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TORII JR Ver. 2 (Read 6261 times)
Steve Deckert
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TORII JR Ver. 2
12/22/20 at 23:55:55
 


I've updated the TORII JR for 2021 !

After studying the results of 80 customers who own one up until now -- I found myself wishing the following things were different:

1) The original amplifier was somewhat hard on rectifier tubes if they weren't New Old Stock.
2) The output tubes had to be a matched quad and without meters there was no way to know if they were adequately matched when you purchased them from places other than Decware.
3) The amp was limited to use with EL34 or 6L6G output tubes.
4) The amplifier had to be biased whenever output tubes were changed.
5) The bias can change with variations in the 120V at the wall outlet.

With well matched tubes and properly biased did it sound good?  Yes, it is a high resolution ass kicker!  Can it get better?

Yup.  

I decided to deal with the first item, rectifiers, by reducing the first section from 47uF down to 8uF.  Compared to before, it's like a soft start and is sure to be much kinder to weak rectifier tubes, like the current production models available today.  

Next I eliminated the fixed bias and replaced it with a common cathode resistor for each pair of output tubes. This has the advantage of making it impossible to have the output tubes biased wrong.  It no longer cares much what the wall voltage is, the bias is not going to change every time your AC or electric heat comes on.  It also is no longer limited to two types of output tubes.  As of now, it can run all the same tubes as a TORII MK4.  

So the output tubes that I am using it as I write this are KT66 but the following tubes will also plug right in and work:  EL34, KT77, KT88, 6550, 6L6, 5881, 7027, 807 with adapters.  Since the amp is cathode biased there is very little power difference between the tubes, so the only reason to explore them is for the sound they have.

Now you no longer need matched quads.  Matched pairs are adequate.  In a pinch even if a pair isn't matched, the common cathode will balance the pair to lowest testing one automatically.

The front end has been optimized for the 6N5P which I have found to be generally silkier than 6922's or 7308's.  It is still important to have matched sections in whatever input tube you use with ALL TORII's ever built, including this one.  

Local feedback at the input cathode and output tube cathodes have been removed with bypass caps which was necessary due to the change from fixed to cathode biasing.  This added some gain to the otherwise lower output of the 6N5P so the overall input sensitivity of the amplifier has increased making it easier to drive.

The new amp comes standard with anniversary mods installed.  The signal capacitors have been upgraded from Beeswax Type I and Type II to Mundorf Supremes.

As a result the TORII JRV2 is now a much friendlier amplifier on multiple levels making it ideal for anyone new to tubes.  Just like owning a big Zen amp.

This is a relatively low voltage amplifier with a modest bias current ranging between 40 and 50 mA so it will be kind to your output tubes as well.

SO HOW DOES IT SOUND?

It does not sound like the same amplifier.  The original TORII JR while advertised at 20 watts all tested closer to 30 watts.  The new TORII JRV2 while advertised at 20 watts will just do 20 watts.  This in and of itself will have no effect on the sound per say, just how loud you can crank it compared to the original.  

With the changes to the power supply and bias design, the amplifier's noise floor has dropped from the top end of our acceptable hum spec to the bottom end, almost 8dB making it now possible to recommend for use with 100dB speakers.  

Sonically the signature of the amp has shifted from super fast and neutral to a more rich, robust and juicy presentation with even greater detail than it had before due to the anniversary mods.  The amp comes off as having more weight and being more musical, less clinical.  I think it is exactly the signature that everyone would love to have and of course packaged with the transparency Decware is known for.

PRICING?

Until I get the web page updated, I don't know what the price increase will be.  Everyone who already had a TORII JR on order has been upgraded to a TORII JRV2 at no additional charge.  This will go for new orders as well until the page is finished.

UPGRADES?

Yes, any TORII JR can be changed to a TORII JRV2.  The cost of the upgrade will be $500. No upgrades will be accepted until Spring of 2021.







