Decware

Does anyone have any experience with the Zen 2 watt amp? I’m considering one, but I’m worried about running out of headroom.
Zu Omen DW
Coincident Dynamo mkIII
Esoteric K-07

Comments

  • TEAforONETEAforONE Posts: 133
    What speakers will you be running with this amp?? How big is your room?? I think these are pretty important questions so folks can point you in the right direction.
    First Watt,Monarchy Audio,Aric Audio,Promitheus Audio,Pro-Ject,Hornshoppe,Nola,HSU,Onkyo.
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    Sorry. I just ordered some Zu DWs. 12 ohm, 97 dB. Room is 16x11.
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 5,136
    Nice job on the DW! Love my Omens but have not tried them with low powered amps.
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, Zu Mission SC's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Crack w/Speedball, Senn's MD HD600
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,622
    edited July 11
    I don't think you're going to have a problem....sounds sweet

    @mhardy6647 ???


    Please keep us updated. I have a 12watt SET Unison Simply Italy that I have been wanting to pair with some Zu's or as likes. So I am really interested in your your review.
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    I think that for the most part they will sound great, but for very dynamic works I think that I will have problems. I am also considering the Coincident Dynamo. If anyone can steer me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it.
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,415
    edited July 11
    Yup, there's (still) an SE-84B here. First SET (well, kinda "T") amp in the household, way back when.

    Cute
    Cheap
    Simple
    Sounds very good
    Very quiet (in terms of hum/noise -- quietest SET in the house)

    but severely underpowered (audibly strained playing "little girl with guitar" music at moderate levels on 1974 Klipsch Cornwalls in our old living room - ca. 12 x 18 feet).

    It would make a great treble amp in a biamped system.

    9835310886_91c5aa0e29_b.jpgDSC_9988 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,622
    Call Zu, they should be able to dial you in...especially since you're already a customer
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,415
    edited July 11
    oh, speaking of which -- I don't know about Decware's current SE 6BQ5/SV83 (a/k/a 6p15p-ev) product, but the older ones had 6 ohm secondaries on the OPT's to split the difference for 4 or 8 ohm speakers. The SE-84B was not a good match for higher-impedance loudspeakers (e.g., 15 ohm Lowthers, or 16 ohm classic Altecs, for that matter).


    EDIT: ah, no longer an issue, apparently!
    AS OF JUNE / 2015

    The SE84UFO now features a switch on each channel of the amplifier to go inbetween LO (2~6 ohms) and HI (6~16 ohms) speakers. This is a result of the UFO high-bandwidth output transformer upgrade that now comes standard in every Zen Triode Amplifier. The switch can be operated while listening to music and it is recommended to do so as both settings will work on almost every speaker. The correct setting is the one that sounds the best to you.
    http://www.decware.com/newsite/SE84CKC.html
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    I called Steve at Decware, he said that 2w would drive them NP with any type of music. He said 12 ohm, NP! I called Zu and Sean said I should have more watts, but conceded that he had very limited experience with Decware. In the Decware forum, people are claiming to run Zu Omens with NP. I spoke to one person who claimed that the Zen did not have enough power. So I am totally lost!
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    edited July 11
    It’s going to really suck to wait 4 months to discover that my amp is underpowered. Not even considering the money!!!!
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • txcoastal1txcoastal1 Posts: 10,622
    4 Months?

    What do you have now? Will it take 4months to get your Zu's?
    2-channel: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures
    Desktop rig: LSi7, Polk 110sub, Dayens Ampino amp, W4S DAC/pre, Sonos, JRiver
    Gear on standby: Melody 101 tube pre, Unison Research Simply Italy Integrated
    Gone to new homes: (Matt Polk's)Threshold Stasis SA12e monoblocks, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, Dynaudio C4 platinum speakers, Modwright LS100 (voltz), Simaudio 780D DAC
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    Oh no, the Zus are being built, but won't take 4 months. Decware is 4 months out!
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • marvda1marvda1 Posts: 3,680
    edited July 11
    Amplifiers: MasterSound Compact 845, Ayre v6xe, Consonance Cyber 800,Kinki Studio EX-M1
    Preamp: deHavilland Ultraverve 3
    Transport/Dac: L.K.S MH-DA004, North Star Design USB dac32, Cayin Venus cd-100i,
    Musical Paradise mp-d2 mkI
    Speakers: Rosso Fiorentino Volterra
    Speaker Cables: Organic Audio Organic 2, Analysis Plus Black Mesh Oval 9,
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Interconnects: Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval, Analysis Plus Copper Oval-In Micro,
    Cerious Technologies Graphene Extreme
    Power Cables by: Cullen Cables, 6sons Audio, Swiss Cables
  • TEAforONETEAforONE Posts: 133
    On the up side,I've noticed that Decware amps don't seem to last long on the used market. However I feel your pain having to wait 4 months for an amp,just to find out it doesn't do what you want it to do,and then start all over again.
    First Watt,Monarchy Audio,Aric Audio,Promitheus Audio,Pro-Ject,Hornshoppe,Nola,HSU,Onkyo.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,415
    edited July 12
    Deckert's products do sound pretty good -- and Steve Deckert certainly has a very high opinion of himself ;)

    I lost patience with his over-the-top prose long ago, and unfortunately, his stuff isn't inexpensive any more... but it is not bad stuff.

