The Decware Zen TORII Amplifier

Click to


  25 watts x 2

Hand made in the USA and sold Factory Direct with a
L i f e t i m e   W a r r a n t y  !



"I'm not sure if this is a time machine, a spaceship, or something that you plug in like a glowing gate to a higher plane of consciousness but every time I listen to it I disappear!"

The TORII is one of those rare amplifiers that can liberate even the most fanatical audiophiles from the buy and sell marry-go-round.

It does this by getting everything down to the last detail... right.  The kind of "right" that goes WAY beyond it's impressive specs or appearance.  It was created BY human ears FOR human ears.  With the Zen TORII, you can see better with your eyes closed.

One of the reasons it can do this is because like a Stradivarius violin, each amp is hand voiced down to the finest details. For the same reason a Stradivarius sounds superior to mass produced violins, the Zen is simply untouchable by mass produced amplifiers - regardless of price, unless of course you're into being pummeled by loud obnoxious and uninteresting amps with huge power figures.  The Zen is for people who want more than to just hear the music, they want to float in it.  It's a goose bump machine if you know where I'm coming from.

This amplifier absolutely captures the magic of single-ended triodes, yet it isn't one. Over twenty years in the making, it's out-of-the-box design theory and tedious (hand built) execution give it a sound that simply embarrasses many hi-end amplifiers and is to date our best work.

I should also mention that this amplifier is made in the USA with our own hands. It's using proprietary US made transformers (real good ones) and even the 1/8 inch thick powder coated chassis and solid hardwood bases are US built.

Steve Deckert - owner DECWARE High Fidelity Engineering

This is a pretty ballsy 25 watt per channel amplifier that features 2 pair of inputs with an input selector switch and a volume control.  It works perfectly well WITH or WITHOUT a preamp. It's at home with most hi-fi speakers and equally poised with high efficiency speakers due in part to it's complete lack of noise or hum.  There is also a control outside the signal path that lets you make fine adjustments to the high frequencies.  Along this same theme, it has a bass switch that lets you adjust the bass character of your loudspeakers to eliminate room boom automatically and add or remove weight.

This pure class A tube amplifier with no circuit boards also features a dual mono design with fully independent vacuum tube regulated power supplies.  It's using tube rectification on each channel feeding a mirror imaged push pull layout with no negative feedback and is fully self biasing.

It's an easy amplifier to own because there is no maintenance and no bias pots to adjust.  The tubes are not run hard and consequently last about twice as long, are easy to find and their not overpriced.

You will simply turn it on and enjoy the music, every time. 

The TORII MK IV can be used with a variety of the great sounding classic audio tubes which are affordable and easy to find both in current production and new old stock.  This makes finding replacement tubes as easy as any amplifier ever made.
The amplifier can run speakers between 4 and 16 ohms. 

Your TORII MK IV is available in either 120 VAC or 240 VAC and compatible with all voltages that fall within +/- 10%.  You can select the voltage from within the shopping cart.

You can select from the Black Figured Base (shown at the top of this web page) OR the Contemporary Style Walnut Base (shown above).  Different woods can be selected from within the shopping cart.  The Black Figured base is only available in Black.

There are also some knob choices.  From left to right are Ebony, Gold, Black, Cream, Walnut.  You can configure your Torii with the knobs you want from within the shopping cart.



This amp is shipped with your choice of hand selected and tested premium quality EL34 or KT66 output tubes by Tungsol.  In addition it will come with N.O.S. Voltage regulation tubes, OA3 and OC2, New Selected 6922 input tubes and new 5U4 rectifiers for each channel. This factory tube compliment is ideal for your evaluation and even though you can "roll" different tubes through it, you certainly won't feel like you need to!  You will be able to select which tubes you want from within the shopping cart.

It's no secret the in the world of exotic tube amplification that S.E.T. amps rule in transparency and liquidity.  We've all heard statements like... "female vocals to die for"  or "insane imaging" when describing these jewels, but in the same breath you'll also hear things like "needs an easy to drive speaker" or "while the bass is good, it lacks the absolute control and dynamics of the bigger amps."  So right away you're left with a compromise... performance vs. musicality and grace. 

S.E.T. amplifiers are what motivated the design of the Zen TORII

...because any time you have between 2 and 10 gloriously transparent watts the only thing that could be better is more.  Designing a high power S.E.T. amplifier requires adding another gain stage (tube) or paralleled output tubes (or both). Either one causes a loss of transparency when compared to a single output tube per channel.

In the Zen design, even though you have two tubes per channel, they are not in parallel but rather transformer coupled in series so that only one tube is really in the signal path at any one time.

Having such a simple signal path gives the Zen TORII the same transparency as our SET amps where only 2 resistors and 1 or 2 capacitor are seen by the signal.  And to complete the picture, we use no negative feedback, which is easy to do if you're building a Triode based amplifier, but the Zen TORII is a Pentode design that forgoes the "ultra-linear" approach in favor of tube regulated grids on the output tubes to help with linearity.

Tone Audio Magazine"After hundreds of hours of initial listening, the Decware Zen Torii continues to improve, as designer Steve Deckert said it would.  While the full review will be in issue 41, suffice to say that this is one of the most musically engaging amplifiers I’ve had the pleasure to experience.  If you’ve ever spent time with a great SET and thought “If this only had 2-3 times the power, I could live with it,�? your ship has arrived.  After owning a number of the world’s finest SET amplifiers, I can easily support Deckert’s claim that the Zen Torii is certainly the equal of any SET I’ve owned."

-TONEAudio Blog / JULY 26 2011

How do you get an amplifier to sound like it does at 2:30 A.M. (when the power is cleanest) during the day and virtually every time you listen to it?  Tube voltage regulation designed to filter instead of regulate.

First of all, the vast majority of tube amplifiers for sale do not even have tube regulation.  Not to mention the obvious... but just because an amplifier has tube regulation doesn't mean it's going to sound better.  Tighter and more control, yes.  Better? ...not often.  The classic shunt regulation so often seen in tube amplifiers that do offer it, often poisons the transparency with injected noise that must be further filtered.  The Zen TORII doesn't need tube regulation to improve power supply performance. It features a dual mono design with oversize power supplies, one for each channel.  It's a brute force approach that delivers over 300 ma. of current when only half of that is actually used by the circuit. 

In this special amplifier the Voltage Regulation tubes are wired in series with the load. In that configuration they become a filtering device instead of a regulating device.  The VR tubes place a measurable vacuum gap between the load and the power supply.  This creates Ultra Clean Power because all of the the noise is filtered off.  (Noise from pollution in your local power grid that includes the harmonics that ultimately end up at your wall outlet and in your amplifier.)

