"I'm not sure if this
is a time machine, a spaceship, or something that you plug in like a
glowing gate to a higher plane of consciousness but every time I listen
to it I disappear!"
The TORII is one of
those rare amplifiers that can liberate
It does this by getting
everything down to the last detail... right. The kind of "right"
that goes WAY beyond it's impressive specs or appearance. It was
created BY human ears FOR human ears. With the Zen TORII, you can
see better with your eyes closed.
One of the reasons it
can do this is because like a Stradivarius violin, each amp is hand
voiced down to the finest
For the same reason a Stradivarius sounds superior to mass produced
the Zen is simply untouchable by mass produced amplifiers - regardless
of price, unless of course you're into being pummeled by loud obnoxious
and uninteresting amps with huge power figures. The Zen is for
people who want more than to just hear the music, they want to float in
it. It's a goose bump machine if you know where I'm coming from.
magic of single-ended triodes,
built) execution give it a
sound that simply
embarrasses many hi-end amplifiers and is to date our best work. I should also mention that this
amplifier is made in the USA with our own hands. It's using proprietary
US made transformers (real good ones)
the 1/8 inch thick
Steve Deckert - owner DECWARE High
is a pretty ballsy
25 watt per channel amplifier that features 2 pair of inputs with an
input selector switch and a volume control. It works perfectly
well WITH or WITHOUT a preamp. It's at home with most hi-fi speakers
and equally poised with high efficiency speakers due in part to it's
complete lack of noise or hum. There is also a control outside the
signal path that lets you make fine adjustments to the high
frequencies. Along this same theme, it has a bass
switch that lets you adjust the bass character of your
loudspeakers to eliminate room boom automatically and add or remove
This pure class A tube
amplifier with no circuit boards also features a dual mono design with
fully independent vacuum tube regulated power supplies. It's
using tube rectification on each channel feeding a mirror imaged push
pull layout with no negative feedback and is fully self biasing.
It's an easy
own because there is no maintenance and no bias pots to
adjust. The tubes are not run hard and consequently last about
twice as long, are easy to find and their not overpriced.
You will simply turn it on and enjoy the
music, every time.
The TORII MK IV can be used with a variety of the great sounding classic
audio tubes which are affordable and easy to find both in current
production and new old stock. This makes finding replacement tubes
as easy as any amplifier ever made.
The amplifier can run
speakers between 4 and 16 ohms.
Your TORII MK IV
is available in either 120 VAC or 240 VAC and compatible with all
voltages that fall within +/- 10%. You can select the voltage from
within the shopping cart.
You can select from the Black Figured Base
(shown at the top of this web page) OR the Contemporary Style Walnut Base
(shown above). Different woods can be selected from within the shopping
cart. The Black Figured base is only available in Black.
Black, Cream, Walnut. You can configure your Torii with the knobs
you want from within the shopping
your choice of hand selected and tested
quality EL34 or KT66
tubes by Tungsol.
In addition it will come with N.O.S. Voltage
OC2, New Selected 6922 input
to! You will be able to select which tubes you want from within the shopping cart.
secret the in the world of exotic tube amplification that S.E.T. amps
in transparency and liquidity. We've all heard statements like...
"female vocals to die for"
"insane imaging" when
describing these jewels, but in the same breath you'll also hear things
like "needs an easy to drive speaker"
"while the bass is good, it lacks
the absolute control and dynamics of the bigger amps." So
right away you're left with a compromise... performance vs. musicality
...because any time you
have between 2 and 10 gloriously transparent
the only thing that could be better is more. Designing a
high power S.E.T.
amplifier requires adding another gain stage
(tube) or paralleled output tubes (or both). Either one
causes a loss of
transparency when compared to a single output tube per channel.
Zen design, even though you have two tubes per channel, they are not in
parallel but rather transformer coupled in series so that only one tube
is really in the signal path at any one time.
Having such a simple signal
gives the Zen TORII the same transparency as our SET
amps where only 2
resistors and 1 or 2 capacitor are seen by the
signal. And to complete
picture, we use no negative feedback, which is easy to
do if you're
building a Triode based amplifier, but the Zen TORII is
a Pentode design that
forgoes the "ultra-linear" approach in favor of tube
regulated grids on the output tubes to help with linearity.
hundreds of hours of initial listening, the Decware Zen Torii continues
to improve, as designer Steve Deckert said it would. While the
full review will be in issue 41, suffice to say that this is one of the
most musically engaging amplifiers I’ve had the pleasure to
experience. If you’ve ever spent time with a great SET and thought
“If this only had 2-3 times the power, I could live with it,�? your ship
has arrived. After owning a number of the world’s finest SET
amplifiers, I can easily support Deckert’s claim that the Zen Torii is
certainly the equal of any SET I’ve owned."
