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Understood, I’m old, I’m slow. 
One point you noted about the Tor - yeah it’s a f’in forest of tubes. A dozen in all I believe. Every possible function that most use some type of SS device is designed for tube. It’s definitely dual mono - other than the power cord you can snap a line and cut’r down the middle. 

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13 hours ago, HPower said:

I do love how my 2A3 SET sounds, but am wondering if either the J2 or F8 will hopefully retaining most of the SET presentation, while lowering the noise floor and adding that last bit of detail and resolution?

I had Triode Lab 2A3 SET Monos and they were absolutely not noisy.  Check to see if they need attention or if the noise is coming from somewhere else.

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Don’t know a thing about First Watt amps. However, I respect @richieb opinions as he's a FW man through and through. I’m really pleased he's found the wonder of Decware amps. I've been enjoying a Rachel for a few years now using speakers richieb was kind enough to sell to me. Welcome to the Decware clan! 

Not sure what he knows about golf though….



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24 minutes ago, J M O N said:

I had Triode Lab 2A3 SET Monos and they were absolutely not noisy.  Check to see if they need attention or if the noise is coming from somewhere else.


Last week I sold my W4S STP-SE preamp, and then bought a Stage 2 version.

While I was waiting for my "new to me" STP to show up I dropped my 2A3i S down at Franks to have him give it a once over.

Frank from Triode lives about 20 minutes from me, and is a fantastic guy!

It is not noisy after the initial power up, other than a very slight hiss if I stick my head right into the 402, with volume turned up pretty high.

Maybe I should say I am hoping for a blacker bkgd.


In the back of my mind I am wondering if using Frank's integrated with my active set up

would be better served with a true power amp.

My work around is I set the volume knob at about 11 o'clock and leave it there.

All of my Xilica set up (I should actually say Chris's) was done with the volume control of the 2A3i S at that position.



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Regarding noise floor, absolutely dead black silence from any FW I’ve owned. No matter how far you insert head into 402 - nothing. 
HPower I too have a Wyred STP se, standard. As neutral a preamp as I’ve owned. Zero coloration into any amp, solid or tube. 
I neglected to mention the Decware is also going up against Quicksilver Horn Monos I recently purchased. Time will tell - 

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I have had the basic STP-SE for about 2.5 years, it replaced a Sonic Frontiers Line 1 that was modded by Chris Johnson

of Parts Connexion (former owner of Sonic Frontiers).

It was a very nice preamp with similar connections as the W4S, but it did have some slight tube noise.

When I switch to the STP, all that you mentioned as well as dead quite, and no dealing with wonky tubes.


I always wondered about the Stage 2, and then a couple weeks ago I saw one listed and figured I would give it a shot

provided I found a new owner for my base model.

Just plugged the Stage 2 in tonight, so far so good.


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Well on the tube side of my equation, I heard back from Frank of Triode Labs and after an extensive diagnostics

it seems one problem was, the 5AR4 rectifier that I was using has lengthen the start up noise.

The 5AR4/GZ34 tube itself takes 1-2 minutes to stabilize after it's soft start mechanism.

So it keeps the 2A3 filament's noise from dropping to the speakers before it stabilized the circuit.

Frank recommended going with a 5U4 or better yet a 5T4 which is a metal cased tube that sounds the best,

and very inexpensive.

I do have a General Electric 5U4G...NOS unused sitting on the shelf that I will give a try.

I may also get a 5T4, the going rate is about $30 for a NOS from the 1940s - 1950s.

He also found my left 6SN7 measured a bit noisier than the right one, but it's still quieter than most new production Russians 6SN7.

I may look into a new pair of Shuguang Treasure 'Black Bottle' CV181-Z.


To top it off Frank also updated the circuit, closer to his the new EVO amplifiers.

Frank feels I will see some changes here and there, so it should sound even better now.

He also tested all the ECAPs and they are in good healthy condition.


Frank is going to play it at his house this weekend to enjoy it and give it a final ear test.

All of this for a modest cost and a very personal touch!!!


I think I will probably pump the brakes on any switch until I get a good handle on how the 2A3 is sound after I

get the amp back from Frank on Tuesday.


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  • 2 months later...

I was going to post this in the alerts section, but thought I would let the Cool Kids in this thread have a look first...




I am really enjoying my Triode Lab amp again since getting back from Frank, otherwise I would already

have this F3 on it's way to me.


Maybe I should try it 🤔

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  • 4 months later...

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