This poisons virtually everyone's power outlets but it is eliminated in the Zen TORII.  It literally doesn't make the jump across this vacuum gap between the cathode and anode of the VR tubes.  Talk about black backgrounds, we could call it the grain eliminator or the liquidity insurance program, or just an unfair advantage over virtually all of our competitors.

This is one of the reasons why we know that unless you own and use a power generator, like the PS AUDIO power plant as an example, there is no way your present amplifier will sound as good as a Zen TORII (...assuming all else was equal and even that's unlikely.)  And if it wasn't enough to do it once, we employed this technology on every stage in the amplifier and independently for each channel.  That's a lot of GLOW from these beautiful tubes that don't even get hot or wear out! 

You won't find tube regulation in the vast majority of power amplifiers, and none that use it in this critically important way.  Yet, impressive as it might sound it is only a small part of why the Zen TORII can achieve the unique sound quality that is has.

The Zen TORII uses a unique push-pull design that employs only a single capacitor and gain stage to drive the output tubes, just like our popular 2 watt S.E.T. amps.  Add to that the cleverly simple way it preserves the even order harmonic content and you have a push pull amplifier that is truly unique in the market...  It has the beauty of S.E.T. sound with the performance of the very best push-pull.  Speed and attack are taken to a new level here.  In fact, the Zen TORII makes most 200 watt solid state amps sound lean and flat.


The Zen TORII has unique harmonics giving it a sound unlike virtually all push pull amplifiers, solid state OR tube.

The harmonics of an amplifier can be revealed in the distortion measurements.  There are two types of harmonics;  Even order harmonics and Odd order harmonics.  Musical instruments naturally create lots of Even order harmonics. So do single-ended amplifiers BTW.  However, I can't think of too many things in nature that create sound with Odd Order Harmonics, except for solid state and tube push pull amplifiers!  This is why you don't get an organic sound from these types of amplifiers, and why everyone is so gaga over Single ended designs.

Here is a distortion graph of a typical push pull amplifier:

This works by simply playing a single tone at 1kHz and measuring the echo!  You can see that the first harmonic (A) is at 3kHz - an ODD number.  The next (B) is at 5kHz and the third (C) is at 7kHz.  This is what an ODD Order Harmonic signature looks like.  Notice there is no even order content whatsoever.  Also of interest is the average noise floor seen between the test signal at 1KHz and 20kHz is about -110dB.  (larger numbers are better). Considered very good this noise level is brought to you by a Balanced XLR solid state push pull power amplifier.

One of the main reasons why push-pull amplifiers never sound like good single-ended triodes is because most push pull designs naturally cancel the even-order harmonics as clearly shown in the graph above!  Below is the Zen TORII's graph, where you will find the missing Even order harmonics at 2kHz, 4kHz, 6kHz and so on, yet it IS a push pull design!

And an opportunity to make a point - the Zen TORII is also quieter than the solid state amp in the same 1 ~ 20K range - coming in at -125db!

Here is the superior sounding distortion graph of a Zen TORII:

So you can see in the explanation above why the Zen TORII responds like a single ended amp and why other push pull designs sound far from it. Having the power and control of push pull, something no S.E.T. amplifier really has, the TORII gives you the best of both worlds.

Tone Audio Magazine"DecWare founder Steve Deckert proudly proclaims the Zen Torii is “the last amp you’ll ever want.�? And if you agree with Nelson Pass’ theory that there is a best amplifier for each type of speaker, the Zen Torii could be just “the best�? if you have the right speakers. TONEAudio publisher Jeff Dorgay was smitten enough to purchase the Torii for his reference fleet of amplifiers. For an EL- 34-based amplifier, the bass grip is nothing short of breathtaking, and the Torii renders musical detail like Kodachrome 25.

Indeed, there’s never been a better example of specs not telling the whole story. The Torii plays louder and interfaces with a much wider range of speakers than suggested by its modest 26-watt- per-channel rating. Showcasing old-school style, the Torii is hand-wired in Illinois by the DecWare staff and guaranteed for life. American craftsmanship at its finest."



The Tube Compliment that we supply is premium grade, hand selected and carefully matched and tested in your amplifier! We expect you to listen to them during your 30 day trial while you make the decision to keep or return the amp. (Yes the tubes are that good). Original replacement tubes for this amplifier will always be available from Decware.

Tube Rolling is a way for neurotic audiophiles to re-voice the amplifier to their own liking based on different tubes that possibly better compliment their speakers, room, or even source. Tube Rolling with this amp is affordable. It is also empowering when you realize that YOU can MAKE the amplifier sound the way YOU want it to. Especially when the tubes are affordable and there are so many cool brands of each type to choose from.

Your TORII is 100% compatible with the following tubes. These are the different output tubes that you can use in your TORII without adjustments. They are simply plug-in compatible. The chart below shows how you can taylor the sound with these different tubes. The meters in the chart show how each tube will sound in a TORII MK IV amplifier.

EL34 KT66 6L6 350B KT77







NOTE: Imaging is not a factor of output tube selection.  Your Zen TORII has equally holographic imaging with any of the tubes above.

Your Amplifier can be configured in the shopping cart


Voltage: We will automatically ship your amp with the correct power cord for your country based on the shipping address you supply.

Wood: Only the "Black Figured" base is of the Victorian style, all other hardwood bases are of a contemporary styling. Wood bases are user interchangeable so if decide at some point to change the way your amplifier looks with a different wood base, you will not have to ship the amp back to have it done, you can do it yourself with a single screwdriver.

Volume Control: A smooth action volume control is a standard ALPA control with carbon wiper. It is infinitely adjustable and offers a slightly warmer sound. The Stepped attenuator is actually a 20 position switch that features 1% metal film resistors. With it, you can adjust the volume in 20 steps. There is no infinitely fine or small adjustment like the standard volume control, however channel balance is usually better (with 1%) and overall transparency is also slightly improved.

Knobs: Gold knobs are the most popular and consequently, kind of the standard knob for a Torii, however if you selected a black wood base, the Ebony knobs match the base, just as the Dark Walnut knobs nicely match the wood bases made of walnut. Chicken head knobs give the amplifier a more vintage look and are available in black or cream colors. 

Capacitors: We use cryo treated beeswax caps as the standard cap in the TORII MK4 which is all a person needs to experience a boutique cap in a boutique amplifier! The sound is fantastic.  Since the release of the amp, our cap supplier has also developed an alternate cap using copper foil that many people like so we offer this as our Type II beeswax cap and consider it an upgrade of the already killer stock caps in the amp. Same goes for VCAP's which are also considered an upgrade. Between the two upgrade caps the beeswax are a bit more organic sounding while the VCAP's will develop slightly more resolution over time. The stocks caps are also organic sounding but the most forgiving of the three choices. Capacitors can be changed at any point in the amplifier's life.