    I don't think you're likely to be happy with the SE 6BQ5 amp (ca. 2 wpc, but really probably closer to 1 watt at "hifi" levels of harmonic distortion*) and those loudspeakers -- but it does depend on your room, your taste in music, and your expectations.

    As a point of reference, the Cornies I used with an SE-84B are ca. 98 dB per watt at 1 meter in terms of sensitivity and are an easy (benign) load for a low damping factor (high output impedance) amplifier like Decware's "Zen" amps to drive. It sounded good (well, as good as Cornies are gonna sound ;) ) but only within pretty strict limitations -- and I am not much of a head-banger when it comes to listening levels.

    Where do you live @TSWisla ? If you're in the Northeast, you're more than welcome to try out my SE-84B if'n you want. I could ship it, but there's always some risk of stuff jostlin' loose when shipped, and I'd hate to have a demo ruined by a trivial failure due to bumpin' and bangin' the amp in transit. :/

    FWIW (and not that you asked) but my SWAG is that you'll be much happier with a single ended 2A3 amplifier. I certainly was (am).

    EDIT: PS, if you "are" within driving range of northern NH, you are also welcome to try my Bottlehead Paramours (SE 2A3 "monoblocks"). Us SET-pushers are always lookin' for fresh meat I mean, opportunities to share the joy of SE DHT amps with other audiophiles ;)

    _______________
    * There was a big brouhaha back in the late 1990s/early 2000s about Deckert's power claims for the "Zen" amp. He originally claimed (and stood by that claim) that they were "5 watts" per channel. A minor firestorm of criticism and some third party measurements eventually led him to back down. My own experience suggests the SE-84A/B/C amps were good for about 1 wpc -- but I don't know about his current offerings using the 6BQ5/6p15p-ev output tubes in triode mode.

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,415
    SE-84B

    9835336824_27116cde07_b.jpgDSCN5766 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
    (to the left of the ReVox A77)

    Bottlehead Paramours

    35012452392_ae479f19ec_h.jpgDSC_8376 (2) by Mark Hardy, on Flickr

    These are very much entry-level 2A3 amplifiers, with extremely cheap line matching transformers employed backwards as OPTs, with a parellel-feed topology to keep the plate DC voltage away from them -- but they do sound quite nice, and their ca. 3.5 watt (per channel) output is much better suited, IMO, IME (etc.) for "full range" use with high-sensitivity loudspeakers.

    Current loudspeakers here are Frankenaltecs :p, nominally 16 ohm at ca. 102 dB/watt @ 1 meter sensitivity (give or take).

    If I get up the gumption, I should try the SE-84B with the current incarnation of my speakers, come to think of it :)

  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    @mhardy6647 I apologize for the late response. I have had a horribly busy week. I finally got some sleep yesterday and I feel like a human being again. Thank you so much for your generous offers. I am in IL, 3 hours from Peoria, so I could just go and visit Steve rather than risk damaging one of your amps. Thank you, very, very much for your offer. I have always wanted to visit NH, so I wouldn't mind dropping by some time to hear your SETs.

    As I mentioned earlier, I am not keen on waiting 4 months to find out that SETs don't do it for me. I pulled the trigger on a Coincident Dynamo mkIII. It will arrive next week, but I'm still waiting for my Zus! I will report back about what I discover. Thank you ALL again for your advice.
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,415
    3 hours an Peoria = definitely worth the trip over to Decware!

    As a weird aside, some of my father's forebears hailed from Peoria a long time ago. :p
  • 55LS7055LS70 Posts: 184
    TSWisla wrote: »
    @mhardy6647 I apologize for the late response. I have had a horribly busy week. I finally got some sleep yesterday and I feel like a human being again. Thank you so much for your generous offers. I am in IL, 3 hours from Peoria, so I could just go and visit Steve rather than risk damaging one of your amps. Thank you, very, very much for your offer. I have always wanted to visit NH, so I wouldn't mind dropping by some time to hear your SETs.

    As I mentioned earlier, I am not keen on waiting 4 months to find out that SETs don't do it for me. I pulled the trigger on a Coincident Dynamo mkIII. It will arrive next week, but I'm still waiting for my Zus! I will report back about what I discover. Thank you ALL again for your advice.

