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Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off. (Read 989 times)
DrWongKC
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Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
06/11/24 at 14:30:42
 
Hello! I've just received my SE84UFO25 amplifier today and have ran it for about 4 hours of burn-in. The amplifier is definitely loud enough for the Triangle Comete 40th in my room however it sounds really weak/bass anemic. There's barely any mid-bass or reasonable bass impact.

I'm guessing this is due to not being burned-in yet but do other UFO25 owners experience the same thing? Or should I be worried and a replacement for a new suitable speakers is required? Sad
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CAJames
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #1 - 06/11/24 at 15:36:24
 
What amp did you have before the UFO25? And what is your front end? Are you using the Decware stock tubes?

Certainly your new amp will sound better after dozens of hours but even right out of the box mine did not seem "bass enemic." But I didn't get the Decware tubes, I used my own well broken in tubes. A quick check of your speakers indicate the minimum recommended power is 25 watts, so it is possible the speakers aren't a good match. But at this point I would wait until you had at least 30 or 40 hours and then re-evaluate.

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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
STR-1002 -> Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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JOMAN
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #2 - 06/11/24 at 16:45:18
 
Quote:
But at this point I would wait until you had at least 30 or 40 hours and then re-evaluate.


This is very good advice and I wouldn't do anything else yet!

Having said that this has been my experience:

Initially I was driving a pair of Omega S3HOXRS.  Two 4.5" drivers.  With these I needed the ZRock2 to get density and bass.

Next I tried the CryoTone EL84's in my UFO25 and changed the speakers to Omega Vintage 8's with two 8" drivers and a wide front baffle.  With this configuration I no longer needed the ZRock and sold it.  I'm now tempted to go to OB with a minimum of  a pair of 10" drivers or even 15" drivers.

Next I changed my source, progressively, and have the Lumin U2 Mini, Muon Ethernet system, Chord Hugo TT2 with the Hugo M Scaler - simply put bass is resolving and off the charts so to speak. This was unexpected and not the reason for going to this set up.

I must emphasize that this has been my experience, others have approached this matter of bass in other ways and have had good results.  Also the above is a brief and not all that was involved.

If you can, wait until you put at least 100 hours on the UFO25.

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mrchipster
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #3 - 06/11/24 at 16:45:32
 
I received my UFO25 not too long ago. I did not have the bass issue you describe, even at the very start. I do have high efficiency speakers though: Floor standers with 101db efficiency, Full Range Driver, high pass filter for tweeter, down to 30hz, and no crossover. In fact, for my smallish room (12x14) I get more bass than I need.

It may be that the combination of a crossover and the 90db efficiency are enough to hinder the UFO25 and not provide a good enough match and synergy. Those look like nice speakers though and may be a better match for higher power tube or solid-state amps.

However, as CAJames mentioned, maybe more time on the UFO25 is needed.
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SE84UFO25 - CSP3 (A-mods)
ZROCK2 (A-mods) - ZBIT
Cambridge Audio CXN V2 (ModWright)
Cambridge Audio CXC
Zu Audio Soul Supremes
VIABLUE IC's & Spkr cables ; DSR3 IC's
Audio-Technica TT
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CAJames
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Posts: 1973
Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #4 - 06/11/24 at 17:08:43
 
One thing I would consider changing now (assuming you have the Decware case-o-tubes) is the VR tube for the input. If you aren't using the 0C3 I would put that in. My experience is the input VR tube can have a significant effect on the sound of the amp and the 0C3 is the "middle of the road" that will give you the best baseline. You can also try flipping the input tube bias switch, and the speaker impendence switch, if you haven't already. They can impact the sound as well.
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
STR-1002 -> Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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DrWongKC
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #5 - 06/12/24 at 15:14:37
 
Thanks all for the advise and messages. It seems that burn-in and a change of tubes to one that is 6N5P and OA3/VR75 gave a more solid feel to the sound. The sound difference is really substantial from less than 4 hours to today's less than 10 hours of burn-in. It's already sounding great! I'm surprise you guys didn't experience how lumpy it sounded just out of the box. It is comparable to my previous Hegel H120 with just so slight burn-in. I can't wait to hear how it sounds going forward.