-TONEAudio Blog / JULY 26 2011
How do you get an amplifier to
sound like it does at 2:30 A.M. (when the power is cleanest) during the
day and virtually every time you listen to it? Tube voltage regulation designed to
filter instead of regulate.
First of all, the vast majority of
tube amplifiers for sale do not even have tube regulation. Not to mention the obvious... but
just because an amplifier has tube regulation doesn't mean it's going
to sound better. Tighter and more control, yes. Better?
...not often. The classic shunt regulation so
often seen in tube amplifiers that do offer it, often poisons the
transparency with injected noise
that must be further filtered. The Zen TORII doesn't need tube
improve power supply performance. It features a dual mono design with
power supplies, one for each channel. It's a brute force approach that
delivers over 300 ma. of current when only half of that is
actually used by the circuit.
this special amplifier the Voltage Regulation tubes are wired in series with
the load. In that configuration they become a filtering device instead
of a regulating device. The VR tubes place a measurable vacuum gap between the load
power supply. This creates Ultra Clean Power because all of
the the noise is filtered off. (Noise from pollution in your local
power grid that includes the
ultimately end up at your wall outlet and in your amplifier.)
This poisons virtually everyone's power outlets but it is eliminated in the
Zen TORII. It literally doesn't make
the jump across this vacuum gap between the cathode and anode of the
VR tubes. Talk about black backgrounds, we could call it the
grain eliminator or the liquidity insurance program, or just an unfair
advantage over virtually all of our competitors.
This is one of the reasons why we know that unless you own
use a power generator, like the PS AUDIO power plant as an example,
there is no way your present amplifier will sound as good as a Zen
TORII (...assuming all else was equal and even that's unlikely.)
And if it wasn't enough to do it once, we employed this technology on
every stage in the amplifier and independently for each channel.
That's a lot of GLOW from these beautiful tubes that don't even get hot
or wear out!
You won't find tube regulation in the vast majority of power
amplifiers, and none that use it in this critically important
way. Yet, impressive as it might sound it is only a small part of
why the Zen TORII can achieve the unique sound quality that is has.
The Zen TORII uses a unique
push-pull design that employs only a single
capacitor and gain stage
to drive the output tubes, just like our popular 2 watt S.E.T.
Add to that the cleverly simple way it preserves the even order
harmonic content and you have a push pull amplifier that is truly unique in the
market... It has the beauty of S.E.T. sound with the
performance of the very best push-pull. Speed and attack are
taken to a new level here. In fact, the Zen TORII makes most 200
watt solid state amps sound
lean and flat.
EVEN ORDER HARMONICS ARE WHY SINGLE-ENDED AMPLIFIERS SOUND GOOD.
The Zen TORII has unique harmonics giving it a sound unlike virtually
all push pull amplifiers, solid state OR tube.
The harmonics of an amplifier can be revealed in the
distortion measurements. There are two types of harmonics; Even order harmonics and Odd order harmonics.
Musical instruments naturally create lots of Even order harmonics. So
do single-ended amplifiers BTW. However, I can't think of too
many things in nature that create sound with Odd Order Harmonics,
except for solid state and tube push pull amplifiers! This is why
you don't get an organic sound from these types of amplifiers, and why
everyone is so gaga over Single ended designs.
Here is a distortion graph
of a typical push pull amplifier:
This works by simply playing a single tone at 1kHz and measuring the
echo! You can see that the first harmonic (A) is at 3kHz - an ODD
number. The next (B) is at 5kHz and the third (C) is at
7kHz. This is what an ODD Order Harmonic signature looks
like. Notice there is no even order content whatsoever.
Also of interest is the average noise floor seen between the test
signal at 1KHz and 20kHz is about -110dB. (larger numbers are
better). Considered very good this noise level is brought to you by a
Balanced XLR solid state push pull power amplifier.
One of the main reasons why push-pull amplifiers never sound like good
single-ended triodes is because most push pull designs naturally cancel
the even-order harmonics as clearly shown in the graph above!
Below is the Zen TORII's graph, where you will find the missing Even order
harmonics at 2kHz, 4kHz, 6kHz and so on, yet it IS a push pull
And an opportunity to make a point - the Zen TORII is also quieter than
the solid state amp in the same 1 ~ 20K range - coming in at -125db!
of both worlds.
founder Steve Deckert proudly proclaims the Zen Torii is “the last amp
you’ll ever want.�? And if you agree with Nelson Pass’ theory that there
is a best amplifier for each type of speaker, the Zen Torii could be
just “the best�? if you have the right speakers. TONEAudio publisher Jeff
Dorgay was smitten enough to purchase the Torii for his reference fleet
of amplifiers. For an EL- 34-based amplifier, the bass grip is nothing
short of breathtaking, and the Torii renders musical detail like
Indeed, there’s never been a better example of specs not telling the
whole story. The Torii plays louder and interfaces with a much wider
range of speakers than suggested by its modest 26-watt- per-channel
rating. Showcasing old-school style, the Torii is hand-wired in Illinois
by the DecWare staff and guaranteed for life. American craftsmanship at
The Tube Compliment that we supply is premium grade, hand
selected and carefully matched and tested in your
amplifier! We expect you to listen to them during your 30 day
trial while you make the decision to keep or return the amp. (Yes the
tubes are that good). Original replacement tubes for this amplifier will
always be available from Decware.
