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REVIEW: Decware Select Zen CSP2 Tube Headphone Amp - Page 6

post #76 of 552
Thanks for another informative review Skylab. Seems like a quality piece of equipment. Odd place to have the headphone jack in the back of the unit though. Any problems with the headphone cable tangling with the tubes?

Also, I am glad to hear that you say it drives your Denon D5000’s extremely well. It seems some folks on the company's forums are having difficulties with low impedance cans, but could the Denons be the exception? Any one else tried this combination?
post #77 of 552
Thread Starter 
For me the key is that it did not hum with the Denons, the way that many tube amps do. It was totally quiet. I also am using the CSP-2 with my 64 ohm JVC DX1000, and that works quite well.

Still, I'm not sure the Denons are the best can to use with the CSP-2 - they can probably be amped better with an amp with a lower output impedance. But at least it does work, and sounds pretty decent, with no hum or other obvious issues.
post #78 of 552
Thanks for the info. I'm seriously consider trading my Denons in on something with higher impedance so that I won't be so restricted in my amp choices. Is there a general impedance range to shoot for when choosing headphones with OTL amps in mind, such as 120 Ohm and higher?
post #79 of 552
Thread Starter 
Its a complex issue - depends on the output impedance of the amp, and not just the nominal impedance of the headphone, but its impedance curve. However, my general experience is that headphones over 200 ohms seem pretty happy with almost all OTL tube amps.
post #80 of 552
I'm with ya Skylab, the amp is very quiet with all my phones including my Denon's.

I don't however think the Denon's sound their best with this amp. They loose bass control and are bit less focused. In my experience this amps plays better with high impedance phones such as my Sennheiser HD650's. At the last L.A. meet, I think a lot of people were surprised by how good this combo sounded.
post #81 of 552
I use the Decware Csp2 daily with a pair of Sennheiser HD650. I think it sounds very good! In the beginning I used it with a pair of markl-modded Denon D2000 Deluxe and I even liked that combination!
post #82 of 552
With Singlepower defunct, how would this amp compare the the Darkvoice 337? I currently have a pair of Denon mD5000, but am looking forward to getting a pair of JVC DX1000.
post #83 of 552
Thread Starter 
Well, I for one prefer the CSP-2 with the DX1000 over the DV337 (and I own and use both regularly). I get a little residual hum with the DX1000 and the DV337 that no amount of tube-rolling would cure; there is none with the CSP-2. I use higher impedance headphones with my 337 (600 ohm Beyers).
post #84 of 552
Interesting. I am/was looking at the DV337 for my DX1000.... Shame there are no european sellers for the CSP2 otherwise that one would be on my list too, but the import taxes....... :<

Finding the ideal (tube)amp inside the EU for the DX1000 without breaking the bank is difficult
post #85 of 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post
Well, I for one prefer the CSP-2 with the DX1000 over the DV337 (and I own and use both regularly). I get a little residual hum with the DX1000 and the DV337 that no amount of tube-rolling would cure; there is none with the CSP-2. I use higher impedance headphones with my 337 (600 ohm Beyers).
How noticeable is the hum? How else do they match sonically, with regards to bass and soundstage width+depth? Is it worth the ~$200 difference?
post #86 of 552
Thread Starter 
The hum was subtle - not audible with music playing. But I slightly prefer the sound of the CSP-2 as well - it exhibits better bass control with the DX100o than the 337 did.
post #87 of 552
recently I picked up a DX1000 and the Decware MLB (which several have claimed it was fairly similar to the newer CPS2) from the FS forum. First thing I noticed was that the MLB was extremely bright. I'm currently using 3 russian 6N1P-EV's up front and a RCA 5U4G at the back to offset the lack of bass. Are there other tube combo's I can use to add some punch to the bass?
post #88 of 552
Thread Starter 
I don't like those Russian tubes. Get some Amperex Bugle Boy 6DJ8's, and it won't be bright
post #89 of 552
I stumbled upon Decware's site today while looking for room diffusers and saw this amp. I thought it looked awesome and it uses my all time favorite tubes (6DJ8/6922) so naturally I wanted some more info. Lo and behold there is a review. Headfi never lets me down. Great review Skylab.

This one is definitely on my short list now. I am still debating going balanced with either the Phoenix or the WA22.

Skylab if I am not mistaken you did a review for the Phoenix correct? If thats the case, and I know this may be all from memory, how does it compare to the Zen?
post #90 of 552
Thread Starter 
The Phoenix and CSP-2 are pretty different amps in many ways, but both are really excellent. For unbalanced headphones that are not super-low impedance, I'd go for the CSP-2 myself, although it's kind of a toss-up. But of course the Phoenix has a remote control, can drive any impedance of headphone, and really shines with balanced sources and headphones. Different beasts, really; both excellent though.
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