I'm really in love with the looks of this tube amp, the photos don't do justice to how beautiful it looks. It feels like it's Christmas in a few days with this vibe the amp is giving me.

All is good again, I'll surely report back my findings especially if it's able to awe me despite not having the most perfect speakers of a match.
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mrchipster
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #6 - 06/12/24 at 17:36:36
 
Glad to hear the burn in process is making a difference along with the tube swaps.

Even though I didn't have issues with bass, I did have my ups and downs with burn in.
Not knowing what to expect or which VR and input tubes would sound best I just picked one of the two input tubes (7DJ8 in this case) and started with the first of the three VR tubes (OA3). I used this config for roughly 30 hours before changing the OA3 to the OC3. (leaving the input tube the same). Again, running that in for another 30 hours or so. Then putting in the OD3 for another 30 hours. During this time I would flip the speaker impedance switch as well as the front bias switch to get a feel for what it would do to the sound.

Burn in was still happening so I was still in a little bit of a roller coaster ride. I'd hit some nice plateaus and then, not so much.

I then replaced the 7DJ8 input tube with the 6N5P and started the VR rolling again. After another 100 hours or so things seemed to really settle in, and I was at the point where I could roll through these again quickly (one listening session to another) to really understand which combination of tubes and settings I preferred. I settled for the time being on the 6N5P and OD3 combination with the impedance switch to hi (I have 16-ohm speakers) and the bias setting pushed to the back (hi bias). I was surprised at the hi bias setting because for the longest time I preferred the bias in lo (or pulled toward the front). I guess between the lower voltage hitting the 6N5P and the higher current delivered to it from the hi bias, in my system and room it seems to fit the bill for now. I say for now because I'm going to go through the combinations again now that I have more time on the system (1500+) and a firmware update happened on my streamer/DAC. Seems never ending but fun.

Like most folks, I think you'll be amazed at how much better it gets and keeps on getting. These sound machines are amazing!

I'm at that point where I'm going to get upgraded tubes for most of the positions in my streamer/DAC, Zrock2, CSP3, and UFO25. The originals will be used as backup. Here we go again!

Enjoy the break in process and have fun. Keep us posted.
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SE84UFO25 - CSP3 (A-mods)
ZROCK2 (A-mods) - ZBIT
Cambridge Audio CXN V2 (ModWright)
Cambridge Audio CXC
Zu Audio Soul Supremes
VIABLUE IC's & Spkr cables ; DSR3 IC's
Audio-Technica TT
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DrWongKC
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Posts: 18
Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #7 - 06/13/24 at 13:53:11
 
@mrchipster was the bass issue ever solved? while the bass has improved it's still feeling rather anemic.  :'( It'd take quite a bit of improvement to the bass for it to sound better, it's like they lowered the volume of the whole mid-bass and bass section.
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CAJames
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #8 - 06/13/24 at 15:56:32
 
Quote:
Posted by: DrWongKC      Posted on: Yesterday at 07:14:37

...I'm surprise you guys didn't experience how lumpy it sounded just out of the box...


I certainly experienced "lumpy" sound through the burnin process, but it was more differences in sound quality and tone than bass per se. And it was the sort of thing that would change from hour to hour as I was listening. I'm not a patient person and it was pretty frustrating. I don't necessarily recommend leaving your amp on while you sleep, but I ran my UFO25s overnight into a dummy load for the first week to accelerate process.

You are still in the early innings and may very well be surprised how different things sound after 40, 60 or 100 hours. At that point, and after you've experimented with the VR and input tubes, if you're still not happy then we can talk about Plan B. But I promise you the UFO25 has plenty of bass if the rest of your system is sympathetic to a 2 watt amp.