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Lon
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #1 - 12/23/20 at 00:26:06
 
Wow, that sounds like a WINNER, especially for those who won't be seeing a future price increase! Way to go!
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Reptar
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #2 - 12/23/20 at 17:14:05
 
THANKS STEVE!

What an amazing way to start the New Year!!!! I have a Torii Jr on order and am now jumping out of my skin in anticipation of getting my new super improved Torii Jr!!

Once again, Decware has proven it is the BEST!!!!!!! <3 <3

Wishing you and the Decware family a healthy and joyful New Year!

Warm regards,
Steve
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Dominick
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #3 - 12/26/20 at 12:49:29
 
Steve....so how does the new Jr. V2  sound in comparison to the Torii MKIV with the Anniversary modifications?  It seems like the Jr. modifications bring the two amps a lot closer together than before.

I have my MKIV on order, and plan to call Sarah to add the Anniversary mods.  Just curious on your feedback.

Dom
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iMac 7, Google CCA/Raspberry Pi 4, Schiit Bifrost True Multibit DAC, My Audio Cables [MAC] Ultra Silver+ Cables, ZSB, ZSTAGE [Beeswax Caps], DAG Cables, DHC1, Torii MKIV w/25th Ann. mods, Reg P3 Turntable, Velodyne Dual Firing Sub, ERR Radials [Bubbinga Wood].
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rockrubber1
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #4 - 12/26/20 at 16:43:57
 
Steve,
I also have a Torii Jr on order. After a conversation with you about the MKIV I had on order, you suggested the Jr was more appropriate for my speakers. This just makes me feel even better about choosing Decware for my first tube amp purchase. Looking forward to it arriving!
Mike
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Steve Deckert
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #5 - 12/31/20 at 20:24:31
 


Differences in Anniversary Mods for the two amplifiers:


In the shopping cart for the original TORII JR.,  Beeswax Type II caps are a $250 option.

The new TORII JR., is coming stock with Mundorf caps which are a notch above the Type II beeswax, so this option will be refunded to anyone who selected it.

The Beeswax Bypass Cap mod on the original TORII JR., was $400.  On the new TORII JR., the amp already comes with a poly bypass cap mod standard, but there will be an upgraded version of it that replaces four of the caps with the same Mundorfs used in the signal path.  This option will cost $250

So if you selected type II beeswax on your original TORII JR order or Beeswax Bypass Cap mod your invoice will automatically be adjusted to a lower price before your new TORII JR ver 2 ships.

-Steve

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Dominick
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #6 - 01/02/21 at 09:12:38
 
Thanks Steve for your input.

If you are liking the sound of the Mundorf’s over the Type II beeswax in the Torii Jr. V2....do you think you will move that change over to the Torii MKIV?  I just upgraded my order and added the Anniversary mods to my Torii MKIV and would be interested in the change.  

Dom

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iMac 7, Google CCA/Raspberry Pi 4, Schiit Bifrost True Multibit DAC, My Audio Cables [MAC] Ultra Silver+ Cables, ZSB, ZSTAGE [Beeswax Caps], DAG Cables, DHC1, Torii MKIV w/25th Ann. mods, Reg P3 Turntable, Velodyne Dual Firing Sub, ERR Radials [Bubbinga Wood].
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Steve Deckert
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #7 - 01/03/21 at 04:05:27
 
I suspect I will yes.  If you want your MK4 built with Mundorf it's not a problem.
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Dominick
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #8 - 01/03/21 at 08:22:08
 
That’s great to hear Steve...thank you! I’ll put a call into Sarah and have her make that change.  

