pre, ERR speakers, Omega 3XRS, Omega Super Alnico XRS, Bryston BDP-1, Kora Hermes DAC, Pear Audio Robin Hood TT w/Cornet 1 tonearm & Hana SL cart, ZP3 Cryo Beeswax caps, Bob's Devices SUT, HD800, LCD2, Zenwave
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #61 - 06/28/18 at 13:51:34
 
I'm sorry, I don't own a camera and I'm not a photographer. Even my phone does not have an out that I can remove a picture from to a PC.

The good news about this though is that the CSP3 with the 25th Anniversary mods looks EXACTLY like the CSP3 without the mods. All the modifications are inside. The voltage regulation tube, which is not an OC2 or any "O" series but a much smaller Russian tube, is in the underside, along with the Jupiter caps etc. that are the other modifications. (The voltage regulation tube is visible in the picture of the underside.)
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #62 - 06/28/18 at 13:55:31
 
Wow, okay - thanks for the info. That's crazy the only extra tube is internal to the component. Quite an unusual set up. So, you got Jupiter beeswax, or Jupiter Cu foil caps? Same caps in your monoblocks? I am possibly considering this preamp with Jupiter CuF, but am curious about the Vcap option as well. They are supposed to take forever to break in, but once they are settled, are supposed to be as liquid and organic as the Jupiters, but with even more detail (without being "bright" or harsh).
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #63 - 06/28/18 at 14:02:59
 
I have the Jupiter Type II, copper foil caps, which I also have in the ZTPRE, ZROCK2, and SE84UFO3-25 Monoblocks and Taboo Mk IV. I like these! I have never tried V-Caps. . . in the past I read that they were brighter than I'd like, that may not have been accurate. Anyway I used the Type I beeswax caps in my CSP2+s and my Taboo Mk IIIs before, and liked them, tried the Type II in the Taboo Mk IV and ZTPRE and love them, so have them in all my Decware components (except the passive ZBIT) now.

PS: That is also the case with the Monoblocks in the 25th Anniversary version: the voltage regulator tube, an OC2, is in the underside. These tubes generate no heat really so it's not an issue in that sense and they seem to last forever. In the Monoblocks it is mounted in a socket so it can be replaced.
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #64 - 06/30/18 at 17:55:23
 
well i estimate i have about 30hrs on mine now and, starting last night, things are really starting to settle down.  i noticed last night that from the min i turn the unit on, the sound is awesome (don't have to wait 25-30mins like my stock csp3).  now it gets better as it warms up the the delta change is smaller (just my observations).

also the sound stage has gone to about 180 deg and about 20feet deep!  the placement of performers and instruments are hypnotic when you close your eyes!  this is the biggest noticeable change from 0 to 30 hrs.

its to the point now every time you sit down, you can't turn it off!
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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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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #65 - 06/30/18 at 17:58:31
 
Awesome! I agree that it sounds better cold than the CSP2+s I have do. It's a joy to listen to. Yours is going to sound better still!
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #66 - 07/07/18 at 12:00:23
 
Trip, I bet yours is sounding even better now!

I'm listening to my Audeze LCD-2 with this preamplifier and just marveling at how great the sound is. I didn't think the Taboo Mk IV could be bested driving these headphones but this CSP3-25 may have done the job. Or is at least its equal in most "power" ways and including a bit more "dimensional detail" elements. Even if just for headphones, this is an amazing preamp. But it's so much more, what it does for the amplifiers is revelatory.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #67 - 07/07/18 at 19:49:23
 
Lon, yes continues to amaze!  Cant wait to stuff it into my buddys million dollar system and watch his eyes!  Lol.
He doesnt believe me.
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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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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #68 - 07/07/18 at 20:36:21
 
Ha! You'll make him a believer!
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #69 - 08/22/18 at 01:05:43
 
Upstream in this thread doukhobar asked me: "Lon - have you thought of getting a pair of dynamic cans, like the affordable HD650 for the CSP25? Dynamic hp are supposed to be a much, much better pairing with the CSP family."

I didn't plan on getting any dynamic headphones but as the CSP3-25 broke in I found that the Audeze LCD-3 that I love using seemed to be "veiled" with my favorite tube complement. The Oppo PM-1 sound very very good, but are not as comfortable to wear for long periods as the Audeze, and I have been using them upstairs in my second system driven by the Taboo Mk IV where I don't listen for long periods of time.