Output transformers:  The TORII MK4 has a switch to go between hi and low speaker impedance's.  This was done so you can adjust the switch while listening to music and determine which sounds best with a particular speakers.  Often running 8 ohms on a 4 ohm speaker sounds great, so it's recommended you let how the speakers sound determine which setting is best.  The cart choice simply lets you specify 4~8 ohms or 8~16 ohms.

Output tubes:  This simply means the amp will ship with the tubes you have selected.

Shipping case:  This case is a guarantee that your amplifier will not arrive damaged from shipping.  It also has wheels and a handle making it easy to transport your amplifier to and from shows or audio events.

Once you have configured your amp, hit the UPDATE button to see the total price of your configuration.  Also, after your order is placed, you will have two weeks or more to change any of the options while your amp is in the Que waiting to be built, so don't loose any sleep over what options to choose.


The assembly space shown below was designed specifically for the construction of these amplifiers. 

The Zen TORII amplifier assembly room.

The Zen TORII has impressively flat frequency response.  In the range of human hearing it is accurate to within 0.4 dB  This is a real world frequency response measured through loudspeakers at normal listening levels.  It is not a simulated response nor is it the typical measurement where the amp is hooked up to a purely simple resistive dummy load instead of a complex loudspeaker load.

frequency response
                                        both channels

Frequency response of both channels overlapped.  Tone control at 1/2 way point. 
The minus -3dB point at low frequency is 6Hz.


The Zen is a very stable amplifier capable of driving all but the most power hungry loudspeakers because of it's transformer-coupled output stage.  This creates a hand-shake between the amplifier and the loudspeaker and protects the speaker from DC voltages should a tube ever fail.  Of course most tube amplifiers use output transformers, which tend to be the most expensive single components in the amp.  This is where most amplifiers fall short by trying to impress you with big heavy transformers of average or low quality.  The more power the amp has, the more likely it is to use moderate quality transformers - at best. 

Decware transformers were designed and are built specifically and only for THIS amplifier.  They use the highest quality grain-oriented silicon steel laminated cores with exhaustive interleaving to produce the most phase coherent wide bandwidth sound possible.  Our transformers have always been proprietary and are a big part of the secret behind the Decware sound.


This amplifier comes standard with our World Voltage Compatible Transformer. Your amp will be automatically wired for the correct voltage for your country and be supplied with the correct removable power cord. 



  • OUTPUT TUBE CHOICES: EL34 6CA7 KT77 KT66 5881 6L6 7027 350B
  • NOISE: -90dB
  • SIZE: 19-1/8 " WIDE x 13-3/4 " DEEP x 7-3/4 " HIGH
  • NET WEIGHT: 36.8 lbs.
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz ~ 20kHz +/- 0.4dB



If you travel, or just want a bomb-proof case to put your TORII in, we have this custom fit case available.  Your amp can be shipped in one.  The $299 option is available when you add your TORII to the shopping cart.

This Military-grade waterproof/shockproof case customized to perfectly form-fit your amp for transport and or shipping.  The amp fits upside down into foam. 

Torii Case SKB 3I Series Injection Molded Mil-Standard Waterproof Cases are molded of ultra high-strength polypropylene co-polymer resin, featuring a gasketed, water and dust tight, submersible design (MIL-C-4150J) that is resistant to corrosion and impact damage.

Features a continuous molded-in hinge, patent pending "trigger release" latch system, comfortable, snap-down rubber over-molded cushion grip handle, automatic ambient pressure equalization valve (MIL-STD-648C), resistance to UV, solvents, corrosion, fungus and impact damage (MIL-STD-810F).

Case features wheels and a pull out handle so anyone can easily move it.

We offer this amp with a 30 day money back trial so you can hear one in your own room!
With less than 2% returns, chances are you'll be like the guy who just
wrote in our forum:

"The only way you're getting this amp back is to pry it out of my cold dead fingers!"
 - a passionate response that's not uncommon among Zen Torii owners.

A few Customer Comments...

"I will send you a fully thought out review with some more hours on the Torii but just wanted to drop you a note to say how amazed I am at the amp and how it has transformed my system.  You could charge 3 times the amount and be right in line with market value.  But that is not the case here, this amp is better that the products I have owned from Pass, Krell, Rowland and even blows away my Atma-Sphere amps.  And this is with just a day and a half break in.  There is something just plain right about what I am hearing.  Bless you for bringing music alive!"

-Walt R. Gardners, Pennsylvania USA

"As the centerpiece of one of my company’s flagship systems, the Decware Zen Torii has pretty much killed the audiophile in me. I am now a simple a music lover. Its presence marks the first time in over twenty years of serious listening that a particular thought has crossed my mind: I have no reason, no itch, no desire whatsoever to upgrade this system. I am baffled that this level of immersion and enjoyment can be had for so little. But even more telling is that it has made me want to explore musical genres I had never given any consideration to. And that’s an even greater testament of its virtues."

-Frank D. EarHead Audio, LLC Winchester, Virginia

"Well, I really don't know what to say except that this is one amazing amplifier. If had it on most all of the daytime since it came in and while the sound is still changing as the amp breaks-in it seems to be settling in nicely. This amp already sounds miles ahead of anything I've had in my system. It sounds much "bigger" than my current 200 wpc amps. How you get a 25 watt amp to sound like this is what I'd like to know.

This amp (compared to my current 200 wpc, class D amps) has MUCH better weight, tonality, pitch definition, better extension and clarity in the treble. Grain/glare are non-existent with the most natural detail that I've heard. Dynamic contrasts are much better than my current amp - classical music is exciting to listen now. And as your web page states the detail is there in the music from an extremely low level without turning it up. I seem to have plenty of gain and I've yet to clip the amp even listening at (to me) pretty decent levels with my Merlin VSMs. I've owned the VSM's for about 10 years and now I know that I really had not heard what they can do.

I've had quite a few pieces over the past 25 years: Audio Research, Music Reference, VTL, Atma-Sphere and most recently my only venture into solid state: a Channel Island D200 Class D amp. Your amp is far and away the best I have ever heard in my system (I had the Atma-Sphere amps for 10 years and know very well what they sound like) and I will certainly not be sending it back. I really wish I had a way to communicate to other Merlin owners how well this amp seem to work with these speakers. Thank you for an outstanding product at a very reasonable price."

-Bill S. Kingwood, Texas USA

"I know the amp will only get better with time, but i can tell you now, my friend... you didn't just hit a home run with the new torii, but rather a grand slam.  Congratulations on a beautifully done amplifier."

-George K. Irvine, California USA

"This Torii is giving everything I was hoping it would give to my music listening.  It really is the most transparent thing I've ever used to date.  A very satisfying amplifier in my system and a delight to listen to."