Dominick
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iMac 7, Google CCA/Raspberry Pi 4, Schiit Bifrost True Multibit DAC, My Audio Cables [MAC] Ultra Silver+ Cables, ZSB, ZSTAGE [Beeswax Caps], DAG Cables, DHC1, Torii MKIV w/25th Ann. mods, Reg P3 Turntable, Velodyne Dual Firing Sub, ERR Radials [Bubbinga Wood].
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Dominick
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #9 - 01/06/21 at 02:23:28
 
I’ve been thinking and doing a lot of reading about the differences between the Jupiter’s and the Mundorf’s.  I can see how the Jr. V2 with the new mods and the UFO outputs will benefit from the Mundorf’s. His results from this upgrade are exciting!!   

If Steve decides to revisit and retune the MKIV before my build, it will be interesting to see what he comes up with.  At the end of the day...whatever the Zen Master comes up with will be killer!!   If that doesn’t materialize until a later date, then the time tested Jupiter’s that have worked so well for many years with guys who run the MKIV and the ZMA will be awesome!!

Sorry for all the posts...just finally in the home stretch for my build and just getting excited!!  Heck...the Anniversary mods are already added...I think I may just jump in and add the glass resistors as the icing on the cake!

Happy listening!

Dominick
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iMac 7, Google CCA/Raspberry Pi 4, Schiit Bifrost True Multibit DAC, My Audio Cables [MAC] Ultra Silver+ Cables, ZSB, ZSTAGE [Beeswax Caps], DAG Cables, DHC1, Torii MKIV w/25th Ann. mods, Reg P3 Turntable, Velodyne Dual Firing Sub, ERR Radials [Bubbinga Wood].
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Steve Deckert
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #10 - 01/26/21 at 18:00:45
 

Here is the new owner's manual for the TORII JRv2.

https://www.decware.com/newsite/TORIIJRv2.pdf

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Erich
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #11 - 04/19/21 at 01:29:36
 
I don’t know how many v2 upgrades have gone out the door, but here’s my report:

Noise floor: I’m running 99dB speakers. The v2 is clearly quieter in the background. Steve  - thank you kindly for measuring my EL34’s. I did some experimenting and rolled to find the quietest pair combos. Now I really have to put an ear on the speaker to hear anything. Bottom line: the v2 is quieter than my tinnitus, my cable box (by far), my refrigerator in the other room and the 45mph road that’s a block away.

Output power: I *did* roll in a NOS pair of Amperex 6DJ8 input tubes and they are still burning in. Output power is probably truly 20 vs “30” watts as advertised. I ran it half way and it did seem as loud as previous. It certainly did not run me out of the room. Why?

Sound: again, I rolled tubes, so it IS an apples to apples comparison, but it’s Granny Smith vs Fuji vs Golden Delicious.  The high end is still detailed but perhaps more subdued and “controlled” than previously. My speakers, Klipsch Heresy IV did show “harshness” with the Jolida loaner amp I had. I noticed it coming off the o.g. Torii so maybe the improved high end is vs my recent Jolida experience.

Overall - I think the noise floor improvement is worth it. The amp is a much better Chopin at Midnight machine. You still need to keep the tubes matched, so it’s not like you can just go tossing random tube X vs Y and expect it to make full potential. The self biasing is a blessing. My house has dimmers EVERYwhere an I feel like the power just depends on the moment, so the bias circuit is a blessing.

Again - thanks to Steve for taking the time with me.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #12 - 04/20/21 at 04:56:20
 
Thank you for your feedback!

Indeed matched pairs of output tubes are important if you don't want any hum, but now it is possible get by with two matched pairs vs. a tightly matched quad.  That right there makes it twice as easy to live with.  The sound is more relaxed, but only slightly.  Start exploring different output tubes and the signature changes are like having different amps.

Keep us posted and thanks for your post!

Steve
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #13 - 07/07/21 at 16:03:10
 
I purchased my TORII Jr from a previous owner about 2 years ago. How can I tell whether I own Version 2? Is there a before/after serial number that I can check for?
Thanks,
Lynn
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #14 - 07/08/21 at 12:30:21
 
V2 production started in 2021.  The start of this thread states that an upgrade can be done for $500.
Bob
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Heresy IIIs, Reisong A10 (to be Torii Jr), Pontus II
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Lin
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #15 - 07/12/21 at 01:39:27
 
I purchased my TORII Jr from a previous owner about 2 years ago. How can I tell whether I own Version 2?
Is there a before/after serial number that I can check for?
Thanks,
Lynn


The first version has a bias adjustment pot (slotted for a small screw driver) in front of the on/off switch.