As is usual my mind started moving towards new horizons and I started thinking about dynamic headphones and doing some research. I thought about ZMF but reading a lot of reviews I found myself thinking that the Sennheiser HD800S would be a good match for the CSP3-25 especially as I am using a ZROCK2 in front of it. Review after review kept making me think this would be a good match and so I ordered a pair to try.

I have to say, these are excellent headphones and work well with the CSP3-35 and the Taboo Mk IV. Contrary to what some think I find the two planar magnetic headphones that I have to be just as compatible with the CSP3-25 as the Sennheiser. The Sennheiser though have a clear and dynamic sound, less warm and thick as the Audeze, and on top of that are the most comfortable headphones I've ever owned. I really like their sound. . . . Three pairs of headphones is too much. I'll likely sell the Audeze LCD-2, perhaps in a package with the Taboo Mk III that I am not using, as this is a fantastic pairing of amp and headphones.

So I can now say that the CSP3-25 is an excellent amplifier for both dynamic and planar magnetic headphones, and will reveal the character of the headphones and as Steve says act as a microscope on the recording.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #70 - 08/24/18 at 00:58:10
 
Coming from the headphone side of the planet, I can confirm that the CSP works wonderfully with the Senn's. It works with most dynamic, high impedance 'phones, whereas the planars work better with transformer coupled higher powered amps like the Taboo.

I had a CSP2+ for my HD800's, and also used it to drive a Taboo II that I used with my LCD3's. Only my HD's remain which are driven by a CSP3.

I would love to pair a UFO25 with a pair of these: https://abyss-headphones.com/pages/abyss-ab-1266-phi-reference-headphone
I think that would be a killer pairing, but not in the budget right now.

Actually, if I can't get the rattle in my right ear straightened out, it will
all be gone anyway.
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #71 - 08/24/18 at 02:07:02
 
I'm really falling for these HD800S phones. They sound fantastic with both the CSP3-25 AND the Taboo Mk IV. Warmer sound with the CSP, bigger bolder, clearer sound with the Taboo. Awesome headphones.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #72 - 08/31/18 at 19:02:53
 
I just swapped my new csp3-25 in for my csp3 in line with the ufo25 amp. This is a worthwhile upgrade. The ufo25 w csp3 was amazing, but the csp3-25 takes it up a full notch in pretty much all domains. I wasn't expecting this much of an impact. I did also swap in a Telefunken input tube for an amperex. I think the Telefunken honors the improved power supply.

Re dynamic headphones w csp3-25. I have an arsenal of Sennheiser and beyerdynamic cans, all very happy with the otl amp. However, I find myself listening to my focal elears and zmf auteurs the most on the csp3 and taboo iv.... The zmfs are worth a listen if you can hear them...
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #73 - 08/31/18 at 19:10:37
 
I suspect one day I'll try one of the ZMFs. I'm curious about them. Loving these Sennheiser HD-800S with the CSP3-25 though.

The CSP3-25 is an excellent companion to the SE84UFO3-25 monoblocks that I have, I agree that this preamp takes everything up another notch. .
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #74 - 09/14/18 at 22:43:16
 
In the Taboo Mk IV forum I have noted that I am now using the CSP3-25 to drive my Taboo Mk IV amp, allowing me to "ride the gain" and to pump quite a bit of gain into the Taboo Mk IV. (My CSP3-25 has dual stereo outputs so it is also used with the Monoblocks). When using any of my three pairs of headphones with the CSP3-25 as my input controls have been bypassed by Steve I really can't turn the CSP3-25 up much at all, and I've been curious what more gain from this preamp would sound like. Well, pushing a lot of the power from the preamp into the Taboo yields a great sound. . . dynamic and detailed, a lot of the Anniversary "mojo" present with the dual volume control and lucid mode aspects of the Taboo in play as well. Win win!
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #75 - 12/15/18 at 15:54:41
 
trying some different tubes this am...

nos 6h23's in all three positions

and type 80 rectifier

imaging is unbelievable, top end extension is very crisp w/o being over bearing.  mids are smooth and warm.  low end is same.
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20181215_094107.jpg

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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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #76 - 12/15/18 at 15:55:49
 
boxes
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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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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #77 - 01/31/19 at 18:26:36
 
I'm sure that is a nice tube complement Trip.