-Chris M. Underhill, Vermont USA

"This amp has an almost eerie sense of musical realism! It has the clarity, sweetness and holographic imaging of great Single Ended Triode amps but with commanding weight and power. If you thought bass was difficult with tubes, forget it. The TORII resolves bass as brilliantly as it coaxes its lifelike mid-range and natural, airy highs from recordings."

-Will R. Santa Fa, New Mexico USA


  An Active Thread On AUDIOGON Might Mean More....

  > 1283540711

  Decware - any substance here?
With such a nice and extensively detailed website, I've long been curious about Decware. But with little in the way of genuine reviews, and not much in the way of discussion here, I always wonder if they are nothing more than that, a great website. They clearly have a dedicated fan base, but my problem with the fan base is this: most of them (not all of course) seem to have limited experience with products besides Decware, as if they stumbled upon Decware and never bothered with other brands. Maybe this is positive, that once experienced they don't have the typical audiophile itch to try other amps. I'm specifically struck by the new Torii MKIII push-pull amp, which in description and looks is just beautiful. So does it interest anyone here? Has anyone actually heard it, or it's previous incarnations? If so how does it rate amongst the other quality tube amps, whether Blue Circle, Cary, Vac, Almarro, Atma-Sphere, etc...?
Jtnicolosi  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


  Responses (1-53 of 53)

09-03-10: Azaud
It bums me out also. I just checked to see if he'll be at RMAF and no, again this year he isn't on the exhibitor list.
In his defense, he does have his own "fest", and I'm sure his argument would be that this way you (we) aren't limited to one or two systems to listen to; but IMHO it is more valuable in the course of pinning down what floats your proverbial to be able to hear a Decware system, and then listen to several other ideas of what $5K should sound like immediately after.

Azaud  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-03-10: Ballan
I own a couple of Decware amps and they are great, and the people behind the product are great. It's one of the few tube products I've owned, and the only tube amp I have kept. I'm not saying it's the best because I haven't heard a lot of tube gear, but I think that because it's a small company that has good people behind it, makes the difference.

As for RMAF and reviews? All of that takes money, and when I see companies displaying and advertising, I know that their customers are paying for it. There is nothing wrong with that, it's just business, but I have a lot of respect for companies that can create great products and stay in business because they invest in their customers. There are not many, but they deserve special attention. I feel that Decware is such a company.

Ballan  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-04-10: Celtic66
I own the DAC and it is terrific. It runs the Cirrus Logic CS 4398 DAC chip which is the flagship chip. You will find this chip in very very expensive DACs. I have friends far tweekier than me who love this DAC and other DECWARE products.

They've spent the time and resources way beyond the average audiophile and simply profess the advantages of a small manufacturer such as DECWARE who had no advertising budget and can produce product beyond the large companies with a different business model.

Celtic66  (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-04-10: Changeout
Dollar for dollar the Decware line must be classified as top shelf value. I have owned the select mono's, Taboo, original "blue Torii",and the Torii mkII.

These amps are all fast,they have a big sound stage,image very well and are musically pleasing. They are hand made (all point to point wiring) in the USA

What's not to like? They are all low powered,the chassis is of a light weight and are not dead quiet.

I have also owned Cary, McIntosh, Airtight, VTL, Art Audio and others. Decware will hold its own with the more costly group.

The 30 day trial period makes it hard to go wrong.

Changeout  (Answers | This Thread)

09-04-10: Finsup
What's not to like? They are all low powered, the chassis is of a light weight and are not dead quiet.

Not dead quiet? A typo, yes?

Finsup  (Answers | This Thread)

09-04-10: Rivieraranch
They ARE dead quiet. No spitting, sparks, smoke or humming. No glue or cheap Chinese parts inside and no gaudy exteriors. Their value far exceeds their price, which galls some audio consumers who buy in part based upon a large price tag.

The designer will make himself available for personal one-on-one conversations about the equipment and its use. They make products for the love of good sound, not just to achieve a per-determined profit margin.

"Genuine" reviews? There are plenty of them; some are linked or posted on the DECWARE site. A 6Moons review of the original TABOO comes to mind. In addition to that, there are a plethora of detailed posts regarding use and enjoyment of DECWARE equipment.

I have owned several pieces of DECWARE equipment and have been happy and satisfied with each one. The products go through updating and revisions in the quest for continual improvement.

Not going to RMAF? So what. The don't need to. They are quiet company that maintains a low key profile; they do not engage in specious self promotion either.

" . . .that once experienced they don't have the typical audiophile itch to try other amps. I'm specifically struck by the new Torii MKIII push-pull amp, which in description and looks is just beautiful. . . ."

Duh. If somebody likes the DECWARE equipment it is logical not to look elsewhere.

Rivieraranch  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-04-10: Clio09
I used to own a Decware phono stage. Never had any problem with it. In fact it was better than a certain solid state phono stage at the time that was garnering rave reviews and cost 3 times as much as the Decware unit.

I'd love to try a set of their speakers some day. Steve knows what he is doing and his business model is quite refreshing. Great sound does not have to cost a lot. Looks and price seldom equate to better sound. A well designed circuit using good parts with outstanding build quality and thorough testing should be good enough enough for anyone.

I had to learn that the hard ($$$$) way.

Clio09  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-04-10: Peb
I own the CSP2 Pre-amp, and it is a workhorse in my system

CSP2-->20ft DH Labs BL-1 RCA--->Wyred4sound SX-500 mono amps
into Magnepan MMG's

I have to put my ears to the MMG's to hear any noise,hiss, or hum

and the headphone output (Sennheiser HD-650) gets a lot of use

and they are nice looking pieces of equipment, well made

great product, at a fair price

Peb  (Answers | This Thread)

09-05-10: Freewaywilly
I have a Zen Select. I love it. I wish I had more Decware gear. I wish I bought Decware first. I would have saved thousands of dollars.
Freewaywilly  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-05-10: Changeout
The four Decware amps I mentioned in my first post are not the only Decware products I have purchased. I also have the phono stage, ZT preamp, HDT's and the RL3 speakers.

All of Decware's offerings are bargains in today's audiophile pricing structure. I still own all of them except the "blue torii".

My "not dead quiet" comment needs more description. I am using the Torri mkII to amplify the mid range (560hz-3350hz) into a 118 db efficient compression driver.Any tube amp will hiss a little when used this way. Power from the Decware amps is low. What do you expect from SET amps. Even the push pull Torrii can not be considered hi power.

Having owned many powerful amps, which were not really musical, I have become fond of the saying " if the first watt s*uks why continue?". So if you have an exciting musical amp and it happens to be lo power- go get some more efficient speakers if it won't play loud enough.

I have voted with my pocket book, DECWARE is a winner!

Changeout  (Answers | This Thread)

09-08-10: Zygione
I'm new here, only because the Decware site is pretty quiet these days, so I started looking around and found Audiogon.