Look here under bias adjustment section:
https://www.decware.com/newsite/TORIIJRownersmanual.pdf
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #16 - 07/14/21 at 07:12:56
 
Now that the Torii MKV is being developed with meters, will the next version of Torii Jr be updated with meters?

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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #17 - 07/24/21 at 01:14:54
 
So i bought a Torii Jr. shortly after it was released. i have #09. i loved it from the beginning, it was fast and transparent, an amp that was a lot of fun to listen to, even if it was a little rough around the edges. By that i mean it was a little two dimensional, and it was a little aggressive in the treble region. But man was it fast and transparent and FUN.  

Then i went to Decware in the fall of 2018 and listened to the Zen UFO25 amp. Ruined me. Couldn't believe how good those two watts were. Came back home and listened to my Jr. and it was flat, VERY two dimensional, still fast and transparent, but the realism compared to the anniversary Zen was really lacking. So i got the anniversary mods for my Jr., glass resistors, the whole nine yards. It was a very worthwhile upgrade, it gave the amp a more three dimensional presentation, more detail, it became a better amp. i've written a little about that elsewhere.

Last month i upgraded to version 2. Now it's as if this amp has fully matured. It is richer, a little bit more transparent, and has a more nuanced presentation. Most of all, as a previous poster has said, it is QUIET. It is amazing how much quieter, really. i can open it all the way up with no music playing, put my ear to speaker and i don't hear anything. If i have an old or faulty tube, i hear some tube rush, but it is remarkable how much quieter the amp is now. Add to that the fact you don't have to manually bias the tubes any more, and you have an amp that sounds wonderful and is easier to own.

Along with the version 2 upgrade, i added a CSP3 with full anniversary mods last month. i was amazed at how much the CSP3 added to the musical presentation, more body, more detail, more realism, more dimensionality, just remarkable. My son, who has been with me through this journey, hadn't listened to my system in a few months. He sat down in the chair the other day and when his music started he looked at me and said, "That is so much better, particularly in the vocals, it's like they are right in front of me. i can hear so much more!" And that was hooking up his iPhone through my Decware modified Tascam CD-240. He wasn't even listening to vinyl, which sounds so much better than any digital source in my system.

i have a McCormack DNA 0.5 Deluxe amp from 1997 that i have used off and on throughout the last 24 years. In its day, it was a celebrated solid state amp, touted for its value. i let my son use it in his system for awhile and i use it whenever i send my Jr. in for upgrades. When i don't have my Jr. i use the McCormack for background music, because when i sit and listen critically it just frustrates the hell out of me. That grainy, two dimensional solid state presentation can really get on my nerves. Well i thought i'd see what the CSP3 could do for it, so i took the newly upgraded Jr. out of the system and put the McCormack amp in. i was quite surprised at the result. The McCormack amp has a lot more authority on the low end, as it should being a 100 watt amp, but the CSP3 gave it more transparency, more detail, a more three dimensional presentation, and i could actually listen to the music without getting so frustrated.

Now don't get me wrong, it did not come close to the Jr. in the midrange or treble region. It still had the solid state grain i've come to loathe, but it was pretty surprising at how much better the CSP3 made it sound.

The CSP3 with anniversary mods and the Torii Jr. version 2 with full anniversary mods is a wonderful pairing. i'm sure new Torii Jr. version 2 owners are going to be quite happy. If you want to be even happier, consider a CSP3 with anniversary mods.

David

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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #18 - 08/09/21 at 19:17:06
 
I ordered my Torii Jr on Thanksgiving 2020, just received it last month. In a word (or more) Stunning!