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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
STR-1002 -> Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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DrWongKC
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #9 - 06/13/24 at 15:59:04
 
That's good to hear, thank you. Smiley
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Gilf
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #10 - 06/13/24 at 16:18:30
 
If you have miflex caps it is going to be very anemic until they break in... could be several hundred hours.  It's worth the wait.
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mrchipster
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #11 - 06/13/24 at 16:56:48
 
Sorry to hear that your lack of bass issue isn't getting much better.

Unlike your case, I've had great bass from day one with my UFO25 and speaker pairing. What the burn-in process did do in my case was to tighten it up, solidify it, and deepen it to some point. During burn-in it was mostly overall sound quality that would come and go and then eventually get better and better. Consistency in fullness, richness, articulation of mids and highs mostly, with the bass enhanced as I described.

CAJames has mentioned some very good points. You may have already tried but changing the VR tube, trying different positions of the impedance switch and the bias switch can make a reasonable difference.

My gut tells me that the synergy between amp and speakers may not be there. Unless there is something wrong with the amp (a very low probability) then the wisdom here also says to give it more time and good things may come.

Obviously, you may not have another set of speakers otherwise you may have already tried, but using a different set with higher efficiency may shed some light.
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SE84UFO25 - CSP3 (A-mods)
ZROCK2 (A-mods) - ZBIT
Cambridge Audio CXN V2 (ModWright)
Cambridge Audio CXC
Zu Audio Soul Supremes
VIABLUE IC's & Spkr cables ; DSR3 IC's
Audio-Technica TT
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mrchipster
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #12 - 06/13/24 at 17:29:02
 
Just a few more thoughts and points:

I see it was asked what amp you may have been using previously with the speakers. Can you elaborate on this, and was the sound to your liking?

Are you using a digital front end and if so, is the output voltage sufficient? (say 2 or more volts)

Or, are you using a TT where maybe the phono pre-amp is not providing enough output and could benefit from a different phono pre-amp?

Are you going directly into the UFO25 from your source? Maybe you could benefit from a pre-amp like the CSP3 or equivalent.

Anyway, just food for thought.
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SE84UFO25 - CSP3 (A-mods)
ZROCK2 (A-mods) - ZBIT
Cambridge Audio CXN V2 (ModWright)
Cambridge Audio CXC
Zu Audio Soul Supremes
VIABLUE IC's & Spkr cables ; DSR3 IC's
Audio-Technica TT
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CAJames
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Posts: 1973
Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #13 - 06/13/24 at 19:25:00
 
Quote:
Posted by: mrchipster      Posted on: Today at 08:56:48

...My gut tells me that the synergy between amp and speakers may not be there...


I hate to say it, but if I had to bet this is where I'd put my money as well. Speakers like your Triangles typically need most of their rated power for the bottom octaves. Certainly the Totems I had before Decware/Omega were like that. If you don't have enough watts you can still get plenty of volume, but the speakers essentially become a high pass filter that rolls off the low frequencies.

But, you've still got to break in the amp and a lot can change with some more time.
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
STR-1002 -> Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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DrWongKC
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Posts: 18
Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #14 - 06/14/24 at 15:45:56
 
Listening halfway I changed the tube from an OA3 to an OC3, and BOOM everything changed! The sound was a lot fuller, the bass was strong, it was shockingly impressive how great it sounds. The UFO25 had complete control of the bass of the Triangle Comete 40th, here the UFO25 was miles ahead of the Hegel in all departments especially its bass. It was shockingly good. The difference was substantial.

I was only at 5 hours per day, on the 4th day of Friday. It's probably 20 hours and it was suddenly frighteningly insane and great sounding.

I think it was what Gilf has said, it's the miflex caps.

So it's true what Steve said, the only worry of low wattage amps is the loudness, not how well it can control the speakers/bass output.
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mrchipster
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #15 - 06/14/24 at 16:45:09
 
Nice!

