adhere to the 'first-watt' theory of HiFi, here’s a bonus:
the Decware Zen amplifier gives you two. Yep, two watts per channel
single-ended triode. I must admit they are pretty big watts, as I had
no problem driving my reference GamuT S-7’s to a more than reasonable
level. (The S-7’s have a rated
sensitivity of 89db at 1 watt and a retail price of $42k per pair.)"
|"What really sets the Zen apart from all the moderately priced tube
amplification I've heard is its incredibly lifelike tonality
-Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio Magazine
- a signal-path featuring a mere 2 resistors and 1 capacitor.
- Decware's highly interleaved Ultra Fidelity Output transformers
- Class A operation
- SET amplifier that can handle dips down to 1 ohm.
- 7 revisions spanning 16 years.
- Feedback from 6200 customers creates a highly evolved product.
- Cryo-treated Jupiter Beeswax film-caps in the signal-path.
- Point-to-point wiring with no circuit-boards in our Zen dream shop.
- Designed by audio guru Steve Deckert.
- a Lifetime Warranty.
If this amplifier were sold in the retail market, which it's not, the retail price would be $2495.00... but fortunately Decware sells wholesale to the public.
The further research you do into Decware and this amplifier the more you will realize that nothing sounds better for the dollar.
The Decware Zen Triode Amplifier is a single-ended-triode design using Russian 6P15P-EV or EL84 output tubes.
This amp features one output tube per channel, and both are driven by a 6N1P/6922 dual-triode input tube.
There are only one capacitor and two resistors in the signal path of this amplifier.
The internal parts are connected point-to-point, part-lead to part-lead with almost no wire and no circuit boards.
In addition to this extreme simplicity, there is also no negative-feedback giving you unlimited sound-stage depth.
This circuit features a floating output-stage that makes it possible to bridge the amp into mono without any loss of fidelity.
There is also a volume control with additional accommodations for two sources if you choose not to use a pre-amplifier.
The design also features a self-biased output-stage which is 100% stable
making bias-runaway and premature tube failures obsolete. There are no tedious adjustments making this amplifier virtually
UFO stands for Ultra Fidelity Output referring to the output transformers. These proprietary
Decware transformers are made with a high degree of precision using the very best
grain-oriented silicon-steel cores for a bandwidth five times wider than human hearing so that the
response in the audio band becomes ruler flat.
successfully driven hundreds of different
loudspeakers ranging in efficiency from 90 to 100 dB. On 90dB
speakers, the amp works nicely in smaller rooms or for late-night out-of-body
Speakers with an efficiency of 96 dB with 1 watt will, for example, make your 2 watt Zen Triode amplifiers sound as loud as a 70 watt amplifier running conventional speakers rated at 84dB.
When these amplifiers were first released in 1998, there were
a minimal number of present day " high efficiency " speaker offerings to choose from that didn't break the bank... Fostex, Lowther, Klipsch and a few others. Today companies like Decware, Omega, Zu, Tekton, Caintuck Audio and dozen of others make speakers who fall into the desirable 94dB or higher range, and that's all you need to rock out with this Zen Triode Amp.
If you have regular hi-if speakers that you've always loved and were afraid this may not drive them - understand two things: A) It will drive them louder than you're expecting and B) you can bridge these amps into mono for three times the power.
AS OF JUNE / 2015
The SE84UFO now features a switch on each channel of the amplifier to go inbetween LO (2~6 ohms) and
HI (6~16 ohms) speakers. This is a result of the UFO high-bandwidth
transformer upgrade that now comes standard in every Zen
Triode Amplifier. The switch can be operated while listening to
music and it is recommended to do so as both settings will work on
almost every speaker. The correct setting is the one that sounds
the best to you.
This amp is shipped
quality 6P15P-EV output tubes rated at 5000 hours. These tubes have been branded "SV83" in past years.
NOTE: You can also use EL84/6BQ5's in this amplifier without adjustments of any kind. If you compare the these to the supplied 6P15P-EV’s you may find the included later to be unparalleled in speed and detail. The reason for this is because the 6P15P-EV is actually a video tube with much wider bandwidth than many audio tubes, and this gives a sense of great speed when listening to music on a Zen Triode amplifier.
We think these small output tubes are some of the best sounding and best-quality available today. Of course, with all the
EL84/6BQ5 options out there, you can have a lot of fun experimenting without breaking the bank!
