Zen TABOO Review
||Re: Zen Taboo Amplifier Beta Test
« Reply #251 on: 04/13/05 at 3:30pm
I had posted some of my impressions above and
in another thread. They clearly belong over here. My impressions on the
"fidelity knobs" are a few posts up. I've pasted my other impressions below:
Here are my thoughts on the Taboo after spending a few days with it on
different equipment. Obviously, these are my observations and others may feel
1. It is very quiet. I measured less than a millivolt
of hum, and you really notice a nice dark background to music played through it.
2. It runs cooler than my Select.
3. The front mounted
volume control with a knob is much nicer than the rear mounted bare shaft on my
4. The fidelity knobs are interesting, but in my system, I
think I would "Set 'em and forget 'em". The 12 o'clock position worked best for
the majority of recordings I tried.
5. I think the Taboo is on its
best behavior when a preamp is connected. Since one of the major benefits in
the design is more power, providing enough source voltage to get to there is
Here is my take on who may want a Taboo and why.
If a prospective Decware customer wanted to get the Decware signature with
enough power to drive a wider range of speakers, the Taboo would be a great
choice. It has enough power and low end response to satisfy. To somebody who
has never heard the Decware signature, the amp does an excellent job of
demonstrating the sonic family resemblance for which Decware amps are known.
Another likely buyer would be a Zen or Select owner with great
speakers that are not a text book match for their amp. The extra power and low
end response of the Taboo seems like it would be easier to integrate into an
existing system without many sacrifices.
I don't think that current
Zen or Select customers who have taken the time to properly match speakers to
their amps would see a "hands down" improvement with the Taboo. It is a
demonstrated fact that the original Zen and Select amps are exceedingly
difficult to beat. With the right source and the right speakers, these amps
have the ability to change the way you think about detail and soundstage. With
the introduction of the Taboo, this doesn't change. In my opinion, the hardcore
Zen-heads who have put together well matched systems can breath easy.
The Taboo is an extremely competent addition to the Decware family of
products. It has a little extra muscle and flexibility and can stand on its own
merit as an excellent choice.
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