I just put the CSP3-25 back in the main system in place of the ZTPRE as my Taboo Mk IV is coming back today, and I plan on using it with the CSP3-25 in my upcoming system and so wanted t refresh myself with the sound with the 25th Anniversary Monoblocks before I sub them briefly with the newly arrived Taboo Mk IV.

I forgot how vivid and detailed the CSP3-25 is. The ZTPRE is a bit reigned in and polite in comparison. Which actually suits most of my listening best. I think the best sound in my system is actually using both the ZTPRE and the CSP3-25, which I may end up doing in the main system as I have a CSP2+ with beeswax caps I can use with the Taboo in the new system. We'll see.

The CSP3-25 is a fantastic preamp. I like the Taboo Mk III and IV a bit better as a headphone amp, but that has more to do with my headphones than the preamp, and also the fact that Steve has the input controls on my CSP3-25 bypassed with a glass resistor.

I'm using a Sophia Electric Aqua 274B, and 3 Amperex 6DJ8 in the CSP3-25.

EDIT TO ADD: I just reintroduced the ZTPRE into the chain so it's sources via balanced input to the ZTPRE, ZTPRE to ZBIT, ZBIT to ZROCK2, and then to the CSP3-25 and then to the 25th Anniversary Monoblocks. That's a whole lot of Decware goodness and it really sounds superb--the best of both preamp worlds I could inhabit. . . is both preamps. Now I'm just waiting for UPS to drop off the upgraded Taboo Mk IV.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #78 - 01/31/19 at 21:58:10
 
Oh man, Lon! Sure hope UPS has had their kid gloves on handling the modded amp! Happy listening.
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #79 - 02/01/19 at 19:47:05
 
At last the Taboo Mk IV is back with the 25th Anniversary Mods. (Not that I'm at all saying it took a long time. . . it was there and back again in just over three weeks, great time, it's just that UPS was going to deliver yesterday but didn't, and I feared I would not see it for a few more hours, but here it is, set up).

I forgot how beautiful this amp was. It's just a beautifully laid out and finished machine. Mine says "Special Edition" on the bottom and it looks like one. And so far (the amp is cold. . . I didn't even let it reach room temperature as Johnny did with his amp yesterday) the sound is as wonderful as it was when it left here three weeks ago, and a bit different too. In a good way. From memory. . . there's a bit more separation of instruments and a bit more "drive."

Compared to the Monoblocks there's a tad more "center fill" which was the case before--it's a stereo chassis after all, not two separate channels each in their own chassis. And for a lot of music works really well, adding "punch."

Wow. Choices. I have the Monoblocks and these. . . which are all excellent amps to have and enjoy.

Oddly. . . I had to turn this Taboo up a bit compared to the Monoblocks, which surprised me. But things are always a bit kinky when you first get one of these wonderful machines.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #80 - 02/09/19 at 02:14:19
 
My ZMF auteur’s , are waiting..
The CSP3 (25th) should be at the door  any minute..
The anticipation is up there...
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INNUOS ZEN mk3 (streamer)
MODWRIGHT OPPO-205 (DAC)(CDP)
DECWARE (Zrock2-25th)
ARIC AUDIO (passive)
DECWARE (zma)
TEKTON (Double Impact SE)
TEKTON (Enzo sub x 2)
PI AUDIO (UberBUSS)
Curious/Zenwave/Cullencable/TWL
DECWARE (csp3-25th)
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #81 - 04/01/19 at 20:41:00
 
I sent my CSP3-25 back for repairs today.  On headphones the left channel was acting up. I am 99.99 percent certain it is not tubes or anything else; line out is perfect into the Taboo Mk IV. Same on all my headphones.

Luckily I have my CSP2+ with the Anniversary Mods I can put in its place while it's away. It almost sounds as good as the CSP3-25. Almost. There is a difference. . . it's not as major as one might think, and the CSP3-25 is far more seasoned than the mods on the CSP2+. Hope to have it back in three weeks or so, and then I may send my ZTPRE in for the anniversary mods. . . or not. I'm divided on that one.
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #82 - 04/01/19 at 21:25:30
 
Good luck with the repairs and wait, Lon. Hopefully, things will move along quickly.  Looks like the Decware team only has a few more Black Friday builds to go, before the logjam breaks.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dyna 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono OR MWI modded Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th mods pre > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii15+ speakers > Snake River Audio & ZenWave cables.
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #83 - 04/01/19 at 21:38:21
 
I've sent my Taboo Mk IV and my CSP2+ back (separately) this year for Anniversary modification and they were just over 3 weeks each there and back again (US mail only takes two days to get there from here). So it should I think be a similar time to come back.