The input tube shipping with the amp is a 6N1P-EV. The amp is, however, also compatible with 6922 or 6DJ8 or 7DJ8. 6N1Ps have the warmest tone, 6922s have the best dynamics. 6DJ8s have the most air and micro-detail with a touch less bass. Again, a few different tubes can be a powerful tool for voicing your amplifier to your particular tastes.
The amplifier ships with a 5U4 rectifier tube. In place of the 5U4, you can use a 5AR4, 5Y3GT, and certain types of 274B .
This amplifier is hand-built in the USA by DECWARE / High Fidelity Engineering Co. It comes with a lifetime warranty to the original owner. If you purchase an amplifier, second hand and ever have questions or technical problems, we WILL be happy to check it out for you and service it if needed for a reasonable rate.
have a support forum
many people who own this amplifier whose experiences you may benefit
Tone Audio Magazine called it the Best Watts You'll Ever Buy ... and CNET's Steve Guttenberg says:
"Trust me on this;
you'd be amazed how good a few watts can sound, and when they're matched
with the right speakers, micro power amps can definitely play loud
enough to annoy your neighbors. You're skeptical? I don't blame you, but
Decware amps are sold with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and the
company wouldn't have lasted 15 years if it didn't have lots of
satisfied customers. Business is so brisk there's usually a 30-day
waiting list for new customers."
read all of the
Zen Triode reviews here - going back over 15 years and customer comments like this:
Hope all is well with you and your family?
I have been very fortunate to have picked up an Se84CKC amp over here in the UK.
Wow......I can't believe how great it all sounds.
have owned all sorts of power amps in the past, 300b, 45, EL34 but your
amp surpasses them all. I quite liked the 45 monos but they never went
loud enough even though I have K-horns. No such problem with your amp
however and as you quite rightly say the speed and attack is amazing out
of a mere 2 watts! I agree with your opinion of the output valves, I
always enjoyed the El 84's as being a very sweet sounding valve in the
days when I had a Leak stereo 20 and these Russian valves are a step
I am so glad I took the chance on your products and now have a complete set and am very happy. Vinyl
is my preferred medium and I am really enjoying revisiting my favorite
albums. It's incredible what is stored in those grooves.
really appreciate Decware's philosophy and continuing efforts to
provide guys like me with the chance to own top notch sound at very
reasonable prices....long may it continue!
||SE84A ,SE84B, SE84C
Manufactured from 1998 to 2008 and was retired at serial number 1000.
This unassuming little gray box (about the size of a toaster)
set the benchmark for all Decware amplifiers that followed. This was the original Zen Triode Amplifier.
2008 to 2009.
The chassis was stretched an inch, and the thickness of the steel
chassis was doubled. Paint is changed to high-gloss black powder
coat. The volume control was moved from the rear to the front. A second set
of input jacks was added with a silver switch so you can run two sources.
Manufactured from 2009 to 2012.
Binding posts were upgraded. Finish was
changed to a
high-gloss piano finish in white. Internally, this
amplifier now uses the "CCE" mod that stands for "Christmas Comes Early"
and deals with
improving the operation of the output-tube
Manufactured from 2013 to 2015.
Updated to a more popular 1930's black textured finish. The best sounding version to date due to a
re-voiced front end. Each amp also comes standard with cryo-treated beeswax caps. We named this
update the CKC mod which stands for "Christmas Keeps Coming".
Manufactured from JUNE 2015 to PRESENT
The output transformers have been upgraded. The Decware SET output transformers have always been what set these amps apart, and now are even better with an extended frequency response. UFO stands for Ultra-Fidelity-Output referring to the output transformers.
amplifier requires no adjustments
or maintenance other than changing tubes every couple of
years. It is a
self-biasing design and self-balancing... meaning even
unmatched tubes can be used without ruining the sound.
|| 17 lbs. ea.
|| 8.0" H x 6.125"
W x 12.0" D
| Circuit type
|| Single ended
Class A Triode
| Power output
|| 2.3 watts
| Input voltage
|| 1.5 volts for
| Noise / Hum
|| -79 dBU / -58 dBU@120HZ
|| 20 Hz ~ 80 kHz
|| 5U4G / tube
| Output tubes
|| SV83/6P15P-EV or
| Signal tube
|| 6N1P or 6922 or
|| Decware UFO
|| precision WW/MF
by DALE, VISHAY
| Signal Cap
|| Cryo-Treated Beeswax Film and Foil
| AC cord
|| Removable power
|| 65 watts
| Input jacks
|| RCA type
Gold / Teflon
dB or higher is
Watch what happens when designer Steve Deckert goes to take a picture of his new SE84UFO amplifier!
(warning: some mild swearing in this video)