I have a terrible listening room, it sounds very bright. My first piece of Decware equipment was the SE84UFO with Omega CAM speakers. I ordered it for my home office where I work and listen nearfield. I was dumbfounded but the sound. I've been tinkering with amps/electronics since I was 13. My dad was an Electrical Engineer. This amp is great but I needed more power for my main listening area; my living room.

My main system had been a Rotel (200W/Ch) with B&W 703 speakers + an REL R-505 Sub.

I ordered the Caintuck F15, while they have a great sound, in this room I wasn't completely happy. I then bought (getting a great deal) on the HR-1 speakers with all the upgrades. Was driving that with a Dennis Had Inspire "hot rod) amp and preamp. Still not happy. I ordered the Torri Jr which was automatically upgraded to the V2 - my reaction was to worry, not that I had heard the original Torii Jr but worried if I would like the V2, then the caps were changed - more worry.

While I was waiting for my Torii Jr V2 to arrive, I thought my system was way to bright, called Steve who was hugely patient and understanding and gave me a bunch of good tips. I ordered a new DAC - MHDT Orchid, swapped out the stock tube. Upgraded my speaker cables to the same cable that Decware sells - bought the raw cable and made them myself.
That was a great upgrade! I use a Raspberry Pi Streamer with an allo.com DigiOne Hat to get spdif output. Upgraded it's power supply to a Linear Power supply, still thought it was bright, upgraded to the DigiOne Signature and this put me way over the top - a huge huge improvement with allo's Shanti clean LPS.

Then the Torii Jr V2 arrived - SONIC BLISS!! I had a problem with the Rectifier tube and used an RCA 5U4. It came with Electro Harmonix 6922 but having read this forum I had bought two matched 6N5P in anticipation, I plugged them in and wow the sound was much smoother. Incredible detail without being bright! I have rolled in some NOS Mullard 6922 and Amprex 6922 but the 6N5Ps kept finding their way back into the amp.

I could use words like musical, and other adjectives the reviewers use but none capture the sound as much as it puts the musicians right into your listening room. Before Covid I would see a lot of live music. This is the closest to actually being there.

The only downside that I see is that my system is now incredibly revealing. I rip my CDs to FLAC and stream it throughout the house using piCorePlayer (LMS). Recordings that are not well mastered don't sound great, but the ones that do - heavenly! This amp won't give rock concert bass slam where you feel the bass in your chest but it delivers on everything else. I listen to Jazz, Rock, Classical, Opera, Reggae, World Music etc - all amazing on this system. If I want to rock out with heavy bass I can always fire up the Rotel (now used for Home Theater) but I just can't stop listening to the Torii Jr V2 and the HR-1s, there are nights where I'm cycling through my collection trying to hear all of my music again and I find that suddenly it's the middle of the night!

Sorry if this is a bit rambling. I'm definitely not a reviewer but can's stop gushing over the Torii JR V2 + HR-1!

Big shout out of THANKS to Steve and the Decware team for such incredible work!  

PS> Thanks to Bob Ziegler who was super helpful with my HR-1 purchase. A real good guy - they all are!

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Dana
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Re: TORII JR Ver. 2
Reply #19 - 08/09/21 at 20:24:44
 
i also have the MHDT Orchid with an upgraded tube and ran it from the the allo digione.  I had to change it to a Windows USB PC connection because of Amazon HD.

I'm currently using theSE84UFO amp.

In my experience the USB input was far superior to the other digital inputs.  The raspberry PI was a great device but in my system the Windows USB sounds so much better.

I'm using Foobar & Fidelizer and controlling it using Remote PC.  The interface is no where as clean as Volumio but workable.


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Tom Waits:
And the newspapers were fooling,
And the ash-trays have retired
'Cause the piano has been drinking,
The piano has been drinking
The piano has been drinking,
Not me, not me, not me, not me, not me
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