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Decware Appreciation Thread (MT review up on first page 2-10-12) - Page 78

post #1156 of 1235

I was looking at the new Zen Mystery Amp.....Torii Mono's stuffed into one case for half the price of the Mono's themselves.  Steve keeps tempting me....

post #1157 of 1235

As MLK said "I have been to the mountain."  I went to Phoenix for Thanksgiving and visited a shop, Hi-Fi Arizona, or tubeaudio.com.  Sitting in the sweet spot of their listening room I experienced what is possible in two channel audio.  The imaging was precise.  The sound did not appear to be coming from the speakers but from the back wall.  Listening to a Sheffield recorded album of Harry James' big band was like having the stage in front of me. I could point to the musicians.  Why do I bring this up in a headphone, Decware thread?  Their amp was a ten watt Shindo.  I have a 12 watt Taboo.  I think I can get "there" with room treatments, and a better turntable.  Now, weather a Decware will come close to the Shindo, I don't know but both men trust their ears and are focused on imaging.  LOL BTW when I got home I ordered Decware's speaker cables to replace my 12 AWG lawn lighting speaker cable.  The quest continues...

post #1158 of 1235

Keep us posted, Tom! We all love the quest!

post #1159 of 1235

With a heavy green tea dose tonight, the rectifier round-up is completed and post on previous page updated: 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/593623/decware-appreciation-thread-mt-review-up-on-first-page-2-10-12/1140#post_10040051

 

Enjoy the read folks! While starting on Monday, mainly because I no longer have any proper dynamic headphones in the stable, I will be saying good-bye to my Decware Taboo MK3, the time with it was fantastic. And you never know what the future brings. I am still looking at that newly posted Mystery amp. :)  But even so I will still have one and soon two amps that use these rectifiers.


Edited by negura - 12/7/13 at 8:12pm
post #1160 of 1235

I'm a fairly new Decware amp owner. I purchased a second hand Decware CSP2+ from rivieraranch on the Decware forum. My set up is audio from my computer to an M-Audio Transit to a Meier Audio Stagedac and then to the Decware CSP2+ with headphones being Beyerdynamic T1. This is my first tube amp and I've never heard a headphone tube amp. My previous set up was a Firestone Cute Beyond amp to an Entech Number Cruncher dac to either Sennheiser 595 or Audio Technica ATH-AD900X.

 

I used the tubes which came with the CSP2+ from Decware. A Valve Art 274B rectifier and three 6N1P-EV. I used these tubes for about a week. It definitely sounded better than my old solid state amp.

 

 

Last night I decided to use some tubes I had bought. An RCA 5R4GY rectifier and three Sylvania JAN 6DJ8. For some reason I kept thinking the 6DJ8 were Philips and I didn't realize they were Sylvania till I had them in the amp. After putting the new tubes in and listening for awhile all I could think was wow! I didn't think different tubes would make that much of a difference. The new tubes made things sound more natural. Cymbals are not as harsh as when I tried the T1 using my old solid state amp.

 

 

I have to be very careful and watch the time when listening to music. I experience no fatigue using my new gear and I keep listening to music losing track of time. For what I paid for when I bought the RCA and Sylvania tubes I think it greatly improved the amp. I may eventually try a different rectifier but for now I'm very happy with the sound.

post #1161 of 1235
That's a nice setup Cobalt. The meier stagedac is a very musical, well balanced and neutral dac, and until recently was my favorite with Decware gear.

And yes, these amps are very responsive to tube rolling. You can achieve cold - neutral - warm easily and without spending a fortune.

Welcome to the club beerchug.gif
post #1162 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by negura View Post
 

Folks I am going to start this post and it will be a long one. It's been promised for a while and it is the result of months of good old rollin'. Pictures first and I am sure you will know where I am going with this.

 

 

Good review, Razvan! Thank you for taking the time for all the details.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 12/8/13 at 5:24am
post #1163 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobalt View Post
 

 

 

......... Cymbals are not as harsh as when I tried the T1 using my old solid state amp........

 

.......I have to be very careful and watch the time when listening to music. I experience no fatigue using my new gear and I keep listening to music losing track of time. For what I paid for when I bought the RCA and Sylvania tubes I think it greatly improved the amp. I may eventually try a different rectifier but for now I'm very happy with the sound.

That's exactly the reason I love tube amps! Recently I did a quick comparison between my then nuForce icon-2 and and Little Dot mkvi+ tube amp used as a preamp with the icon-2. I found that using the tube preamp softened the icon-2 output very slightly in a very pleasing way, on the leading edge of the music. The icon-2 is not a harsh sounding amp by any means but with the preamp it got rid of the slightly irritating high hat and cymbal sound I was experiencing and any other harshness coming from the snare drum. It also provided a good overall full, rounded relaxing musical sound. I think you will find that vocals are especially good with tubes, depending on the amp they should be smoother, more liquid sounding and I find the realism spine tingling. At the end of my quick comparison test I was listening to the Beatles remasters and found that they sounded very good with tubes compared to digit amp. The sound was full and fairly detailed and said quite a lot about the quality of the remaster as well as the amp! This was an interesting test I thought because the remasters could easily have sounded too harsh or too muddy and difficult to listen to depending on the recording quality so I ended up very pleased with the sound I got from my tube amp.