Tube Rolling is a way for neurotic audiophiles to re-voice the amplifier
to their own liking based on different tubes that possibly better compliment
their speakers, room, or even source. Tube Rolling with this amp is
affordable. It is also empowering when you realize that YOU can
MAKE the amplifier sound the way YOU want it to. Especially when the tubes are affordable and there are so many cool brands of each type to choose from.
Your TORII is 100% compatible with the following tubes.
These are the different output tubes that you can use in your TORII
without adjustments. They are simply plug-in compatible. The chart below
shows how you can taylor the sound with these different tubes. The meters in the chart show how each tube will sound in a TORII MK IV amplifier.
NOTE: Imaging is not a factor of output tube selection. Your Zen TORII has equally holographic imaging with any of the tubes above.
Your Amplifier can be configured in the shopping cart
Voltage: We will automatically ship your amp with the correct power cord for your country based on the shipping address you supply.
Wood: Only the "Black Figured" base is of the Victorian
style, all other hardwood bases are of a contemporary styling. Wood
bases are user interchangeable so if decide at some point to change the
way your amplifier looks with a different wood base, you will not have
to ship the amp back to have it done, you can do it yourself with a
Volume Control: A smooth action volume control is a
standard ALPA control with carbon wiper. It is infinitely adjustable and
offers a slightly warmer sound. The Stepped attenuator is actually a 20
position switch that features 1% metal film resistors. With it, you can
adjust the volume in 20 steps. There is no infinitely fine or small
adjustment like the standard volume control, however channel balance is
usually better (with 1%) and overall transparency is also slightly
Knobs: Gold knobs are the most popular and
consequently, kind of the standard knob for a Torii, however if you
selected a black wood base, the Ebony knobs match the base, just as the
Dark Walnut knobs nicely match the wood bases made of walnut. Chicken
head knobs give the amplifier a more vintage look and are available in
black or cream colors.
Capacitors: We use cryo treated beeswax caps as the
standard cap in the TORII MK4 which is all a person needs to experience a
boutique cap in a boutique amplifier! The sound is fantastic.
Since the release of the amp, our cap supplier has also developed an
alternate cap using copper foil that many people like so we offer this
as our Type II beeswax cap and consider it an upgrade of the already
killer stock caps in the amp. Same goes for VCAP's which are also
considered an upgrade. Between the two upgrade caps the beeswax are a
bit more organic sounding while the VCAP's will develop slightly more
resolution over time. The stocks caps are also organic sounding but the
most forgiving of the three choices. Capacitors can be changed at any
point in the amplifier's life.
Output transformers: The TORII MK4 has a switch to go between hi and low speaker impedance's.
This was done so you can adjust the switch while listening to music and
determine which sounds best with a particular speakers. Often
running 8 ohms on a 4 ohm speaker sounds great, so it's recommended you
let how the speakers sound determine which setting is best. The
cart choice simply lets you specify 4~8 ohms or 8~16 ohms.
Output tubes: This simply means the amp will ship with the tubes you have selected.
Shipping case: This case is a guarantee that your
amplifier will not arrive damaged from shipping. It also has
wheels and a handle making it easy to transport your amplifier to and
from shows or audio events.
Once you have configured your amp, hit the UPDATE button to see the
total price of your configuration. Also, after your order is
placed, you will have two weeks or more to change any of the options
while your amp is in the Que waiting to be built, so don't loose any
sleep over what options to choose.
The assembly space shown below was designed specifically for the construction of these amplifiers.
TORII has impressively flat frequency response. In the range of
human hearing it is accurate to within 0.4 dB This is a real
world frequency response measured through loudspeakers at normal
listening levels. It is not a simulated response nor is it the
typical measurement where the amp is hooked up to a purely simple
resistive dummy load instead of a complex loudspeaker load.
response of both channels overlapped. Tone control at 1/2 way
OUTPUT TRANSFORMER COUPLING
The Zen is a very stable
amplifier capable of driving all but the most power hungry loudspeakers
because of it's transformer-coupled output stage. This creates a
hand-shake between the amplifier and the loudspeaker and protects the
speaker from DC voltages should a tube ever fail. Of course most
amplifiers use output transformers, which tend to be the most expensive
single components in the amp. This is where most amplifiers fall
by trying to impress you with big heavy transformers of average or low
quality. The more power the amp has, the more likely it is to use
moderate quality transformers - at best.
