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REVIEW: Decware Select Zen CSP2 Tube Headphone Amp - Page 15

post #211 of 585


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pricklely Peete View Post

There is just something magical about a good tube amp that SS can't compete with (IMO at least). I find myself struggling to not buy a full fledged balanced tube amp because if I do it'll be a tube binge extraordinaire for me after that....those damn glowing bulbs are hard to resist and I need to spend money on another octet of EL34's for my current tube amp rather than forking over for another tube amp (for the cans).

 

That being said no reason you can't enjoy both setups equally for what they bring to the table. Congrats on the amp score dukja !

 

Peete.

 

Same here.  I have been struggling and debating on some balanced tube amps.  They are either outside my budget (factoring in good tubes) or not taking in balanced input.  I wish there is a tube counterpart of Audio-gd. 
 

And doubled number of tubes that need to be acquired for the cost of being balanced isn't helping. 

 

That was the reason why I finally plunged for a SET tube amp as a test to see if other magic factors (with high Z phones) may help so SE tube amp can compete for some head time with balanced SS one.  CSP-2 may well be the case.


Edited by dukja - 5/27/10 at 10:56pm
post #212 of 585


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyramid6 View Post

Is gain the same as volume?  Or what controls the volume?  I still think mine is far too loud.


Peete has explained it well.  It seems many users has the same feedback.  You may want to contact Steve for some good solution.  The only down side is that you need to part with CSP-2 for a few days.  Steve promised me for very quick turnaround time.  I really like his high priority with existing users.  That is not usually seen.

post #213 of 585

Thanks for the explanation.

 

I've already sent it back once, for the pot being imbalanced at low levels.  The imbalance is better, but there is no control over the volume.  It's ether loud or off.  Is there anyway to reduce the gain without sending it back?  Can I reduce the output out of the DAC without affecting sound quality?  Maybe with resistors?

post #214 of 585
Thread Starter 

What headphones are you using it with?  And which tubes exactly?

 

This has not been an issue for me.  I use mine between 9:00 and 10:00 on the volume pot.  Where is yours, typically?

post #215 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

What headphones are you using it with?  And which tubes exactly?

 

This has not been an issue for me.  I use mine between 9:00 and 10:00 on the volume pot.  Where is yours, typically?

 

If I'm not mistaken, in your reviews you set your output to 70dB.  I sometimes like to listen at less than 50dB.  I'm using the T1.  I have 6922s and a 5U4G.  Do other tubes have less gain/volume?

 

The thing is, I really like the amp.  It's just hard to get to volume where I like it.
 

post #216 of 585

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pyramid6 View Post



 

If I'm not mistaken, in your reviews you set your output to 70dB.  I sometimes like to listen at less than 50dB.  I'm using the T1.  I have 6922s and a 5U4G.  Do other tubes have less gain/volume?
 

 

My listening level is about 70 dB (median number) and my phone is DT880/600 stock.  Tubes are the same with you.  I can use about 10% of the total range.  There is definitely channel imbalance at 50 dB (lower pot setting than my current one).  When I use DT880/250.  I have to further turn down the volume which will be in the "imbalanced zone". 

 

And certainly, the signal strength determined by your music recording level.  Most of my classical music has much lower peak level and I can turn to about 9 o'clock.  The problem usually happens with recent hot recording with non-classical content (pop music)

 

I think it is worthy to check with Steve about adding on gain switch setting for your current and future phones.  I will be sending mine soon.  Let me know your progress if you decide to do it, please. 

 

Thanks!
 


Edited by dukja - 5/28/10 at 8:17am
post #217 of 585
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pyramid6 View Post



 

If I'm not mistaken, in your reviews you set your output to 70dB.  I sometimes like to listen at less than 50dB.  I'm using the T1.  I have 6922s and a 5U4G.  Do other tubes have less gain/volume?

 

Yes - I listen between 70-80dB.  The ambient noise in my office is about 60dB (which isn't very high by the way).  And no, there are not other tube options - if anything the 6DJ8 might make things slightly worse since it has a very slightly higher transconductance.  If you really like 50 dB (or anything that soft), you will for sure have to lower the gain.
 

post #218 of 585

I'm going to do what dukja is going to do: get a gain switch and the stepped attenuator.

I might try a different DAC and see if maybe one with a lower voltage helps.  I'm going to wait a few weeks before I send it back.

post #219 of 585

@ Skylab

 

The following is a quote from the summary of the CSP2 review.

 

The CSP2 is a truly excellent headphone amp. In fact, of the tube headphone amps I already have, the CSP2 is better than the WA3, the Ming Da 84-C 07, and the TNS Sweet 2. I felt the Darkvoice 337 and SP Extreme were a little more to my personal liking, but only VERY slightly...

 

In your ranking of tube amps., you listed the CSP2 at #4 and the DV337 at #5.

 

So are you saying the CSP2 is a better amp., however, the DV337 is more to your liking? Please elaborate. Are they very close performance wise....splitting hairs?

 

Thanks (just seeking clarification).

 

I'm thinking about acquiring the CSP2 and wondering what it would add vs. the DV337. Also thinking about getting the Concerto...and if the Concerto would be a better buy since I have the DV337 already.

 


Edited by Canuck57 - 6/1/10 at 3:03pm
post #220 of 585
Thread Starter 

I should change that in the review.  They are very close, but some tube rolling, and my mind changed, I slightly prefer the CSP-2 over the DV337 (and as such, I sold the 337).

post #221 of 585


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dukja View Post

@fipple8

 

I actually has Peter's NOS DAC in the past and I knew its output is at normal (2V?) range.  My recent DAC such as DLIII and Ref-1 both have 2.5V output  That may be part of the reason.  I also send out a mail to Steve to see if we can get the gain tune down if I ever send CSP-2 back for step attenuator in the future.  Will post back his reply!

 

And I guess this gain issue may not be address with different tubes?

 

Hi dukja,

 

I'm a bit curious, isn't a line out standard output is about 600mv to 1V? while 600mv is mostly from portables like iPod.  I can be wrong.
 

post #222 of 585
Thread Starter 

CD Players standard is 2V.

post #223 of 585

Ironiclly, the only DAC I could find at less then 2V is Decware's Z-DAC at 1.75V.

 

Are there any good DAC with lower output?

 

Edit: Don't care about price as it's more for discussion.


Edited by pyramid6 - 6/2/10 at 8:29am
post #224 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBull View Post

I'm a bit curious, isn't a line out standard output is about 600mv to 1V? while 600mv is mostly from portables like iPod.  I can be wrong.
 

 

As Skylab mentioned, most desktop size DAC has output 2~2.5V.  Peter's NOS DAC actually may have lower than 2V (sounds lower level than V-DAC).

 

And I can clearly hear the volume change from DLIII (2.5V) to DA100 (2V, I guess).

 

I just send it my CSP-2 for either lowered gain or gain switch, depending on Steve's testing.  Will report back later.
 

post #225 of 585
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukja View Post



 

As Skylab mentioned, most desktop size DAC has output 2~2.5V.  Peter's NOS DAC actually may have lower than 2V (sounds lower level than V-DAC).

 

And I can clearly hear the volume change from DLIII (2.5V) to DA100 (2V, I guess).

 

I just send it my CSP-2 for either lowered gain or gain switch, depending on Steve's testing.  Will report back later.
 

Are you getting the stepped attenuator as well?  Please let us know how it turns out when you get it back.
 

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