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High Sensitivity Setup... (Read 2915 times)
mastertrash
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High Sensitivity Setup...
08/17/20 at 13:08:38
 
Hi folks,

New to the forum and figured I would share some photos.  I recently picked up these semi-DIY Pure Audio Project Trio 15 Open Baffles and am slowly improving them.  A recent loan of a Super Zen Triode has me searching for the perfect Decware amp to add to my setup.

Here's the rig as of right now:

PS Audio PowerPlant Premiere
Modified Garrard 301
Woodsong Plinth
SME 310 with Ortofon A90 (retipped)
Jelco SA-750 with Ortofon Cadenza Mono
Pass XP-25 Phono Pre
PS Audio DirectStream DSD Dac
Cambridge Audio CXC Transport
Roon ROCK Server, NAS, and Sonore Micro-Rendu Streamer
Aesthetix Calypso Signature
Pass X-150.8 Amp
(Currently an odler Decware Zen Triode!)
Nordost Frey/Frey2 cabling
Older Nordost Power Cables
Pure Audio Project Trio 15 TB's (with Voxativ 1.6 full-rangers on the way)

I've recently gone down the path with these Open Baffles and am loving the wide open, speedy, detailed picture they paint in my room.  They LOVE the Super Zen Triode so now I'm on a hunt for the perfect Decware amp...

Does anyone else in the forums run the Pure Audio Projects?  I would appreciate advice on which amp is going to make me happiest...

I tend to listen at moderate levels (~85db) but there are times when I really crank the system so I like having lots of headroom.  Would I be happy ultimately with only 2 watts, or 6 watts, or do I need to be looking at a Torii or ZMA?

I do worry about trading away too much of the Zen Triode character.  It's flat out gorgeous sounding on this high resolution system.

Anyway, suggestions, questions or comments very welcome. Smiley









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ArtMan
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #1 - 08/17/20 at 15:14:04
 
I am confused. You already have an older Zen amp and know how loud it plays your speakers. Aren't you already the expert on whether this plays loud enough for you?

The amp that will make you happiest is the 25th anniversary edition. It is the best sounding Decware amplifier.
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Lon
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #2 - 08/17/20 at 15:26:52
 
The Zen amp he has is a borrowed older model.

I agree that if there's enough headroom with that amp the 25th Anniversary amp is the best pick. Unless you want to get just a little more power, in which case you could use the SE84UFO3 Monoblocks, with the 25th Anniversary Mods. I have these and they ended my amp envy, and give me the headroom I need with less efficient speakers (Decware/Turning Point Audio HR-1).
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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: PST+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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Geno
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #3 - 08/17/20 at 16:09:44
 
I hate to change the subject, but the biggest thing you can do (If you aren't covering them during a listening session) is to address the need for room treatment concerning the windows. You will not believe how much better it will sound with the windows covered.

With open baffles, diffusers are needed behind. Any kind of absorption will take away from the bass.

You have all that really nice equipment, but the room is degrading the sound tremendously.
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SE84UFO and Spud Kit (Balanced monoblks) OR Sansui AU-222 OR Sansui AU-555A OR Sansui 800 OR Pioneer SX-626
Cambr. Aud. CXN (ModWright) • Cambr. Aud. CXC • ZBIT
Technics SL-1210MK5 (KAB Mods) w/ Concorde 40 cart
Otari MX5050
ZLC
Lii Cryst 10 • Lii W-15
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mastertrash
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #4 - 08/17/20 at 16:26:28
 
Thanks for the welcome and thoughts guys.  A couple quick responses...

(1) I know that covering the glass would change the setup significantly.  I've had other rooms in the past where I found this to be true.  I will say that the need for it (and quick experimentation with my old PSB Synchrony Ones) showed that the need was less in this space given how damped the rest of the room is, but with OB's I know I'm in another world here.  Will try that out again.

(2) On the power situation, I'm a little afraid to drive the amp into clipping and am not sure I've used all of what it has yet.  It is a friend's older amp.  It does seem like it would be enough MOST of the time, but I'm not sure how happy I would be with that in the long run.

Thanks for confirming what I already guessed about the 25th anniversary triode being the best sounding amplifier.  I'll have to experiment more and see what I think about the power conundrum...
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Lon
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #5 - 08/17/20 at 17:54:06
 
Re: (2) One thing to consider is that the 25th Anniversary power supply mods make a fuller sounding, bigger sounding amp--my experience is that they sound louder and you don't push the amp as hard. I still am amazed at how loud my 3 watt monoblocks are and how much headroom I have unused.
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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: PST+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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busterfree
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #6 - 08/18/20 at 01:37:13
 
I would not be too worried about pushing the 2 watt amp too hard. You may want to clip it so that you know what you are working with since you like to listen loud at times. You are not going to hurt the amp.

Any idea on the age of tubes in amp? I would put it through its paces while you have it.