Decware transformers were
designed and are built specifically and only for THIS amplifier.
use the highest quality grain-oriented silicon steel laminated cores
with exhaustive interleaving to produce the most phase coherent wide
possible. Our transformers have always been proprietary and are a
part of the secret behind the Decware sound.
This amplifier comes standard with our World
Voltage Compatible Transformer. Your amp will be automatically wired
for the correct voltage for your country and be supplied with the
correct removable power cord.
OUTPUTS: 1 PAIR
HEAVY GOLD 3 WAY BINDING POSTS PER CHANNEL
OUTPUT STAGE TOPOLOGY:
GND-CATHODE TRANSFORMER RK
RLOAD PLATE TO PLATE:
IDLE CURRENT: 47
MILS PER OUTPUT TUBE
HIGH B+ VOLTAGE:
410 VDC CHOKE REGULATED PER CHANNEL
100 K OHMS
FULL POWER @ 2.0 VOLTS
POWER INTO 3.5 OR 8
OHMS: 24.6 WATTS RMS PER CHANNEL
ONE OA3-OD3 PER CHANNEL
INPUT STAGE REGULATION:
ONE 5Y3GT or 5AR4 or 5U4 PER CHANNEL
INPUT STAGE: ONE
6N1P or 6922 PER CHANNEL
OUTPUT STAGE: TWO
MATCHED EL34 PER CHANNEL
" WIDE x 13-3/4 " DEEP x 7-3/4 " HIGH
NET WEIGHT: 36.8
LIFETIME TO ORIGINAL OWNER / 90 DAYS ON TUBES
EL34 OUTPUT TUBES
6922, or 6N1P PREMIUM INPUT TUBES
N.O.S. OA3 and OC2 VOLTAGE REGULATOR
REMOVABLE POWER CORD
20Hz ~ 20kHz +/- 0.4dB
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION: 0.069 %
DYNAMIC RANGE, DBA: 92.9
THIS AMPLIFIER SHIPS WORLD WIDE!
OPTIONAL SHIPPING CASE
you travel, or just want a bomb-proof case to put your TORII in, we
have this custom fit case available. Your amp can be shipped in
one. The $299 option is available when you add your TORII to the shopping cart.
Military-grade waterproof/shockproof case customized to
perfectly form-fit your amp for transport and or shipping. The
amp fits upside down into foam.
Series Injection Molded Mil-Standard Waterproof Cases are molded of
ultra high-strength polypropylene co-polymer resin, featuring a
gasketed, water and dust tight, submersible design (MIL-C-4150J) that
is resistant to corrosion and impact damage.
Features a continuous
molded-in hinge, patent pending "trigger release" latch system,
comfortable, snap-down rubber over-molded cushion grip handle,
automatic ambient pressure equalization valve (MIL-STD-648C),
resistance to UV, solvents, corrosion, fungus and impact damage
features wheels and a pull
out handle so anyone can easily move it.
We offer this
amp with a 30 day money
back trial so you canhear one in your own room! With less than 2%
returns, chances are
you'll be like the guy who just
wrote in our forum: "The only way you're
getting this amp back is to pry it out of my cold dead fingers!" -
passionate response that's not uncommon among Zen Torii owners.
A few Customer
"I will send you a
fully thought out review with some more hours on the Torii but just
wanted to drop you a note to say how amazed I am at the amp and how it
has transformed my system. You could charge 3 times the amount
and be right in line with market value. But that is not the case
here, this amp is better that the products I have owned from Pass,
Krell, Rowland and even blows away my Atma-Sphere amps. And this
is with just a day and a half break in. There is something just
plain right about what I am hearing. Bless you
for bringing music alive!"
-Walt R. Gardners,
centerpiece of one of my company’s flagship systems, the Decware Zen
Torii has pretty much killed the audiophile in me. I am now a simple a
music lover. Its presence marks the first time in over twenty years of
serious listening that a particular thought has crossed my mind: I have no reason, no itch, no
desire whatsoever to upgrade this system. I am baffled that this level
of immersion and enjoyment can be had for so little. But even
more telling is that it has made me want to explore musical genres I
had never given any consideration to. And that’s an even greater
testament of its virtues." -Frank D. EarHead Audio, LLC Winchester,
"Well, I really
don't know what to say except that this is one amazing amplifier. If
had it on most all of the daytime since it came in and while the sound
is still changing as the amp breaks-in it seems to be settling in
nicely. This amp already sounds miles ahead of anything I've had in my
system. It sounds much "bigger" than my current 200 wpc amps. How you
get a 25 watt amp to sound like this is what I'd like to know. This amp (compared
to my current 200 wpc, class D amps) has MUCH better weight, tonality,
pitch definition, better extension and clarity in the treble.