I just had to voice my opinion. I own two Decware amps at the moment, Steve's new DAC and the CSP2 pre-amp. Plus two pairs of his speakers. I have no desire to go looking for anything else. They just plain satisfy. I lusted for years over the high priced gear out there, until I realized they just plain looked better than they sounded.

I first meet Steve at a VASC show in the Seattle area in 2001, after seeing all the rest of the gear at that show, I made my first Decware purchase, and haven't looked back. I've been to his Zenfest a few years and it is simple, laid back, and a lot of fun. I have plans to attend this years fest in just a few weeks.

What I like the most is, you can get Steve Deckert on the phone and talk to the man that built your amp, thats something you can't do with the big boys.

Zygione  (Answers | This Thread)

09-08-10: Sebrof
I built the Decware single ended amp kit (EL84s, ~ $350). I also built an Elekit SE kit (~$600) that uses 6L6s and a scratch build 2A3 single ended amp (~$800).
The quality pretty much goes exactly as the cost goes, in my system to my ears. I will say that all sounded very good though. Keep in mind that the Decware kit's sound may be compromised compared with a factory built unit (PCB vs. point to point, etc.).
That's pretty much my experience with Decware and with low power SE amps.

The OP made the point that he felt many Decware owners don't have a lot of experience with other equipment so it's hard to get a good read on where the Decware stuff falls. Aside from 1 or 2 posters, in this thread it seems that this may be the case.

Sebrof  (System | Answers | This Thread)

09-09-10: Flaneb
my name is Frank and Steve Deckert is imho one the most talented engineers
I have come across....let me explain why....although just reading his excellent
white papers are a must to understand his philosophy.
I am in my 60's have been involved in music since the late 50's.....
my living room is currently modwright transporter, emerald physic's CS2's
the pre amp is a pre production Decware statement piece feeding a quad
of Eastern Electric M156 monoblocks. I have not found a better preamp
regardless of price....but I also love my low output systems...
Steve's new Torii mk2 is fed directly by his new dac into either silverline 17.5's or Omega super hemps....Superb sound..........however my current favorite
involves his mini Torii fed by apogee firewire (battery) into hornshoppe horns
with infinity ceramic sub and a mac pro outputting 24/196...just spectacular..
they are just as quiet as my RWA 30.2's and Isabella which are also superb.
my bottom line is Decware is some of the best you can buy regardless of price......I have many more systems as I have bought many things on audiogon which I find have some of music most knowledgeable fans.

regards ;-)f

Flaneb  (Answers | This Thread)

09-09-10: Flaneb
sorry I forgot to list other equipment I owned....dynaco,ampzilla,mark levinson,
krell..wright, cary, bryston....all eastern electric products....other decware
there is more especially if I go into's been many years....

Flaneb  (Answers | This Thread)

09-09-10: Decware
Hi, someone tipped me off about this thread, I've read it, and the concern is valid. Most audiophiles that have spent real money on main stream components aren't going to seriously consider a $2500 Decware amplifier when their cables cost more than that... perhaps it would just be too embarrassing, I don't know.

This is not a real problem for me, because I'm interested in fidelity not fraternity.

On the other hand, In their defense, many audiophiles don't realize that we're comparing gear that is being retailed (advertising costs, reps, distributors, retailer mark ups) against gear that is sold factory direct with no overhead at 1/3rd the cost.

Any of our amplifiers could be repackaged as audio jewelry and retailed at five figures and sonically hold their own in that league.

I would invite anyone reading this thread who owns any of the excellent high dollar main stream gear to attend our Audio Fest on October 1st, 2nd & 3rd and then report back to this thread your honest opinions on what you hear, for better or worse. Many attendees will bring their amps with them to compare side by side. When the entire room picks one amp over another it's pretty definitive.

info on the fest:


Steve Deckert / DECWARE High Fidelity Engineering Co.

Decware  (Answers | This Thread)

09-09-10: Finsup
Is this an annual meet?
Finsup  (Answers | This Thread)

09-10-10: Decware
Yes, I think this is our 8th year so far...
Decware  (Answers | This Thread)

09-10-10: Flaneb
In response to the new torii after listening for several months...
A few comments
First amp that stock tubes don't need to be upgraded with NOS tubes
Incredible bass response unusual in tube amps...tight and full...
Dead quiet which is a feature of decware designs.....
The hazen (sp) grid mod is worth the price alone..and why it is better than every el34 amp.
Beautiful construction...
The sound is complete and not
I compare it to my RWA signature 30.2

Flaneb  (Answers | This Thread)

09-10-10: Jtnicolosi
Well I suppose I'm just too curious. Sooner or later I'll pick up a Torii and report back.
Jtnicolosi  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-10-10: Zygione
This was taken from the Decware site....I hope it isn't illegal, if it is, sorry.

To me this just shows Steve Deckert, and what he is all about by his comment., As far as reviews go, I would prefer to listen to someone that owns the product and lives with it than that of a professional reviewer that who opinion my be jaded by advertising dollars. (Not saying that happens, but you know we all wonder, right)


Zygione  (Answers | This Thread)

09-12-10: Flaneb
If you are a tube roller as I find it fun....the mini torii could be the most
Musical and enjoyable amp you can buy....on the decware site
Steve has a picture of all the output tubes you can use....I have tried
Almost all of's a blast ....married to the right spkrs it's
A final must have is the additional output connection
You have for use of a sub, which gives the signature of the amp
Helping to make integration seamless.....I have used this amp over a
Year and is still one of my all time favorites .....

Flaneb  (Answers | This Thread)

09-13-10: Azaud
The thing that keeps me intrigued is the speaker design. The long turned archaic Infinity WTLC speakers of the seventies were the first speakers I ever had a crush on, and Decware design in some cases reminds me of them, and a time when audio was fun and not so serious.
I'm already pot-committed to RMAF Steve, and I don't think my wife will let me go to both parties; but perhaps next year.

Azaud  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

09-15-10: 4krow

I sure don't want to come on as another cheerleader, 'cuz it usually makes me sick. I'll give you my honest opinion of the Decware amps that I have owned. First, I must say that I have owned many upscale audiophile amps., and will tell you they were mostly great, and very expensive. I then looked around for something more affordable and found a lot of crap! Fortunately, I came across Decware, and found equipment that was quite impressive beyond it's price. No bells and whistles either, but a lot of the equipment is VERY versatile. I especially like that because you can tune this stuff for all kinds of situations. Maybe you need more headroom, maybe you need more watts, Decware can handle it. Impedance dips a problem with your speakers, not with the Decware equipment. I could go on, and I won't 'cuz, once again I don't want to sound like another groupie. After 40+ years of audio interest, I can recommend no other product more than this.
4krow  (Answers | This Thread)

09-16-10: Grobinso
Making the leap past the audio store and going direct nets the more experienced audiophile much better value for money I bought a Decware Amp back in 1998 and to this day own a pair of the Decware HDT speakers, which I'v put up against the likes of Wilson Bemesh ad Vandersteens and havn't budged an inch.

