Zen TORII MK II Review

The new TORII Mk II is now 16 days running. Shut off ~3 time to change IC or tubes. This amp IS everything I thought it to be at first blush. The quote from my other posting:
"In comparing the SE84CS, Overall what I am finding is: (after 246 hours of constant play and 4 days before Steve shipped to me - it still has time to go. At 500 hours I should have a real idea)  -  no congestion, maintains air around the instruments, large or small group music, at any volume level  -  more bottom - detail and texture in the bass - much more dynamic -  big, wide, deep soundstage. My listening room is on the small side, utilizing room treatments.  (10 X 14 X 7)  
Using the Radio Shack Analog Sound Meter, I find my average listening level to be 85db peaks.

The SE84CS (Eddie modded) by comparison tends to get 'congested' and loses its holographic soundstage while listening to something like Larry Carlton's  Blue Sapphire album. Bigger group music, brass, percussion, etc. At lower volumes everything holds together beautifully. I believe this is characteristic of the EL84 tubes. Music like Diana Krall- Live in Paris - perfect, beautiful sound - when pushed in volume, her deep voice gets harsh and distorts. I'm not really talking about extreme volumes. My listening level does cap off at ~85db. Reading in the forum, there are guys here that regularly listen at much higher levels.  
At this point in time, to sum up - it has the qualities mentioned, plus being deeper and more dynamic."
ALL these findings are holding true. My opinion is stronger than ever - this is one HELL of an amplifier.
Now -  It came with EH-EL34's. They gave me the sound that my opinion was based upon.
I switched out the tubes this morning. I changed to JJ KT-88's. A perfectly matched set. These tubes take the amplifier to another whole level! Even more relaxed, smooth, spacious and the bass gained even more detail.  
BTW: On Steve's recommendation - I switched the 4/8 ohm switch to 4 ohms. It reacts like the presence switch on the SE84CS. I prefer it in the 4 ohm position.
I still contend my SE84CS (Eddie modded) is a very dynamic, detailed amplifier. The MkII takes the qualities of the CS and brings them to a different level. You DO need to hear this amplifier (broken in) to understand what I'm saying.
My MkII have approx 350 hours playtime on it. I believe it still has time to go.
Am I excited - YES.

- Steve Hallick of MAC.



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