Grain/glare are non-existent with the most natural detail that I've
heard. Dynamic contrasts are much better than my current amp -
classical music is exciting to listen now. And as your web page states
the detail is there in the music from an extremely low level without
turning it up. I seem to have plenty of gain and I've yet to clip the
amp even listening at (to me) pretty decent levels with my Merlin VSMs.
I've owned the VSM's for about 10 years and now I know that I really
had not heard what they can do. I've had quite a few
pieces over the past 25 years: Audio Research, Music Reference, VTL,
Atma-Sphere and most recently my only venture into solid state: a
Channel Island D200 Class D amp. Your amp is far and away the best I
have ever heard in my system (I had the Atma-Sphere amps for 10 years
and know very well what they sound like) and I will certainly not be
sending it back. I really wish I had a way to communicate to other
Merlin owners how well this amp seem to work with these speakers. Thank
you for an outstanding product at a very reasonable price."
-Bill S. Kingwood, Texas USA
-George K. Irvine, California USA
-Chris M. Underhill, Vermont USA
The TORII resolves bass as brilliantly as it coaxes
its lifelike mid-range and natural, airy highs from recordings."
-Will R. Santa Fa, New Mexico USA
An Active Thread On AUDIOGON
Might Mean More....
Decware - any
such a nice and extensively detailed website, I've long been curious
about Decware. But with little in the way of genuine reviews, and not
much in the way of discussion here, I always wonder if they are nothing
more than that, a great website. They clearly have a dedicated fan base,
but my problem with the fan base is this: most of them (not all of
course) seem to have limited experience with products besides Decware,
as if they stumbled upon Decware and never bothered with other brands.
Maybe this is positive, that once experienced they don't have the
typical audiophile itch to try other amps. I'm specifically struck by
the new Torii MKIII push-pull amp, which in description and looks is
just beautiful. So does it interest anyone here? Has anyone actually
heard it, or it's previous incarnations? If so how does it rate amongst
the other quality tube amps, whether Blue Circle, Cary, Vac, Almarro,
It bums me out also. I just checked to see
if he'll be at RMAF and no, again this year he isn't on the exhibitor
his defense, he does have his own "fest", and I'm sure his argument
would be that this way you (we) aren't limited to one or two systems to
listen to; but IMHO it is more valuable in the course of pinning down
what floats your proverbial to be able to hear a Decware system, and
then listen to several other ideas of what $5K should sound like
I own a couple of
Decware amps and they are great, and the people behind the product are
great. It's one of the few tube products I've owned, and the only tube
amp I have kept. I'm not saying it's the best because I haven't heard a
lot of tube gear, but I think that because it's a small company that
has good people behind it, makes the difference.
As for RMAF and
reviews? All of that takes money, and when I see companies displaying
and advertising, I know that their customers are paying for it. There
is nothing wrong with that, it's just business, but I have a lot of
respect for companies that can create great products and stay in
business because they invest in their customers. There are not many,
but they deserve special attention. I feel that Decware is such a
I own the DAC and it
is terrific. It runs the Cirrus Logic CS 4398 DAC chip which is the
flagship chip. You will find this chip in very very expensive DACs. I
have friends far tweekier than me who love this DAC and other DECWARE
They've spent the time and resources way beyond the
average audiophile and simply profess the advantages of a small
manufacturer such as DECWARE who had no advertising budget and can
produce product beyond the large companies with a different business
Dollar for dollar
the Decware line must be classified as top shelf value. I have owned
the select mono's, Taboo, original "blue Torii",and the Torii mkII.
amps are all fast,they have a big sound stage,image very well and are
musically pleasing. They are hand made (all point to point wiring) in
What's not to like? They are all low powered,the chassis is of a light
weight and are not dead quiet.
I have also owned Cary, McIntosh, Airtight, VTL, Art Audio and others.
Decware will hold its own with the more costly group.
They ARE dead
quiet. No spitting, sparks, smoke or humming. No glue or cheap Chinese
parts inside and no gaudy exteriors. Their value far exceeds their
price, which galls some audio consumers who buy in part based upon a
large price tag.
The designer will make himself available for
personal one-on-one conversations about the equipment and its use. They
make products for the love of good sound, not just to achieve a per-determined profit margin.