Decware is in good company of many similar type companies... For example, I own an Vaughn Audio Amplifier and Audiosector Dac.... All sold direct and all bought unheard.

It's the way to go....


Grobinso  (Answers | This Thread)

09-18-10: Finsup
OK, I know this thread is posted in the Amp / Preamp section but since this is probably the longest thread about Decware outside its own forums and the OP's title is whether there is any substance about Decware, I’d like to know if anyone has any experience with his speakers -- specifically his corner horns or the ERRs.

Yeah, I know, different speaker designs, but I have different applications hence the question.

Finsup  (Answers | This Thread)

12-07-10: Lacee
I just got word today that my Select Zen Triode is in the final stages and should be in my system between now and the new year.
Perhaps not the best time of year to send things, but that's how it goes.I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I am not a stranger when it comes to amplifiers and I am also a musician , so I'm one of those rare audiophile/musician hybrids, the ones with a music system that's somewhat more involving than an Ipod or pawn shop throw together.
At the moment my speakers are Ref 3A Grand Veena,amps are Red dRaggon Leviathan sigs mono blocks(which I have no negatives to speak of)Audio Valve Eclipse preamp, Rega P9 TT,Grado cart,Audio Aero Capitole cd player.
I have two 30 amp dedicated lines, the one for the amps has a Shunyata Hydra two direct wired to the panel via a Wattgate 20amp receptacle at the 10 guage romex end and a Shunyata Annaconda Helix to each mono block.
The other 30 amp dedicated line has an Annaconda 20 amp Helix to a Shunyata Hydra 8, then a Python cx into the pre amp and 2 hybrid DIY power cords into the CD and tt.
Other amps I have owned include the following- 1961 Bell tubed integrated ,Dynaco st 70,Moscode, CJ MV75A-1,Blue Circle BC2 monoblocks,Meitner mono blocks,Classe DR8 mono blocks, VTL st 85, Michaelson and AustinTVA and Grant Lumley el34 pp tube amps,Atma Sphere S30,Cary sei 300B, and I've auditioned Mac 275 v, Art Audio Cariisa and Pass Aleph 3 on my current speakers.
So I've pretty well got a good take on amplifier differences.
I look forward to the little Zen, and I hope 2 watts will be enough power,but it should be in my application and listening environment.
I will post later when I and the amp get better acquainted.
I do have some great expectations, specifically that this is the end of the line for me.
If what I have read about it proves true, then it just may be.

Lacee  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

12-08-10: Martykl
Anyone heard their omni speakers? The design concept looks a bit like my Ohms - nearly full range omni driver crossed to a relatively conventional tweeter at a very high frequency. However, these appear to be more sensitive and capable of higher output.

All thoughts/comments appreciated.


Martykl  (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

12-08-10: Soundgasm
Marty, I just ordered a pair this week. If nobody else weighs in (info on them is pretty scarce here), I'll report back once I get a few miles on them.
Soundgasm  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

12-08-10: Martykl

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.


Martykl  (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

12-09-10: Drumsgreg
I own the Decware CSP2 and the Decware Taboo, I use this to drive my hornshoppe horns, I have owned a lot of gear over the years, but I have to say the Decware gear has been some of the best sounding amps I 've ever owned, dead quite, no noise what so ever, just beautiful sound from the speakers. All of this can be had at a very good price from Steve, great service and you can get him at almost every phone call, great guy , great products.
Drumsgreg  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

12-15-10: Arkprof
I've got a Decware SE84, has maybe 2 watts per, something like that, and lots of synergy with my Tekton Lore speakers that offer 98dB sensitivity. Wanted to get either the A205A or A318B Almarro amps, as I've owned several of each over the years and have loved them, but wanting and finding aren't the same. Decided to give Decware a try AND very happy that I did. Sturdy construction, minimalist in appearance, and plenty of power with my speakers. I've thought about getting a second to have mono-block amplification, but simply not necessary in my case. Plenty of volume when I want to push it a bit. Anyway, for the price and performance ... difficult to beat. Give Decware some serious consideration.
Arkprof  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-04-11: Lacee
I just received my Decware amp, it was shipped Dec 23 and I got it this afternoon,and everything was in perfect condition.
The packaging was well done, double boxed, triple if you count the box the tubes came in.

So after a couple of hours to get the chill out of it I decided to tube and wire it into my system.

I have a dedicated 30 amp line into a Shunyata receptacle then into a Shunyata 20 amp Annaconda to the Hydra 2, and then a Python CX into the amp.

The speaker wires are Clear day single strand pos and neg to jumpered Ref 3A Grand Veena speakers.
I then used a Shunyata Annaconda to power my Audio Aero CD player and sent the signal via 20 foot RCA Audio Art interconnects to the Decware amp. The CD player is on another 30 amp line and into a HYdra 8.

One little wrinkle was that the inputs on the rca inputs are not marked and of course I got nothing out of the left channel until I plugged the interconnect over to the left side of the amp.There are two sets of inputs on the amp,but you need to plug into both the left side of the amp and the right side, you can't plug both into just the right side which is the norm with most amps,or at least in my logic.

In any event even after just ten minutes(I'll need 200 hours they say for it to come up to speed)this is a very surprising little sleeper.

I was expecting it to not have much reserve volume wise, but in my case there's room to spare on the dial!

Turning the nice shiny gold volume control on the top of the unit to 11 O'clock gets me to the same levels that I normally listen at with my regular mono blocks!
2 watts vs 1000 watts-I am amazed at what power you really need to listen at reasonable volume, granted my listening room is 22 x12 x8.

What I am very pleased with is the fact that the Ref 3A Grand Veena speakers can be added to the list of speakers that the Decware 2 watt single ended EL84 amp can drive.
And drive very nicely I must add.

So next it's back down for some more listening.

I'll post again in awhile with further ramblings.

So, I would have to say that there is some real substance with this product and if anyone with Grand Veenas wants to try a nice SET on the cheap and not feel short changed, give this little jewel a try.

They have a 30 day free trial, so no risk,,no risk of sending it back is more like it.

It's a great start to the New Year.

Lacee  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-05-11: Panu21
find the mini torii very enjoyable. also oun zdac with the gain stage which i find to be a fabulous combo. Gain stage acts almost like a preamp which can add body to a recording especially at lower to med volumes
Panu21  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-11-11: Finsup
I just ordered a pair this week. If nobody else weighs in (info on them is pretty scarce here), I'll report back once I get a few miles on them.

Was it the ERRs you ordered? Curious if you have anything to report??

Finsup  (Answers | This Thread)

01-13-11: Lacee
An audiophile friend of mine had a listen to my system with the new ZenSelectadded to the mix.

