Jump to content
The Klipsch Audio Community
JohnW

Decware SE84C Zen Triode?

Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, JohnW said:

It's too soon to tell for sure, but I MAY have reached the point where I'm actually satisfied with the sound of my system.

 

Hello JohnW

Best of luck to you with the actually satisfied with your system.😀

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, this is the ad that started this thread.

While I've gone with the Jolida...I just offered him $50 for it. I doubt he'll take me up on it, but if he does, it'll be only another $130 for tubes.

Or someone could get a sweet deal on a Decware Zen Triode!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watch a lot of Steve's reviews and shows but I really try to be careful when he supports something, especially the items that are relatively cheap and new to the market or not known by many. I wonder in the back of my head if he gets paid for that or if he gets a percentage of increased sales from the time he posted the review until so and so a time.

 

I want to like and respect him but I don't totally trust him. Maybe I am wrong.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I have wanted to try a Decware 2 watt amp for a long time, finally I got one a few weeks ago and I am very impressed with it. First it sounds as good as my Korneff 45 which I thought was the best amp I have heard up to this point. The Zen amp has about 50 hours on it with stock tubes, after some level adjustments to my tri amped system this amp fell right into place.

My system is sounding really smooth right now and I can't wait to listen to it more....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My thoughts after four months with the Jolida Fusion 3502P. It sounds good...slightly warmer than my Marantz receiver. But the soundstage isn't as well-defined. I spoke to Jolida, and they suggested I leave it on for a couple of weeks to really break the tubes in. So I did. It helped a bit, but the soundstage still isn't up to the Marantz.

I've set up an A/B amp switch for movies and music. I use the receiver alone for movies, but it gets relegated to dac/preamp duty for music.

I hate to say it, but honestly, I can't hear that much of a difference when I switch between the two on high-resolution music files.

Here's the signal path right now:

Cat6 from my router into my receiver, a Marantz SR7013. That's a AKM AK4458 DAC, controlled by Sound United's Heos, running Amazon Music HD and Ultra HD files, stereo line outs into the switch box, pre-outs into the Jolida. Switch Box outs to my Cornwalls.

A sensible person would just sell the amp and be happy. That would make sense.

So being me, now I'm thinking...new tubes?

Currently the Jolida is running:
4x Tung-Sol 6550s
2x Electro-Harmonix 12AT7s
2x Tung-Sol 12AX7s

Was thinking about replacing the 6550s with a quad of Gold Lion KT77s and the preamp tubes with Gold Lions as well.

Or should I just sell the damned Jolida?




 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After doing a bit of research and calling a few tube stores and talking to Jolida--I'm going to try replacing the preamp and power driver tubes (12AX7/12AT/7) with Genalex Gold Lion gold pins...now, they aren't Telefunkens, or NOS Mullards, or Tunsgrams, but they seem to be pretty close, and since I'm ordering them via Amazon, I have 30 days to return them. 

If these don't make a difference, it's time to sell the Jolida and keep hunting. 

Maybe that Decware IS the way to go. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Following

 

Edit - I'm interested in the Decware SET and other push-pull amps like your Jolida.  FYI, the Decware lead time is 25+ weeks.  I called them today.

Edited by bmoran
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, keep in mind that the Marantz is a $2200 receiver, and it should sound good. Also, that the Jolida 3502P is not a high-end tube amp. 

Looking forward to the arrival of these new tubes to see what happens. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/8/2021 at 1:24 PM, bmoran said:

Following

 

Edit - I'm interested in the Decware SET and other push-pull amps like your Jolida.  FYI, the Decware lead time is 25+ weeks.  I called them today.

Sounds like it may be worth the wait.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JohnW,

 

What kind of sound are you looking for? 

The reason I'm replying is because I too am looking at Decware lately. Been looking at reviews...and YouTube videos

You seem to be looking for some distinctive type of sound. Everything has a different type of sound.