"Genuine" reviews? There are
plenty of them; some are linked or posted on the DECWARE site. A 6Moons
review of the original TABOO comes to mind. In addition to that, there
are a plethora of detailed posts regarding use and enjoyment of DECWARE
I have owned several pieces of DECWARE equipment and
have been happy and satisfied with each one. The products go through
updating and revisions in the quest for continual improvement.
going to RMAF? So what. The don't need to. They are quiet company that
maintains a low key profile; they do not engage in specious self
" . . .that once experienced they don't have
the typical audiophile itch to try other amps. I'm specifically struck
by the new Torii MKIII push-pull amp, which in description and looks is
just beautiful. . . ."
I used to own a Decware
phono stage. Never had any problem with it. In fact it was better than
a certain solid state phono stage at the time that was garnering rave
reviews and cost 3 times as much as the Decware unit.
to try a set of their speakers some day. Steve knows what he is doing
and his business model is quite refreshing. Great sound does not have
to cost a lot. Looks and price seldom equate to better sound. A well
designed circuit using good parts with outstanding build quality and
thorough testing should be good enough enough for anyone.
The four Decware
amps I mentioned in my first post are not the only Decware products I
have purchased. I also have the phono stage, ZT preamp, HDT's and the
All of Decware's offerings are bargains in today's audiophile pricing
structure. I still own all of them except the "blue torii".
"not dead quiet" comment needs more description. I am using the Torri
mkII to amplify the mid range (560hz-3350hz) into a 118 db efficient
compression driver.Any tube amp will hiss a little when used this way.
Power from the Decware amps is low. What do you expect from SET amps.
Even the push pull Torrii can not be considered hi power.
owned many powerful amps, which were not really musical, I have become
fond of the saying " if the first watt s*uks why continue?". So if you
have an exciting musical amp and it happens to be lo power- go get some
more efficient speakers if it won't play loud enough.
I'm new here, only because the Decware
site is pretty quiet these days, so I started looking around and found
I just had to voice my opinion. I own two Decware amps at the moment,
Steve's new DAC and the CSP2 pre-amp. Plus two pairs of his speakers. I
have no desire to go looking for anything else. They just plain
satisfy. I lusted for years over the high priced gear out there, until
I realized they just plain looked better than they sounded.
first meet Steve at a VASC show in the Seattle area in 2001, after
seeing all the rest of the gear at that show, I made my first Decware
purchase, and haven't looked back. I've been to his Zenfest a few years
and it is simple, laid back, and a lot of fun. I have plans to attend
this years fest in just a few weeks.
What I like the most is,
you can get Steve Deckert on the phone and talk to the man that built
your amp, thats something you can't do with the big boys.
I built the Decware
single ended amp kit (EL84s, ~ $350). I also built an Elekit SE kit
(~$600) that uses 6L6s and a scratch build 2A3 single ended amp
The quality pretty much goes exactly as the cost goes, in
my system to my ears. I will say that all sounded very good though.
Keep in mind that the Decware kit's sound may be compromised compared
with a factory built unit (PCB vs. point to point, etc.).
That's pretty much my experience with Decware and with low power SE
OP made the point that he felt many Decware owners don't have a lot of
experience with other equipment so it's hard to get a good read on
where the Decware stuff falls. Aside from 1 or 2 posters, in this
thread it seems that this may be the case. Sebrof
my name is Frank and Steve Deckert is imho one the most talented
I have come across....let me explain why....although just reading his
white papers are a must to understand his philosophy.
I am in my 60's have been involved in music since the late 50's.....
my living room is currently modwright transporter, emerald physic's
the pre amp is a pre production Decware statement piece feeding a quad
of Eastern Electric M156 monoblocks. I have not found a better preamp
regardless of price....but I also love my low output systems...
new Torii mk2 is fed directly by his new dac into either silverline
17.5's or Omega super hemps....Superb sound..........however my current
involves his mini Torii fed by apogee firewire (battery) into
with infinity ceramic sub and a mac pro outputting 24/196...just
they are just as quiet as my RWA 30.2's and Isabella which are also
bottom line is Decware is some of the best you can buy regardless of
price......I have many more systems as I have bought many things on
audiogon which I find have some of music most knowledgeable fans.
sorry I forgot to list other equipment I
krell..wright, cary, bryston....all eastern electric products....other
there is more especially if I go into spkrs...it's been many years....
Hi, someone tipped me
off about this thread, I've read it, and the concern is valid. Most
audiophiles that have spent real money on main stream components aren't
going to seriously consider a $2500 Decware amplifier when their cables
cost more than that... perhaps it would just be too embarrassing, I
This is not a real problem for me, because I'm interested in fidelity
the other hand, In their defense, many audiophiles don't realize that
we're comparing gear that is being retailed (advertising costs, reps,
distributors, retailer mark ups) against gear that is sold factory
direct with no overhead at 1/3rd the cost.