He felt it was the best amp he's heard in my quest for another amp for the Grand Veenas.

And I have another 180 hours for it to come up to speed!.

Lacee  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-26-11: Soundgasm
Finsup, yes, it's the ERR's which I ordered. I just got confirmation that they'll ship to me this Friday - I'll be sure to post back once they're up and running.
Soundgasm  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

01-27-11: Snopro
Off topic, did anybody listen to the Zen speaker with the new driver? Specs on it look very promising.
Snopro  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

02-09-11: Soundgasm
I received the ERR's today, after some delay over the holiday/new year. This won't be a full review since they're freshly set-up, but I wanted to get back with some information about this loudspeakers since it's a little bit scarce here.

I ordered the plain cherry finish, and the fit & finish of the speakers is very very good. They were packaged well enough to survive a shuttle launch, and arrived in perfect shape. No documentation, but I called Steve at Decware and he was very kind with his time, answering my few questions clearly.

By way of confession, these speakers are about making the best of a marginal living room situation. The room is very bright, approximately 25Lx13Wx8H, and the space flows on both ends to much larger volumes. Speakers need to be close to the walls, and in practice people move throughout the space rather than sitting in a sweet spot. While it's not the room I do my critical listening in, I do want it to sound good...without looking like some kind of Temple of Audio.

The ERR's are fairly underserved with a Peachtree Decco containing a Cullen-modded Sonos playing lossless files. Cables are Rega SC42. So they're slumming a bit. They're replace some Rega RS5's, which were wonderful, if traditionally 'focused' in their design, and a single Gallo TR3 sub.

My initial set-up has the speakers nearly 18ft apart, toed-in, very near the wall, facing the room as well as the openings to the other volumes. Right now, the ERR's are simply sitting on hardwood floors on their integrated plinths - they're not spiked. Steve said this was entirely optional - they're threaded to accept spikes, the use of which he said may affect the bass (but nothing else).

Between their newness, my neophyte experience, and the fact that this iw significant across the board jump in performance from my previous (beloved) speakers, I think all I can really offer right now is that they are exceeding my expectations, which were good bass response, open not shrill highs, not fussy about placement, clean look that works with our modern furniture (hey, I don't live alone), and most importantly, throwing a large and (er) diffuse stage. That is, the stage is something between remarkably coherent and still quite good over an enormous portion of the rooms. While this isn't a particularly 'audiophile' observation, with the RS5's I had about 20SF of sweet spot, 150SF of OK sound, and 140SF of lousy sound in that room. Now I've got what sounds like 80SF of sweet spot, no bad spots anywhere, really, and damn good sound everywhere else...including the adjacent dining/kitchen room. It's just what I was looking for.

I'll continue to play with them, give them better amplification and sources, and post more newbie comments here, but for now it's clear that I got what I was looking for. Very pleased with the company, service, product finish, and design of the ERRs.

My apologies that this 'review' isn't better informed, nor more traditional in terms of what I'm looking for from my speakers.

Soundgasm  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

02-09-11: Soundgasm
they're very sensitive, but not unworkably so with the Decco. Ten o'oclock gets it to mid 90db's. Loud, and ready for more.

Soundgasm  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

02-09-11: Finsup
Just a quick note as I only did a quick read-thorough on your post. First, congrats on your new speakers! And thanks for the follow-up.

Sounding good working close to the walls is really good to know.

Finsup  (Answers | This Thread)

02-18-11: Lacee
I replaced the stock rectifier in my ZenSelect with an old Sylvania 5UR4GB and the results are amazing.

I've fooled around replacing tubes in pre amps and power amps with some positive results but none as profound as this tube swap.

It's made the amp sound like it grew some more watts.

Of course it hasn't, but those two watts now sound a whole lot more powerful and robust than with the stock rectifier.

A real improvement across the board in the sound of an already really good sounding amp.

So good infact, that I have decided to make it my main source of amplification and abandon my pre and power amp.

If only I had discovered this amp a couple of years ago, I could have saved some serious coin.

Lacee  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

03-08-11: Finsup

Are you using the stock caps and resistors in the ERRs?

Finsup  (Answers | This Thread)

03-08-11: Soundgasm
I am indeed.
Soundgasm  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

03-09-11: Martykl


Thanks for the feedback.


Martykl  (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

04-30-11: Jwt
I own the TORII MK III w/ VCAPS. I got the unit about 1.5 wks. ago after about a 2month wait. The amp is still breaking in, the VCAPS rather as I only have about 350 hours on the amp. The VCAPS take 1000 hours so a real review of this amp isn't possible. What I can say is the amp won't push my SF Auditors with any kind of volume, they are 88 db. I can say that the amp easily pushes a pair of Vince Christian E-6 90db to high levels with clipping. That combo with a sub is immensely revealing, too much so at its current break in point. It sound amazing but a tad forward, which is a combo of a very highly resolving amp and highly resolving speakers. Not to mention I have highly resolving cables.SR. The amp though at low volumes is truly amazing in its resolving power, I hear details I didn't know existed in my Analog playback hardware. Somewhat ruthless combo, if the material isn't top of the line then you hear what is on the material nothing more nothing less. The real deal, 100% percent. A value that goes beyond words, 100%. A complex piece of simplicity 100%. The last amp most would ever need 100%. Listening to the designer, worth the price of admission right there. I have compared it to a 4500$ Meridian Amp that is outstanding and a Jeff Rowland Amp. The Meridian Amps will stand up to just about anything IMO. They are sleepers, most folk think of Meridian for digital but they started out making amps. I have three M amps. The Rowland amps I have had are also great but in comparison to the Decware TORII MK III I'd have to say the Rowland and the Meridian at 2 and 3 times the price of the DECWARE, not in same league, even remotely. Hand built point to point bullet proof design, adding the VCAPS and Treasure Output Tubes set the stage/foundation for ANYTHING you can throw at it. NO AUDIO SALESPERSON has a right to cut this amp down because they know of something better, because in reality they don't and if they do it would cost 30K. The audio industry sells unbelievably overpriced crap in reality most which lose its value so fast you wouldn't have time to look at your watch. Its no wonder the like of many of these big companies keep changing hands, everything is unpredictable. I just don't know what to say about retail audio except for that it is a rip off big time not to mention a bad investment. I cannot think of ONE piece of audio or video equipment that even comes close to the value of the Decware Torii MK III or any of Decware's amps for that matter. Built to last a lifetime, amazing sounding, unbelievably flexible, economic, burn so much electricity I would consider them for LEED points opposed to almost all Transistor based amps. Its amazing more engineers don't get the BIG as well as Steve Deckert has, I am blown away at what kind of system a person can put together from Decware for the cost of a medium high end pair on speaker cables. Really makes me wonder just how much bullshit there is flying around from Audio Dealers and their respective lines. A true money making machine that we assist you into foreclosure in a heartbeat if you follow any one of these such dealers advice and buy say a Meridian Surround Sound Processor, or a Theta Surround Sound processor, or a Krell and the likes. Who needs a 35K pair of Wilson speaker's, to waste money. Its really sad, but the upside is you still can buy a Decware Amp and be ahead of the game in every regard and still have plenty of money to buy material to listen to This all from a guy who has learned the hard way.