 

I hope you guys don't mind me veering slightly off this thread but the reason was to chip in with a general point about tubes and to reiterate my hope that someone who has heard the Rachel will come on and tell of their experiences with it, as I said before I'm hoping to wind up with that, or similar amp, maybe Taboo, so that I can use both headphones and speakers on the same amp. At the moment I've got 2 tube amps, one for speakers and one for cans!

post #1164 of 1235

Congrats Colbalt! You have one of the great bargains in the headphone amp world! 

post #1165 of 1235
Finally got time to read them - excellent notes on those rectifiers negura. Thanks beerchug.gif

Cobalt, I forgot to mention: I didn't 'get' the T1 or like it much until I heard it with the CSP2+.

Recently I did some comparisons for another head-fier of the T1 among several SS amps. While I was able to 'hear' the T1's strengths better after being educated by the CSP2, the CSP2 is still way out front.
post #1166 of 1235

I basically took a shot in the dark buying my gear. I don't have high end audio stores which carry higher end headphones, amps, dacs, etc. in my area. I researched quite a bit before making my purchases and so far have been happy.

 

I've ordered a Philips 5R4GYS rectifier from Upscale Audio and look forward to hearing how it sounds. As far as preamp tubes, I think I've settled on Sylvania 6DJ8. I like how they sound compared to the 6N1P-EV I have on hand and the cost of the Sylvania 6DJ8 I've purchased has been very reasonable.

 

AiDee, I see you own a Meier Audio Corda Classic and a Decware CSP2+. How would you compare the two? I almost pulled the trigger on the Corda Classic several times.

post #1167 of 1235
The Corda Classic is very good. I've owned a lot of Meier amps and the Classic is Jan's finest.

However, it doesn't deliver the musicality of the CSP2+. The main component of this seems to be dynamics, or "vivid presentation". The Decware's seem able to 'decompress' recorded music, giving greater dynamic swing. This seems to apply to micro-dynamics too, thus rendering textural changes and expressive nuances of skilled vocalists and instrumentalists more clearly.

The CSP2 (with T1) and Taboo (with LCD2) did take some tuning. Both were too warm and a little lazy and slow with stock tubes (the Taboo more so than the CSP2). Once I'd tuned them more neutral all this was fixed. Much of the time I found tracks sounded uncannily live and real, not to mention unevenness in recordings (transitions between different takes I suppose) being exposed which I'd not noticed before.

In comparison, the Classic seems always at a reliably high but not exceptional level. It may be the more accurate for all I know!

Whatever, the "vividness" of the Decware amps does not come at the cost of obvious faults. Bass is tight yet powerful, there are no obvious signs of FR tailoring (e.g. no added presence etc), mids are detailed, highs sparkle but are never sibilant. There may well be the thickening ('coloration') present that tube amps are supposed to bring, but if so it's well tamed. I've discussed this with one of the EE's on head-fi. Basically, a tube amp with well-controlled THD, most of it 2nd-order and with low IMD will sound very natural (because 2nd harmonics only augment the 2nd harmonics naturally present in most music). This is what Steve seems to have achieved: tube amps that - with headphones anyway - are just idling and hence able to show off tubes' best properties. I think this accounts for the Decwares' high levels of transparency with hp gear.

I recently found the Decwares scale with change of DAC, but can need re-tuning. My latest DAC delivers exceptional detail and texture in the bass and lower mids, and much greater low-level resolution than my other DACs. To get its full benefits I found I needed driver tubes that previously I'd called too hard and cold. Benefits included slam and attack (from the LCD2) I'd never heard before and quite unbelievable dynamics.
post #1168 of 1235

My Taboo MK3 and balanced Toxic Silver Widow just arrived today.

 

I must say... I am floored! I am trying to get my jaw off the floor. I love it with LCD-X. 

 

Starting my honeymoon now :)).

 

Will be back with a fat baby review after I get accustomed to it.

post #1169 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post

My Taboo MK3 and balanced Toxic Silver Widow just arrived today.

I must say... I am floored! I am trying to get my jaw off the floor. I love it with LCD-X. 

Starting my honeymoon now smily_headphones1.gif).

Will be back with a fat baby review after I get accustomed to it.

Yeah baby! Good to hear! I've signed up for a LCD-X demo from Justin at headamp, I'm hoping to get my chance soon to try it out on the CSP/taboo. LCD-3/X showdown....

Ai Dee- I've found I needed to make a small change in my tube selection with change of DAC as well. Previous setup just a bit too cold with the new DAC. I actually went back to the 6N1P-EV in the Taboo input. Philips 5R4GYS rectifier and amperex or genelex EL84. Of course the standard output tubes are great as well.

Negura- thanks for the detailed notes on rectifers! Really really good stuff! I have had a bug to try and track down a USAF 596, but your write-up gives me some other ideas to expand the search for something else equally as special. As of now, my favorite is still the Philps 5R4GYS followed by the RCA 5Y3GT. But looking to eventually trying one of the more "rare" options. Thanks.
post #1170 of 1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan.gheorghe View Post
 

My Taboo MK3 and balanced Toxic Silver Widow just arrived today.

 

I must say... I am floored! I am trying to get my jaw off the floor. I love it with LCD-X. 

 

Starting my honeymoon now :)).

 

Will be back with a fat baby review after I get accustomed to it.

 

:beerchug: Glad you're enjoying! I am already missing it while waiting for my KGSSHV. Another month to go on a lesser speaker amp. 

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