Any of our amplifiers
could be repackaged as audio jewelry and retailed at five figures and
sonically hold their own in that league.
I would invite anyone
reading this thread who owns any of the excellent high dollar main
stream gear to attend our Audio Fest on October 1st, 2nd & 3rd and
then report back to this thread your honest opinions on what you hear,
for better or worse. Many attendees will bring their amps with them to
compare side by side. When the entire room picks one amp over another
it's pretty definitive.
In response to the new torii after
listening for several months...
A few comments
First amp that stock tubes don't need to be upgraded with NOS tubes
Incredible bass response unusual in tube amps...tight and full...
Dead quiet which is a feature of decware designs.....
The hazen (sp) grid mod is worth the price alone..and why it is better
than every el34 amp.
The sound is complete and not
I compare it to my RWA signature 30.2
This was taken from the Decware site....I
hope it isn't illegal, if it is, sorry.
me this just shows Steve Deckert, and what he is all about by his
comment., As far as reviews go, I would prefer to listen to someone
that owns the product and lives with it than that of a professional
reviewer that who opinion my be jaded by advertising dollars. (Not
saying that happens, but you know we all wonder, right)
If you are a tube roller as I find it
fun....the mini torii could be the most
Musical and enjoyable amp you can buy....on the decware site
Steve has a picture of all the output tubes you can use....I have tried
Almost all of them......it's a blast ....married to the right spkrs
A revelation...one final must have is the additional output connection
You have for use of a sub, which gives the signature of the amp
Helping to make integration seamless.....I have used this amp over a
Year and is still one of my all time favorites ..... Flaneb
The thing that keeps me
intrigued is the speaker design. The long turned archaic Infinity WTLC
speakers of the seventies were the first speakers I ever had a crush
on, and Decware design in some cases reminds me of them, and a time
when audio was fun and not so serious.
I'm already pot-committed to RMAF Steve, and I don't think my wife will
let me go to both parties; but perhaps next year.
I sure don't want to
come on as another cheerleader, 'cuz it usually makes me sick. I'll
give you my honest opinion of the Decware amps that I have owned.
First, I must say that I have owned many upscale audiophile amps., and
will tell you they were mostly great, and very expensive. I then looked
around for something more affordable and found a lot of crap!
Fortunately, I came across Decware, and found equipment that was quite
impressive beyond it's price. No bells and whistles either, but a lot
of the equipment is VERY versatile. I especially like that because you
can tune this stuff for all kinds of situations. Maybe you need more
headroom, maybe you need more watts, Decware can handle it. Impedance
dips a problem with your speakers, not with the Decware equipment. I
could go on, and I won't 'cuz, once again I don't want to sound like
another groupie. After 40+ years of audio interest, I can recommend no
other product more than this.
Making the leap past
the audio store and going direct nets the more experienced audiophile
much better value for money I bought a Decware Amp back in 1998 and to
this day own a pair of the Decware HDT speakers, which I'v put up
against the likes of Wilson Bemesh ad Vandersteens and havn't budged an
Decware is in good company of many similar type
companies... For example, I own an Vaughn Audio Amplifier and
Audiosector Dac.... All sold direct and all bought unheard.
OK, I know this thread
is posted in the Amp / Preamp section but since this is probably the
longest thread about Decware outside its own forums and the OP's title
is whether there is any substance about Decware, I’d like to know if
anyone has any experience with his speakers -- specifically his corner
horns or the ERRs.
Yeah, I know, different speaker designs, but I have different
applications hence the question. Finsup
I just got word today that my Select Zen
Triode is in the final stages and should be in my system between now
and the new year.
Perhaps not the best time of year to send things, but that's how it
goes.I'll keep my fingers crossed.
am not a stranger when it comes to amplifiers and I am also a musician
, so I'm one of those rare audiophile/musician hybrids, the ones with a
music system that's somewhat more involving than an Ipod or pawn shop
At the moment my speakers are Ref 3A Grand
Veena,amps are Red dRaggon Leviathan sigs mono blocks(which I have no
negatives to speak of)Audio Valve Eclipse preamp, Rega P9 TT,Grado
cart,Audio Aero Capitole cd player.
I have two 30 amp dedicated
lines, the one for the amps has a Shunyata Hydra two direct wired to
the panel via a Wattgate 20amp receptacle at the 10 guage romex end and
a Shunyata Annaconda Helix to each mono block.
The other 30 amp
dedicated line has an Annaconda 20 amp Helix to a Shunyata Hydra 8,
then a Python cx into the pre amp and 2 hybrid DIY power cords into the
CD and tt.