You cannot go wrong with any of the two watt amps IMO. Yet, I wonder what it would be like to own a ZMA so that I do not have worry (as much) about what type of speaker to use.
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— TV, cable box, BRP, TEAC NT-505, Decware ZBIT, CSP3-25 & SE84UFO3-25, Klipsch Forte II, PS Audio P20

— PS Audio DirectStream w/ Bridge II & BHK Preamp, Decware ZBIT, SE84UFO25 (or Pass Labs XA25), Klipsch Forte III (or Zu Audio DW), PS Audio P10 & P5
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Lin
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Posts: 534
Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #7 - 08/18/20 at 03:34:08
 
mastertrash,

No harm in trying diffusers behind the speakers, but I disagree with stating you need them with OB/dipole speakers.
If your speakers are 5 1/2 ft or more out the reflection is delayed enough to add add spaciousness to the sound without the harmful early reflections.

See here (scroll down to early/late arrival section):
https://jamesromeyn.com/audiokinesis-speaker-design/#acoustics
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mastertrash
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #8 - 08/18/20 at 05:03:53
 
Interesting tip, Lin. As fate would have it, I set up my OB’s at a distance of...wait for it...5’6” from the wall behind them. I do think they sound quite nice despite the fact that there is too much glass in the room. Don’t ask me why.

I also have some big refraction acoustic panels from GIK. I slid the French doors open tonight leaving just two panes of glass and covered each with one of the acoustic panels.  It did clear up the soundstage a bit and improve clarity as well. Not a massive difference, but a nice improvement all the way around. Thanks for the idea and motivation to try it out, Geno.

No clue on the age of the tubes, but probably older given the age of the amp. I do want to crank it, but how will I know if I’m clipping it?  Some part of me recoils are the thought of even getting close to clipping my amp...

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busterfree
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #9 - 08/19/20 at 01:38:48
 
From the SE84UFO manual:
Quote:
This amplifier requires 2 volts to come to full power. 2 Volts is the average output signal level found in line level devices such as CD players and DACs. This means that you will have to turn the volume control nearly all the way up to make the amplifier clip (run out of power) which keeps the clipping “kind” and harmless to not only the amplifier but also the tubes and the speakers.


Your test amp is an older model, but I think this still holds true. I think it will get uncomfortably loud before you notice much clipping. I do not think I have clipped my amps. I think clipping indication would be hard, unpleasant distorted, and/or compressed sound.

You could start with amp volume at half way point. Maximize preamp volume. Then slowing raise amp volume. I do not know if your preamp has adjustable gain controls besides the volume knob.
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— TV, cable box, BRP, TEAC NT-505, Decware ZBIT, CSP3-25 & SE84UFO3-25, Klipsch Forte II, PS Audio P20

— PS Audio DirectStream w/ Bridge II & BHK Preamp, Decware ZBIT, SE84UFO25 (or Pass Labs XA25), Klipsch Forte III (or Zu Audio DW), PS Audio P10 & P5
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busterfree
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #10 - 08/19/20 at 01:45:55
 
It looks like the Calypso does have an internal gain adjustment (0 dB or -12 dB) with internal jumpers.
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— TV, cable box, BRP, TEAC NT-505, Decware ZBIT, CSP3-25 & SE84UFO3-25, Klipsch Forte II, PS Audio P20

— PS Audio DirectStream w/ Bridge II & BHK Preamp, Decware ZBIT, SE84UFO25 (or Pass Labs XA25), Klipsch Forte III (or Zu Audio DW), PS Audio P10 & P5
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mastertrash
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Posts: 26
Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #11 - 08/19/20 at 12:46:22
 
Thanks!  I might try.

You know, I forgot all about those jumpers in the Calypso.  I'll check out where it's set currently.  It's also true that they say it's a "high gain linestage" preamplifier and will exceed unity gain.  They say that 71 (of 100) is unity gain when the jumpers are set to -12db, but I frequently run it at higher levels than this (it goes to 100).
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GroovySauce
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Re: High Sensitivity Setup...
Reply #12 - 08/19/20 at 19:51:49
 
Sweet setup and a late welcome to the forums.

I was considering the Pure Audio Project speakers, ended up trying the DIY route. (on going project that is on hold now)

Glad you experimented with the room acoustics with positive results. I my experience glass is nasty business for acoustics.

Spin the volume knob and see what happens, your ears will tell you when to stop and back off.  ;D
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Rega P8 | Zephyr MIMC Star | Innuos ZENith MK3 | FTA Callisto USB | Holo Audio May KTE DAC | ZP3 25th ZMC1 | ZR2 25th | EMIA Autoformer | Torii MKIV 25th | Snake River Audio Cables | PAP Quintet 15 1.6 Vox | PiAudio uberBUSS | Acoustic Fields Foam | QRD Diffusers
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