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REVIEW: Decware Select Zen CSP2 Tube Headphone Amp - Page 16

post #226 of 645

Skylab please help - Decware csp-2 tube suggestions!

 

Sky, I need your help. I have ordered a Decware csp-2 amp and it should arrive in two weeks. I do not want to spend a lot on tubes (<$100). Which tubes (brand and model) do you recommend for the csp2 as the best sounding tubes at this price? Also where can I source them? Should I stick with the stock rectifier tube or do I need to change that as well?

 

Second question - I have a choice in headphones - I can stick with my Beyer DT880 600ohm headphones or replace them with a Beyer T1. Is the T1 really that BIG a step up from the Beyers DT880 and is it really worth spending $1000+? According to you which is the best sounding headphone below $600 (to be used with the csp-2). I like the balanced sound of the dt880's.

 

Third request - how long did you burn in the csp-2? Can I just leave the amp on with no signal playing through as a burn in measure or do I need to have a source playing music connected to the csp-2 as well?

 

Thanks,

 

SB

post #227 of 645
Thread Starter 

I think that in the price range, the JAN Sylvania 6DJ8 is a good choice.  They are $20 each.  And if you can get a Sylvania 5Y3WGT, that is better than the stock rectifier.

 

Burn in was negligible.  20 hours maybe?

 

And yes, the T1 is that much better - but you can always upgrade to that later.

post #228 of 645

Thanks Skylab, Do you prefer the CSP-2 with the T1 or the Audez? Both headphones are similarly priced but your review of the Audez did say that the CSP-2 does not bring out the best from the Audez. Hence was curious.

post #229 of 645
Thread Starter 

The T1 is a better match for the CSP-2 for sure.

post #230 of 645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

CD Players standard is 2V.


Ah ok, thanks Skylab.

post #231 of 645

Well, my CSP-2 finally arrived. Fantastic packaging for the long trip to Oz. Much more substantial out of the box than I expected. Have been caught up with kids over the weekend so haven't had a chance to crank it up, but definitely looking forward to it.

post #232 of 645

Had a good look at it last night. Steve incorporated a variable gain switch for me for headphone listening, so he definitely takes notice of his feedback.

 

Now, to crank this baby up!

post #233 of 645

Nice!  I though I will be the first one to get this "variable input level" version.

 

The existing CSP-2 design has variable input level adjustment for preamp output but not headphone.  I have been told that mine (shipping back to Steve for gain reset) will have the new layout.

 

Just double check with you.  Did yours have variable "gain" or variable "input level"?  And what's your impression so far.  Mine should be shipped today...

 

Thanks!

post #234 of 645


I believe it has variable gain and variable input, but have not been able to crank it up as yet. Will hopefully be this weekend. I asked Steve about the ability to adjust gain after reading your posts, and I believe he has incorporated it as a result. The adjustment is via a knob placed between the mono line out and the headphone jack. The variable input level for the pre-amp out is still the two adjustment points near the trasnformer.

 

I will certainly provide my thoughts once I have had a decent listen to it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dukja View Post

Nice!  I though I will be the first one to get this "variable input level" version.

 

The existing CSP-2 design has variable input level adjustment for preamp output but not headphone.  I have been told that mine (shipping back to Steve for gain reset) will have the new layout.

 

Just double check with you.  Did yours have variable "gain" or variable "input level"?  And what's your impression so far.  Mine should be shipped today...

 

Thanks!

post #235 of 645

Mine was back there for gain adjustment, and Steve mentioned adjustable gain originally.  But later he mentioned another totally different layout with adjustable "input level" that make more sense to him.  And according to Steve there is sonic improvement on this new layout.  The DAC ior CD input signal level can be adjusted so the volume pot may be used in optimal position.  So instead of modding mine, I pay some extra to get this new version of CSP-2.

 

Is yours the same case?  Mine should be on its way back.  I'll post back later to compare with your impression.

post #236 of 645

Just checked the original email where Steve mentioned the change. He called it an "adjustable input gain" - do you think this is the same as you are referring to?

 

There was quite a delay on the manufacture of mine, and the Aussie dollar tanked, so I think he took pity on me.

 

I will check with him exactly what the implementaiton is

post #237 of 645

Finally, my new CSP-2 (or +2) has come back.  This new layout has a pair of new trim pots close to the input RCA so that the Headphone output can be adjusted by the combination of volume pot and these input pots.  With this new feature, I can easily find a good trim pot setting and use the volume pot between 9 to 12 o'clock.  And the trim pots has those "clicks" that it is easy to match both channels.  It works out great.

 

According to Steve, there is also some sonic change.  Since my unit is a totally new one (not a modified one), it might take some burn in.  Still out of box, I can hear more opened soundstage with deeper depth and the focusing is still excellent.  Bass has even a little more volume and impact than Phoenix (both use Ref-1 as DAC).  I think Steve did a great revision and am pretty happy with this new CSP2.

post #238 of 645
Thread Starter 

Cool!  I might need to send mine in to get modded...

post #239 of 645

Did you get a stepped attenuator? or is it the standard volume pot?  I'm thinking of getting mine changed and was wondering if the stepped attenuator is worth it.

post #240 of 645

I did not get step attenuator.

 

Some advice about not using step attenuator due to digitized setting may be less of the issue since now you got a combination.  This is too late for me since this reasoning just came to me.  

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