SE84CS Review


Reviewed by: Lon, Audio Enthusiast, from Austin, TX

April  2001


Product Model Year:
2000

Summary:
This amplifier is a wonderful product, in my opinion. For over three years I lived with the first amplifier and the first revision of the amplifier, and this amplifier is a clear and marked improvement on a product that I had been very satisfied with.

The Select will present the music to you with an appealing fullness and drive. One can listen at lower volumes and get a rich sound, a big plus in my estimation. There are so few items in the signal path and no push pull manipulation; you really get a sense that you are listening to music, first and foremost. If you are just listening to cd, and your cd player is up to the task, you can run the player directly into the amplifer (there is a gain adjustment knob) and really experience fast and clean sound. There is a soundstage that will delight, and clear images of instruments. I have never experienced audio like this in my home before.

A long breakin period is a reality with this machine. I have had mine for seven weeks now. I have heard the amplifier go through a metamorphosis! About four weeks ago it started to sound really good and it has been sounding really good ever since. . . it may still be breaking in, in which case I think I will just be happier in the future! But don't expect it to sound its best the second day.

The previous amplifier I enjoyed had one fault: it needed a bit more bass with my speakers. This Select version has the bass I was missing and also more "speed"---I know I could get a more powerful amplifier, but not necessarily a better one. Won't be changing amplifiers soon.

The one caveat I would offer: use this amplifer with good source and speakers. It will let you hear all that your system is doing. If you have something not up to snuff in the chain, you will know it. If you change the stand or footers you put the equipment on you will hear it. If you change a cable you will hear it. Can get maddening if you are prone to audiophile nervosa! //:0)

I have always had excellent dealing with Decware, though I do find that email responses are much slower these days, and I have one correspondent report some less than satisfying results. Overall I think these are fine folk to do business with, and I was mightily impressed with their products three plus years ago and remain very impressed with the products. This is one to try. You have to be careful with speakers, but then again I am using Bose 10.2 speakers bought at an estate sale ridiculously cheap, and getting glorious sound, so you won't be crippled in your choices if you don't need earbleeding volume.

Strengths:
Transparency, balance, energy

Weaknesses:
Transparency, so you will hear all your system, good and bad
Very long breakin period

Similar Products Used:
Decware's very first amp, and then the Revision A modification added; had this for over three years.

 

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