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The Decware TABOO MK 111 Appreciation Thread - Page 125

post #1861 of 1868
Originally Posted by whirlwind View Post
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post
Originally Posted by whirlwind View Post
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post
Originally Posted by whirlwind View Post

Without sifting through all of the pages of this thread......can someone fill me in on this amp and how it sounds with the HD800.


Does it also need the CSP3 to sound its best.


Does the CSP3 sound very good by itself with the HD800 ?

The Taboo was designed specifically for Planer Magnetic headphones. It is good with the HD800's but the CSP3 is better. I had both and used them together with the CSP being the pre-amp and the Taboo as the amp. That combo is wonderful as well. However, if you are a Sennheiser fan (or any other high impedance HP) then The CSP3 would be my first choice if you were only going to purchase one device.

thanks....that would save me some cash.....have you heard the combo of HD800 and CSP3 ?

No, I had the CSP2+. It was fantastic.


Thank you, I have e-mailed steve to see if it can be built with balanced inputs.


Glad to hear it is a great match with the. HD800


Just love the look of the amp....it is a beauty, to say the least.



Here was mine with the Maple base. Notice I had him install a SE Jack in the front.

post #1862 of 1868

Very nice....the craftmans ship is incredible.


If he can make it with balanced inputs and with that upgrade not breaking the bank....I will be more than likely all in for one around Christmas time.

post #1863 of 1868

Good luck with the options! If it is possible to fit things all in I am sure Steve will be happy to accommodate.

post #1864 of 1868
Originally Posted by longbowbbs View Post

Good luck with the options! If it is possible to fit things all in I am sure Steve will be happy to accommodate.


post #1865 of 1868
Originally Posted by funch View Post

According to Steve, Decware's output trannies can run into a dead short without a problem. Running them with no load, however, can fry them.

That's why I've put one of these on each speaker output.


That way, I can disconnect my 'phones without worry.


BTW, here's the little box I built to connect 'phones directly to the speaker terminals. I use the quad outlet. I installed the twin triples

just to make it more flexible. Wiring is Cardas.




OK so I've spoke with Steve at decware.  You do not need to have speakers attached when listening through headphones however adding resistors will help voice the headphones.  This for the MKII and I assume also for the MKIII.

post #1866 of 1868
Originally Posted by snapontom View Post

That HP mod is fantastic.  I have a mod that puts  external resisters in the speaker outs. I can use them when I listen to my headphones without speakers connected to the amp. DEcware fabricated them for me and I keep them in my LCD2 box.   I have the MK II also.  Great amp.  

Did Steve tell you - that resistors were required?

post #1867 of 1868
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post


I thought the Philips 5R4GYS was detailed but gutless. Almost no bass. It was my least favorite rectifier in the Decware amps.


Let me cut-and-paste my personal notes from this year... 


Now presenting my personal "Rectifier Rolling Roundup" (using CSP2+ with HD800):


Note: All tubes ranked WORST to BEST. All opinions are my own 2c so no refunds or guarantees final sale only yada yada. I broke them up into tiers which represented notable jumps in sound quality.


And now... the RRR:


Tier one: Not ready for prime time

Philips 5R4GYS - Very detailed but too sterile/cerebral. Weak bass. Blech.

Shuguang (stock tube) 5U4G - Unremarkable by any measure. Truly generic tube.

RCA brown base 5R4GY - Lush midrange but bass is too strong, sloppy, and bloated.


Tier two: The steely trio

Sylvania 5Y3GT red lettering - Excellent sparkly detail up top, but suffers from that Philips-esque steely/lack of lushness/soft bass thing.

Tung Sol 5Y3GT - Similar to the Sylvania with slightly better bass but again too flat and sterile. Voices lack the magic. Sort of "hi fi" sounding.

Bendix 6106 - Similar to the above, but a bit brighter up top. Pass.


Tier three: Competent, but unremarkable

RCA 5U4G black base - Decently lush and top-to-bottom tubey-ness, but... meh.

Sylvania 5U4G - Similar to the RCA 5U4G above. A bit darker.

Tung Sol 5U4G - The best of the cheap 5U4G's. Better balanced than the Sylvania, but still unmemorable. Keep looking.


***you are now crossing the DMZ Line of Recommendation***


Tier four: I could live with that... if I had to

Valve Art 274B cryo - Lively soundstage and finally some tubey magic. Bass is a bit light, but not sterile. A good & cheap starter tube, but why stop here?

Mazda 5Y3GB mini coke bottle - Neat-o heater & bottle design. A bit better definition than the Valve Art.

Sylvania 5Y3G mini coke bottle - Similar to the Mazda, although more delicate and distant. Resembles a "polite USAF-596".

Brimar 5R4GY - A little soft on top, but the midrange is truly gorgeous. Bass really pumps. This one is a bit of a midrange specialist, but it certainly creates magic there.

USAF-596 - Very detailed, top to bottom. Also looks cool. Overall excellent. However... there is a subtle lifelessness to it that I do not like. It's slight... but it's there. Enough to make me keep looking. But I think most folks would be happy to stop here and enjoy the ride.


Tier five: The ones I kept

RCA 5Y3GT - Amazingly cheap yet it ROCKS w/solid bass presence and tone. It lacks that final n'th of detail compared to some of the others, but it's hardly a dealbreaker. Lots of personality here. This tube was featured at the Austin 2013 meet & it was very well received.

EML 5U4G meshplate - My favorite. Yeah, it's the most expensive by far, but it beats all the rest in this lineup. Maximum detail and gobs of lush evocative tube magic. The only ding would be that the bass doesn't quite slam with as much authority as the RCA... but it isn't deficient by any means. Especially when paired with a good visceral signal tube up front like the Mullard old shield 1960's/70's E88CC. Ultimately, the EML's finesse is what carries the day. It just gives me the most of what I dig about tube amps. Just be sure to let it warm up for about 30 minutes for maximum effect. 


Happy rolling! 

In a taboo II, the mullard 5ar4 trumps the rca 5y3gt no question imo. 

Curious about the eml.  lorenz gz32 lush but still has bass control very nice find.

post #1868 of 1868
^ Agreed re Lorenz GZ32 being "lush" but still with "bass control" in my Taboo II (wrong thread I know but as the Lorenz and rectifier discussion is here...).

After two weeks testing I found it did not suit my preferences (with LCD3F; DACs were BMC PureDAC and Meier StageDAC). Nice mids, a little thicker which gave less prominence to the highs and detracted from the "being there" experience for my ears. Put the humble Tung Sol 5Y3GT back and immediately everything snapped into place. The slightly flat vocals and sterile sound Nick noted (with HD800 IIRC) might be a better match with Audez'es (2r1 and 3F)?

I look forward to trying the Lorenz with the CSP2+/Beyer T1 combo though - this might just work.
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