Decware Super Zen Triode amp has arrived: First of Its Kind?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by rischa, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. rischa

    rischa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    This is the amp I ordered from Decware:
    0037F.jpg

    This is what arrived from Decware today:

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    Decware has been in the process of upgrading the caps, resistors, and casework for all their amps, but as far as I knew, this model, the SE84ZS, hadn't made the change yet. I had requested the current standard caps be upgraded to the new ones, so I guess Decware just decided to upgrade the whole thing. I think this may be the first of its kind. Sweet! :D

    But, I bet you want to know how it sounds...
    Cardanken, Synthfreek and jupiterboy like this.
  2. rischa

    rischa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Oops, the title should say "Decware," not "Decare"--could a kindly Gort possibly fix this?

    Thanks!
  3. Gorgeous. Congratulations!
  4. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Did you immediately throw on Bitches Brew?
    hal jones likes this.
  5. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    Wow! Looks like some upgrades have been implemented. As much as I disliked the original, maybe I'll try again now. They're just $500, right?
  6. rischa

    rischa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Of course! :uhhuh: What else?
  7. rischa

    rischa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    My model was about $1200 with upgraded volume pot and upgraded caps.
  8. sushimaster

    sushimaster Well-Known Member

    very cool. I was considering recently a Decware CSP2+ preamp for my system.
    rischa likes this.
  9. Doctorcilantro

    Doctorcilantro Active Member

    Location:
    Middle East
    Awesome! I'm loving my "Rachel" EL34 amp. Used to have a Mini-Torii which I see they have upgraded as well. The meters come in handy for sure...
    rischa likes this.
  10. Lonson

    Lonson I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So

    Location:
    Bay Village, OHIO
    Congrats. I think they're all shipping with the black tops now (I prefer the white, but they had serious quality control problems from the supplier.)

    Going to be some mighty fine listening chez Risha.

    Sushimaster, do not hesitate! I have two CSP2+ and a CSP2 and won't be without them.
    sushimaster likes this.
  11. rischa

    rischa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Yeah, the meters are cool, but a bit of a mystery. They appear to be bias meters, and there are little trim pots to adjust bias (I think that's what those screws under the meters are for, at least), but the amp is supposed to be self-biasing. Haven't had a chance to really look into it yet--I'll probably have to post something on the Decware forum to get more info, as the manual for this amp is outdated by a couple revisions. I love Decware, but they need to hire a good technical writer to update all of their manuals.
  12. Lonson

    Lonson I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So

    Location:
    Bay Village, OHIO
    If you feel like tube-rolling rectifiers some time, try a 5Y3GT in place of that Valve Audio 274B. I much prefer the former in these amps, but it may be just me as many prefer the latter. I find the 5Y3GT give a more accurate staging and imaging when I use my reference material (recordings I made of bands I was in in the late 'eighties, which I recorded in my then garage-apartment). The 274 gives a bigger, bolder sound.
  13. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    Seriously?! Seems like WAY too much money for a home-brew. How's it sound?
  14. Lonson

    Lonson I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So

    Location:
    Bay Village, OHIO
    Not exactly a home brew.
  15. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Bumping
  16. rischa

    rischa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Decware is home brew? How so?
  17. rischa

    rischa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Thanks, Lonson! Chez Rischa is definitely rockin' now. Don't want to report too much on the sound yet, but I will say that it gets my Tektons up just as loud as my 120wpc khartago does, with no distortion at higher volumes on the music I've played so far. So, speakers and amp seem to be a great match. Sound quality, though? Well, I'm definitely blown away by what 2wpc can give. I think I'll save specifics for a later post, once the amp is broken-in, but it sounds better than the Khartago in my system, if that gives you an idea.
    Done A Ton likes this.
  18. rischa

    rischa Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Madison, WI
    Thanks, I cringe every time I see that typo...
  19. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    Maybe things have changed? I thought Decware was just Steve and a couple buddies fiddling around in his basement. Any chance you'd be willing to post a picture of the guts on this new version?
    sushimaster likes this.
  20. sushimaster

    sushimaster Well-Known Member

    Not really. The Dewares are made in the USA correct? If I paid someone in the USA to assemble and solder a homebrew amp that looked similar to the Decware and tested it, fit it with tubes and all, $1,200 seems pretty reasonable IMO. The main appeal of DIY/homebrew is you're saving $ doing the labor yourself.

  21. sushimaster

    sushimaster Well-Known Member

    That would be Kevin Gray. I picture them brewing Moonshine.

  22. Lonson

    Lonson I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So

    Location:
    Bay Village, OHIO
    If you do a little research on the Decware site you can see that it's more than Steve in the basement. It's grown into a company with a product line that offers great audio equipment with a killer bang for buck ratio, in my opinion.
  23. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver, CO, USA
    I'm just trying to understand how a $500 design became a $1200 design. If it isn't significantly better...
  24. sushimaster

    sushimaster Well-Known Member

    I wish I could compare the Decware CSP2+ ($895) to the Audio by Van Alstine Transcendence Eight+ ($1,299)


  25. sushimaster

    sushimaster Well-Known Member

    Assembled in China vs Assembled in USA.