Jwt  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-25-11: Abcxyz
Several years ago, I bought a Decware 34I to replace my Audible illusions 3A and Belles Hot Rod amp. The 34I was so much more involving and i found myself stuck in front of my system for hours. I did not think that any gear could captivate an adult like this but this amp did it for me! It drove my Vandersteen 1Cs at low levels with such detail and also at such high levels but not clipping these speakers! Before the separates, I had the Cary SLI-80 which was sweet and tubey (and slow) compared to the Decware. The Decware 34I was more dimensional and fast,and the notes would just hang on some recordings. Then, a year or so later, i tried the 84C+ (with 1/2 the power) and the music sounded even clearer (but less powerful) with the Vandies so i reluctantly sent it back to the manufacturer. I owned lots of gear (Cary, Rogue, Belles, Audible Illusions)before, but the Decware amps are the best sounding amps that i ever had. Highly recommended.
Abcxyz  (Answers | This Thread)

05-25-11: Gopher

From what you've written it sounds like the Torii is hyper resolving--is it ever distractingly so? I favor musicality, tone and dynamics over uber-detail. Do you think the amp errs to the analytical side at all?

For example, I have owned and ultimately sold Atma-sphere which seemed to do most things very right and impressively, but ultimately was uninvolving for my preferences.

The Torii is a serious contender for me--especially wanting a successor that sounds as good or better than my 845 SET without being as big a safety hazard to my infant son/putting out as much heat.

Gopher  (System | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-26-11: Abcxyz
What I meant by very detailed at low levels, was that you hear all the notes of the music clearly at a very low level without needing to have it playing fairly loud to distingush all the instruments in the music. I would not call the amps i heard hyper resolving or analytical but more like a pleasantly dimensional sound of music.
Abcxyz  (Answers | This Thread)

05-26-11: Mystang
JWT are you useing a preamp or source direct into the Torii?

I,am also curious about the trebel and bass switches and how easy is it to set them for your speakers?

How much heat do all the tubes in this design put out minimal medium or alot?

Mystang  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-30-11: Cfluxa
Would anybody be able to relate experiences comparing Decware amps to Almarro?
Cfluxa  (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-31-11: Dies_irae
I understand why a low profile designer/manufacturer, especially one a bit iconoclastic and with a dedicated fan base, might generate some of these impressions, but in my dealings with the Decware community, I believe these are inaccurate impressions. Many in the Decware user base have in fact been all over the map with product, and some might be relatively untested, but once seduced, stay seduced. ;-). I came to Decware late in life, having been a builder or owner of everything from Dynakits as a youngster to Carver to Quad (electronics and speakers), Linn, Infinity, Conrad-Johnson, Maggies, Acoustats, Transcendence, etc. So, please try not to form impressions about a product based on misinformation about its customers.
Dies_irae  (Answers | This Thread)

05-31-11: Scrubjay
I understand the interest in comparing Decware to other stuff, but I, like many Decware users are either long-time audiophiles, DIYers or/and musicians….a crowd that is accustomed to critical listening. I personally prefer to compare Decware to life. This is not the same as comparing gear, but it is the most valid comparator I can think of. I just want it to feel as real as I can get it without breaking the bank. I also want a certain level of flexibility within this "realness." This requires that special balance of detail, liquidity, tonal balance, weight, definition, openness and all those other things we try to describe sound we love with. But those things are never enough… needs that special indescribable quality that makes me happy and amazed when I listen. The final determinant: does it suck me in to the music.... am I fully engaged and captivated by the music? And this can't happen unless it sounds and feels extremely lucid and complete.

As to whether the Torii is too detailed. The amp is very detailed in every respect due to its quality, simple and synergistic design….it even uses regulator tubes in parallel for power filters. But is also liquid, slightly warm, and has deep and detailed bass….not cold. All delivered with speed and open, harmonically textured definition. If you look at the Decware forum, you will not find many Torii posts wanting more bass. For more, this amp taught us that more room treatment may be needed to utilize the amazing bass it offers. Anyway, I would call the detail real, not hard or clinical.

You also have five sets of tubes you can roll, so not to worry if the voicing from Decware (which is very good) needs adjustment to your tastes. It is a tribute to how revealing the amp is that all of them make big differences in my system. Even a 50s-60s tungsol OB3 reg compared to Sylvania OB3s of the same period are similar, but real choices…not to mention more apparent tubes like many available 6-type input tubes. And with the bass pots, treble cut knobs, bias and impedance switches, Decware starts us off well, but gives a lot of flexibility to tailor the amp to tastes.

Not that I want the amp to gather too much attention as it takes a while to get stuff as it is, but this might answer the question about Decware going to appears that they have more than enough to do as it is!

And yes I am biased, and glad I found them. Their design work suits my ears and budget.

Happy Listening!

As to whether the Torii is too detailed. Not for me, but I am into detail. The amp is very detailed in every respect due to its simple and synergistic design, even using regulator tubes in parallel for power filters. But is also liquid, slightly warm, and finally, has kick assed bass. All delivered with speed, depth, texture, and open but not cold definition. If you look at the Decware forum, you will not find many Torii posts wanting more bass. For more, this amp taught us that more room treatment may be needed to utilize the amazing bass it offers. Anyway, I would call the detail real, not hard or clinical.

You also have five sets of tubes you can roll, so not to worry if the voicing from Decware (which is very good) needs adjustment to tastes. It is a tribute to how revealing the amp is that all of them make big differences in my system. Even a 50s-60s tungsol OB3 compared to Sylvania OB3s of the same period...not to mention more apparent tubes like the input tubes. And with the bass pots, treble cut knobs, bias and impedance switches, Decware starts you off well, but gives you a lot of flexibility to tailor the amp to tastes.

Not that I want the amp to gather too much attention as it takes a while to get stuff as it is, but this might answer the question about Decware going to appears that they have more than enough to do as it is!

And yea I am biased, my system is mostly Decware at this point, and I am glad I found them. Their design work suits my ears and budget.

Happy Listening!


Scrubjay  (Answers | This Thread)

Zen Torii MK IV Owners Manual

  Z E N   T O R I I   M K  I V

Click to Enlarge       


  25 watts x 2

Hand made in the USA and sold Factory Direct with a
L i f e t i m e   W a r r a n t y  !




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