My Mac system sounds different to my Marantz ....Which sounded different then my Yamaha MX

I haven't heard the Decware yet....but I will before I place an order.

I have always been a solid state guy...Then a buddy bought a Prima Luna....It blew me away as to the detail at low volume levels..

Like I asked  earlier....What are you looking for?

George

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, oldred said:

JohnW,

 

What kind of sound are you looking for? 

The reason I'm replying is because I too am looking at Decware lately. Been looking at reviews...and YouTube videos

You seem to be looking for some distinctive type of sound. Everything has a different type of sound.

My Mac system sounds different to my Marantz ....Which sounded different then my Yamaha MX

I haven't heard the Decware yet....but I will before I place an order.

I have always been a solid state guy...Then a buddy bought a Prima Luna....It blew me away as to the detail at low volume levels..

Like I asked  earlier....What are you looking for?

George

That's a good question, George.  I suppose emotionally, I'm looking to be delighted. Technically, I'm looking for detail across the spectrum: tight bass, smooth clear mids, and shimmering highs. I want a bit of punch, too. I want a wide, deep soundstage with distinct instrument placement (honestly, I've had that all along, just in slightly different flavors).

I think I want what everyone wants--just in my room, with my ears. I'll know it when I hear it.

I've replaced the 12AX7s (Tung Sols) and 12AT7s (Electro Harmonix) in the Jolida with Genalec Gold Lions, and the improvement was quite noticeable. Better soundstage, more clarity, more defined highs, slightly tighter bass (but not really tight enough).

Now, when I switch between the Marantz and the Jolida, I don't prefer either sound. I love the definition of the Marantz. I love the smoothness of the Jolida. They're both great.

But I didn't buy an outboard 2-channel amp to give me a "different" sound...I bought it to improve the sound I was getting out of my receiver for two-channel music.

Refresher: turns out I was miscalibrating the room with Audyssey. Didn't discover this until after I'd sold the Parasound 2250 I'd replaced with the Jolida. I was quite happy with the Parasound, even with a miscalibrated receiver, and in hindsight, given what I know about calibrating in my particular room, I'll bet I'd have been over the moon with the Parasound had the receiver been calibrated properly.

But that was not to be. What was to be, according to all the messages The Great Audio Whatever was throwing at me, was "TUBES!" at least, at this point in my journey. Yes, I could probably buy some KT88s or KT120s for the Jolida and dump some money on real NOS tubes for the preamp and power management circuits and find the sound I've been chasing (and maybe I will), but this is getting expensive...and based on what I paid for the Parasound, I'm beginning to think a) I'm an SS guy, and b) what I'm after can be had for at least what I've already shelled out, if not less.

I have a local line on a 1997  Sunfire Load Invariant Stereo Amp for $500--that's 300wpc, and between the "Current Source" outputs and the "Voltage Source" outputs, I'm encouraged that I have a real shot at finding at least an acceptable result.

So the journey continues. If I like the Sunfire, I'll sell the Jolida and be there. If I don't like the Sunfire, I'll likely sell the Jolida and start looking at used Parasound A21s, or maybe bu

buy a Decware and wait four months while I listen to the Marantz solo.

As problems go, these are all good ones to have, I reckon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I understand....But I have to say I think you are going to be disappointed with the Sunfire....I have one (TGA 7201) sitting on a shelf with my not in use gear. I was not impressed with the difference between the current / voltage. While it was a decent home theater amp. As a 2 channel amp for music it just seemed lifeless. I also had a problem with calibration on my SR 8015. I kind of went through it again using the Audioholics guys methods with a few changes. I also added a separate amp for the front channels. I feel that I am getting closer to perfection. I plan on looking to add the Decware to my 2 channel system in different room...again after I hear one. Like I said I think I understand where you are coming from.