I'll miss the headphone section; Steve had mine wired a little differently--he bypassed the input controls and wired a glass resistor right there--and the the sound is better with my favorite headphones with this than with my other three headphone choices. Really delicious to listen to on headphones!
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #84 - 04/23/19 at 14:35:24
 
My CSP3-25 is on its way back, will be back tomorrow. Turns out one of the internal fuses was causing my issue. Wish I knew how to figure that out and fix it, I've been missing it, especially as a headphone amp in my downstairs system. The CSP2+25 I'm using in its place is really really great. It really works 95% as well as a preamp for the Taboo Mk IV-25, but the CSP3-25 is a bit better still as a headphone amp, and this system is where I do most of my headphone listening.

The Decware preamps are astonishingly good. To think I used to prefer NO preamp. But my ZTPRE, CSP3-25 and CSP2+25 make my systems BETTER. Hands down.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #85 - 04/26/19 at 22:01:28
 
Yesterday my CSP3-25 returned. I didn't get to set it up until early this morning as my wife took a "mental health day" yesterday and I didn't get the chance, but now it's in use in my audio/video system and sounds fantastic. The CSP2+ with the anniversary mods was doing a great job in the meantime, especially when listening through the speakers, but Steve made my headphone path a bit different (bypassed the input gain controls with a glass resistor) and the headphone sound on this CSP3-25, with my Sennheiser HD800S especially, is just amazing, the best I've ever heard, as good as I can imagine headphones sounding. (The ZROCK2 in the signal path also is a big help!)

So now I can get by on the weekends with a few hours of headphone listening that thrills me again when I can't use my speakers. It was just a fuse that was causing me a problem (a fuse for the rectifier inside the chassis) and I'm so happy to have her home.
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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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HockessinKid
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #86 - 04/26/19 at 22:52:05
 
👍👍👍

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dyna 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono OR MWI modded Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th mods pre > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Audio Lii15+ speakers > Snake River Audio & ZenWave cables.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #87 - 04/27/19 at 00:18:45
 
Way to go, Uncle Lon.
I’m waiting for my new (to me) white topped Mini Torii to be returned to me with the 25th Anniversary modifications.

So I’m wondering whether to keep the ZSTAGE in the audio chain.
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MINI TORII ANNIVERSARY MODIFIED; ZROCK2; MONOLITH SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK2 KAB MODDED TT; ONKYO 6 DISC CD; MARANTZ 2226B; SCHIIT MULTIBIT DAC; SENNHEISER HD-580s
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Lon
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #88 - 04/27/19 at 01:40:27
 
Hey, I bet it sounds great with the ZSTAGE, I know you'll try it with and without and draw your own conclusion.

The mods are AMAZING. I'm really tempted to get the mods for the Taboo Mk III and also the ZTPRE. I really shouldn't keep both the CSP2+ and the Taboo Mk III but I can't really make the decision until I get the mods done to the Taboo, and I really shouldn't sell the CSP2+ until after I do the ZTPRE mod as I can put it in place of the CSP3-25 and use the CSP3-25 while the ZTPRE is out.

First world problems for sure. I don't want to do anything for a spell. Been doing so much with the systems, and loving it, now it's time to let them settle in and enjoy them without further changes for a spell.
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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 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #89 - 04/27/19 at 03:27:56
 

Lon,

The problem with your headphone output on one channel turned out to be an intermittent short where the headphone resistor had been bent to just barely almost touch ground.  The hum problem you had was caused by a rectifier tube short that blew one of the internal fuses.  I'm pleased you're enjoying it!  I am presently spending quite a bit of time with the new one (CSP325) which is pretty much identical sounding to yours.  The biggest take away I get from it is how incredibly smooth and well rounded it sounds.  Very natural, lots of body.

-Steve
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Re: csp3 25yr anniversary mods
Reply #90 - 04/27/19 at 04:06:55
 
Thanks for the clarification and the repair. Not sure why those things happened, but I'm glad it was easy to fix and man I love having this back. You're right, smooth and natura and with texture. . .dynamic as well (part of natural I guess, dynamics are natural). I"d recommend this mod to the CSP3 or the upcoming pre to anyone who loves the CSP sound. . .it's a pinnacle of that sound and "feel."
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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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