    If you make it to Decware, please give them my (Dave K.) regards. I have a CSP3 preamp on order. It will be at least a couple of months before I get it though. I live in western central Wisconsin, so I'm not to far away either. Maybe I'll drop in there sometime.
    Decware CSP3 Preamp, RCA 6DJ8, 2 X Rocket 6N1P-EV's, Cary SLA70B Signature V2 Amplifier: 2 X Mullard GZ32's, 2 X RCA/GE 5691's, 4 X Tung-Sol 6550's

    Cambridge Audio 640C V2 CD Player & Dacmagic DAC

    Rega Planar 3: Deep Groove Subplatter, P3 Motor
    upgrade, Dynavector 10x5, JA Michell counterwieght, Cardas tonearm wiring and Mapleshade stand

    Parks Audio Budgie Hybrid Phonostage with BEL 6922 tubes, Polk Audio LS70's

    H.H. Scott 330D AM/FM Tuner with H.H. Scott 335 Multiplex adaptor.
  • tonyp063tonyp063 Posts: 684
    TSWisla wrote: »
    ..... I pulled the trigger on a Coincident Dynamo mkIII. ...

    That is a very fascinating piece. Thanks for providing yet another rabbit hole to potentially fall into.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,210
    Wish I had seen this earlier. I have a new Dueventi that would be wonderful with the Zu. 11 watts in triode mode and 20 in pentode.

    Keep it in mind if the new amp doesn’t work out. I hope the new one is everything you were wanting though.
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    I wanted to offer an update for those that are interested. I decided to cancel my order for the 25th anniversary Zen as Sean and Gerritt weren't too excited about it (they would know best). When my DWs finally arrived, I had had my Dynamo for over a month just sitting around. Initial impressions were very positive, but I felt that it gave an overall "thin" presentation (this view would change). So I sought out an Audion Silver Night as suggested by the Zu team. After a very short demo, due to an issue with the amp, I could definitely say that there was much more gain and power in the Audion, but the Dynamo killed it with regard to detail, spaciousness and "air". I attempted to purchase another Silver Night, a 2a3, but that was another debacle and I ended up never hearing the 2a3 Silver Night. Next, I was coaxed into trying a SIT-3 by another audiophile. He raved about it. The numerous reviews rave about it. It was on my radar, but I was really liking the SET sound. In the end, I decided to give it a go. It was an unbelievable let down. Perhaps if I had never head the Dynamo, I would have been very happy with it. The Dynamo did everything, very noticeably, better than the SIT. The only thing that the SIT had on the Dynamo was some more "fullness", but it was at the expense of a tremendous loss in detail and air. Even bass went deeper with the Dynamo, crazy. So, I have decided that I am staying with Coincident, despite how I feel about its owner. If I can sell my Dynamo, I will get the Frankensteins. I am really in love with this sound.

    Oh! The thinness, turned out to be poor recording/mastering. When I listen to well recorded and mastered material, there is no thinness or lack of bass, surprisingly. It is powerful and very smooth and detailed. This would be the other potential downside to the Dynamo, that it lays the music bare. Poor recordings sound terrible!
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    Wanted to add one more update for those interested. After some more listening, I am so impressed with the Dynamo that I have ordered the Frankensteins. It’s another huge investment, but I truly feel that I have finally found what I have always been looking for. I also feel the same way about the Zus and ordered the Soul Supremes.
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • mrbironmrbiron Posts: 5,136
    Holy cow!

    I want the souls. They are next on my list. My Omens aren’t leaving anytime soon (6years +-). You just skipped right past and went for the gusto. Impressions are a must. What finish did you go with?
    Zu Audio Omen MK-1B's, Peachtree Decco65, Bryston BDA-2, Cheap TT, PS Audio UPC200, PS Audio AC3's, Zu Mission SC's, HTPC, One, Bottlehead Crack w/Speedball, Senn's MD HD600
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    I was strongly considering the Souls. The reason I went past them is because everyone that I have spoken to, including and especially Sean and Gerrit, have proclaimed how wonderful the radian tweeter is. I'm really tired of swapping out gear. It has been a fun hobby for 30 years, but I really, really want to get past all this swapping and buying and selling and packing and shipping and stressing and simply listen to music. This is the sound I always craved for!

    The Omens and Dynamo made an incredible impression on me, I really feel that this step up will finally seal the deal for me. I will post some pics and give impressions when the gear arrives and gets set up. I went with dead black because it was cheap and will match with everything.

    This is the current setup.
    dcvcrhpvhmnf.jpeg
    3lyb0yxblyz9.jpeg
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 896
    Looks very good. Have you experimented/looked into acoustic room treatments? I have heard people say that room treatments can really change the sound......for the better. Something I need to do.
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    No room treatments. I have never felt the need for them.
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 14,694
    I'd be looking for much better 6sl7 tubes. there are some very nice NOS out there for good prices. I have never found a chinese tube worth anything but trash
  • TSWislaTSWisla Posts: 443
    Brent Jesse has great prices in 6SL7s.
    Zu Omen DW
    Coincident Dynamo mkIII
    Esoteric K-07
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,415
    wait, who needs 6SL7s -- how many, and for what?
    I have... umm... some.
    Not prestige tubes, but good ones, and the price would be right (cost of shipping for most of the ones I am thinking of). :)

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