Glad a simple change made a big difference. Goes to show how the amp/speaker pairings can produce different results with certain changes in the lineup. As I cycled the VR tubes with my pairing, it didn't affect the bass much (always had good bass) but it did tame the highs. So, for me going from the OA3 to the OC3 made a good difference in highs and then going to the OD3 tamed the highs even more. When I use the OD3 I also find I like the bias switch in the high position. The high bias surprised me since I was wanting to diminish the highs a little and the bias increases it somewhat, but it gave a better sound stage with more air around instruments in my configuration. I plan on getting upgraded tubes to replace the original ones, so I expect to go through this all again and probably settle on a different outcome, who knows.

I'm relatively new to tubes and still experimenting with all the combinations of tube types and switches. As the amp is burning in it's going through its own changes regardless of what the tubes are doing. You'll probably find that there are more changes coming for the better with your amp and sound. Glad you're enjoying it more now.
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SE84UFO25 - CSP3 (A-mods)
ZROCK2 (A-mods) - ZBIT
Cambridge Audio CXN V2 (ModWright)
Cambridge Audio CXC
Zu Audio Soul Supremes
VIABLUE IC's & Spkr cables ; DSR3 IC's
Audio-Technica TT
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CAJames
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red light on memory
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Posts: 1973
Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #16 - 06/14/24 at 20:06:41
 
Great! Glad you are making progress. Just be warned that sometime between now and a couple weeks from now the sound may get worse, for a while. Just don't panic, it is all part of the process. Keep the faith and keep listening.

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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
STR-1002 -> Woo WA22 -> 2x UFO25s, balanced monos
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Audeze LCD-XC
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #17 - 06/15/24 at 04:29:35
 

Indeed.  This is the price for resolution.  You have to understand that the resolution of an amplifier signal path derived from two resistors and 1 capacitor without feedback, circuit boards, or any solid state parts and real linear power supplies -- class A operation, hand soldered with solder that penetrates deep into the parts leads... will be shockingly magnified over conventional hi-end audio gear.  Give yourself 500 hours before you make any concrete observations.

Once that happens, and you will be in another room most likely -- suddenly you will hear it just lock into warp drive and go.  It will make you walk into the room to hear what is actually happening.

This is Decware.  Until you have a tape machine with a all tube signal path and no negative feedback, you will never hear how good the amp is, even after 1000's. of hours.  

Btw, an amp with 1000's of hours on it, or even better 10's of thousands of hours on it, sounds simply unbelievably good.  Every is seasoned like a fine wine.

The  worse thing you can do is let the amp sit for several months or years.  It then has to be re-burned in when it is finally put into service.  Granted it takes less than half as long, but it still happens.

And frankly it's not even the amplifier that we are talking about here, it is the signal capacitor.  The capacitor is what breaks-in more than any other part.  Everything else just seasons.  Specifically, the dielectric in the capacitor has to firmly seat with the foil or film that is used. This is as much about electrons carving a path over the dielectric as it is about temperature expansion and contraction seating the film/foil in the cap.  

Solder also breaks in and depending on how good the artist who soldered it was determines how long the solder node takes to break in.  

Once you have 500 hours on this amplifier, anything you don't like about the sound is the amplifier showing you the weak links in your audio chain which includes the acoustics of your listening room.

Getting back to your relief about the bass, you will never grow tired of musing over how 2 watts (that can drive nearly a dead short) can have any bass control whatsoever...  

Wait until you get some more efficient speakers.  The ZF15M or ZF15L at 100 db have a moving mass of 17 grams and are crossoverlesss.  In these heavy baffles they redefine what is possible in bass articulation and control... it is other worldly.  17 grams of moving mass is 5 to 10 times faster than all modern day loudspeakers.

Speed is how fast a driver can stop and change directions without overshoot or distortions in time.

You can easily spend the rest of your life eliminating handicaps before and after the amplifier because it is impossible for it to become the weak link in the audio chain in todays world.  You will see this in the next 400 hours and after.  We will all look forward to your feedback.



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DrWongKC
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Re: Received SE84UFO25! However, something is off.
Reply #18 - 06/15/24 at 17:44:54
 
Thanks Steve! I appreciate your sharing a lot! It's surely a family heirloom product as mentioned by Andrew Robinson, and he's saying that for the UFO2.1!
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