 

George,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, oldred said:

I think I understand....But I have to say I think you are going to be disappointed with the Sunfire....I have one (TGA 7201) sitting on a shelf with my not in use gear. I was not impressed with the difference between the current / voltage. While it was a decent home theater amp. As a 2 channel amp for music it just seemed lifeless. I also had a problem with calibration on my SR 8015. I kind of went through it again using the Audioholics guys methods with a few changes. I also added a separate amp for the front channels. I feel that I am getting closer to perfection. I plan on looking to add the Decware to my 2 channel system in different room...again after I hear one. Like I said I think I understand where you are coming from.

 

George,

I was calibrating for all 8 seating positions, and the rear positions were too close to the rear wall--that, and I was using a tripod. I switched to simply calibrating for the front three positions, and placing the mic on top of a stack of pillows so vibrations weren't conducted by a tripod. Night and day difference.

We'll likely see about the Sunfire. If it isn't "it," then my search continues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, bmoran said:

Have you checked out the Doge 10?

I’ve never heard if a Doge 10.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sticking with what I’ve got for now, thanks.

 

Sunfire guy’s and my schedules won’t work out for a couple of weeks, so, on impulse, I bought a matched quad of Genalex Gold Lion KT88s to replace my Tung Sol 6550s. For a few reasons:

 

1) The GLs may be broad market tubes, but they get consistently good reviews.

2) The GL 12AX7s and 12AT7s I dropped in to replace the stock Electro Harmonix and Tung Sols made a substantial improvement in sound quality.

3) I’ve read that Jolida are known for shipping with cheap tubes to keep costs down, and my experience bears that out.

 

Like I said, the Jolida’s sound is now on par with the output of the receiver by itself, just smoother and more “tubey.” Perhaps these new power tubes will take it to the next level in audio quality, and the original goal of a better two channel experience will be met. They arrive in two days. I’ll breakthem in for a couple of weeks and report back.

 

Or maybe he Sunfire will blow my mind.

 

Or maybe both!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I replaced my McIntosh ma252 hybrid with a Primaluna evo 400 and it does everything better than I ever imagined. Pricey but everything sounds great at any volume. I have been extremely satisfied with it in two Chanel and home theater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I've been listening so hard today, I'm actually a bit tired. 

First off--replacing the pairs of stock 12AX7s and 12AT7s and 6550s all with Gold Lions (KT88s for the power tubes) made a HUGE difference. I'd read that Jolida shipped their amps with crappy tubes, and I can confirm that is exactly what happened to me. 

I've created a playlist for testing, and without getting into the weeds on this, here is the difference between listening to my Marantz SR7013 AVR straight through my '84 Cornwalls and listening to it as a preamp feeding my Jolida 3502P into my Cornwalls. Music was fed via HEOS using Amazon HD. I calibrated both setups using Audyssey XT32 (via the app), using three seating positions, no curve editing, and no midrange compensation, and High Frequency Roll Off profile 1. I preferred the sound when calibrating using the AVR only. 

Sorry, started getting into the weeds. 

Sound quality: pretty much what you'd expect. The SS receiver, by itself, is amazing and detailed, with great punch in the lows and mids, and highs that approached the border between detailed and grating, but never crossed it. Amazing detail. The Jolida had amazing detail as well, but no punchiness. I'd describe it more as a richner, smoother sound. A fuller sound.

It was like biting into a thick slice of blueberry pie: On the SS side, my attention was drawn to the flaky, buttery texture of the crust. On the tube side, what got my attention was the rich, deep, sweet flavor of the blueberry filling. Both experiences were wonderful. 

Soundstage: The Marantz had a super-wide, detailed soundstage. Everything was quite distinctly placed. But man, when I switched to the Jolida, I FINALLY got what people had been telling me about the DEPTH of the “tube”soundstage. I had to check to make sure I hadn't accidentally put the system into "5-channel stereo." It was that deep and enveloping. 

So now I don't know what to do. I suppose I'll just see what use patterns emerge. If I find I'm not using the Jolida, I'll sell it....but then I'd probably order a Zen. May eventually order a Zen anyway.

I'll check out the Sunfire this weekend and give myself a whole new set of high quality problems. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...