Other amps I have owned include the following- 1961 Bell
tubed integrated ,Dynaco st 70,Moscode, CJ MV75A-1,Blue Circle BC2
monoblocks,Meitner mono blocks,Classe DR8 mono blocks, VTL st 85,
Michaelson and AustinTVA and Grant Lumley el34 pp tube amps,Atma Sphere
S30,Cary sei 300B, and I've auditioned Mac 275 v, Art Audio Cariisa and
Pass Aleph 3 on my current speakers.
So I've pretty well got a good take on amplifier differences.
look forward to the little Zen, and I hope 2 watts will be enough
power,but it should be in my application and listening environment.
I will post later when I and the amp get better acquainted.
I do have some great expectations, specifically that this is the end of
the line for me.
If what I have read about it proves true, then it just may be.
Anyone heard their
omni speakers? The design concept looks a bit like my Ohms - nearly
full range omni driver crossed to a relatively conventional tweeter at
a very high frequency. However, these appear to be more sensitive and
capable of higher output.
I own the Decware
CSP2 and the Decware Taboo, I use this to drive my hornshoppe horns, I
have owned a lot of gear over the years, but I have to say the Decware
gear has been some of the best sounding amps I 've ever owned, dead
quite, no noise what so ever, just beautiful sound from the speakers.
All of this can be had at a very good price from Steve, great service
and you can get him at almost every phone call, great guy , great
I've got a Decware
SE84, has maybe 2 watts per, something like that, and lots of synergy
with my Tekton Lore speakers that offer 98dB sensitivity. Wanted to get
either the A205A or A318B Almarro amps, as I've owned several of each
over the years and have loved them, but wanting and finding aren't the
same. Decided to give Decware a try AND very happy that I did. Sturdy
construction, minimalist in appearance, and plenty of power with my
speakers. I've thought about getting a second to have mono-block
amplification, but simply not necessary in my case. Plenty of volume
when I want to push it a bit. Anyway, for the price and performance ...
difficult to beat. Give Decware some serious consideration. Arkprof
I just received my Decware amp, it was
shipped Dec 23 and I got it this afternoon,and everything was in
The packaging was well done, double boxed, triple if you count the box
the tubes came in.
So after a couple of hours to get the chill out of it I decided to tube
and wire it into my system.
have a dedicated 30 amp line into a Shunyata receptacle then into a
Shunyata 20 amp Annaconda to the Hydra 2, and then a Python CX into the
The speaker wires are Clear day single strand pos and neg to jumpered
Ref 3A Grand Veena speakers.
then used a Shunyata Annaconda to power my Audio Aero CD player and
sent the signal via 20 foot RCA Audio Art interconnects to the Decware
amp. The CD player is on another 30 amp line and into a HYdra 8.
little wrinkle was that the inputs on the rca inputs are not marked and
of course I got nothing out of the left channel until I plugged the
interconnect over to the left side of the amp.There are two sets of
inputs on the amp,but you need to plug into both the left side of the
amp and the right side, you can't plug both into just the right side
which is the norm with most amps,or at least in my logic.
event even after just ten minutes(I'll need 200 hours they say for it
to come up to speed)this is a very surprising little sleeper.
I was expecting it to not have much reserve volume wise, but in my case
there's room to spare on the dial!
the nice shiny gold volume control on the top of the unit to 11 O'clock
gets me to the same levels that I normally listen at with my regular
2 watts vs 1000 watts-I am amazed at what power you
really need to listen at reasonable volume, granted my listening room
is 22 x12 x8.
What I am very pleased with is the fact that the
Ref 3A Grand Veena speakers can be added to the list of speakers that
the Decware 2 watt single ended EL84 amp can drive.
And drive very nicely I must add.
So next it's back down for some more listening.
I'll post again in awhile with further ramblings.
I would have to say that there is some real substance with this product
and if anyone with Grand Veenas wants to try a nice SET on the cheap
and not feel short changed, give this little jewel a try.
They have a 30 day free trial, so no risk,,no risk of sending it back
is more like it.
find the mini torii
very enjoyable. also oun zdac with the gain stage which i find to be a
fabulous combo. Gain stage acts almost like a preamp which can add body
to a recording especially at lower to med volumes
received the ERR's today, after some delay over the holiday/new year.
This won't be a full review since they're freshly set-up, but I wanted
to get back with some information about this loudspeakers since it's a
little bit scarce here.
I ordered the plain cherry finish, and
the fit & finish of the speakers is very very good. They were
packaged well enough to survive a shuttle launch, and arrived in
perfect shape. No documentation, but I called Steve at Decware and he
was very kind with his time, answering my few questions clearly.
way of confession, these speakers are about making the best of a
marginal living room situation. The room is very bright, approximately
25Lx13Wx8H, and the space flows on both ends to much larger volumes.
Speakers need to be close to the walls, and in practice people move
throughout the space rather than sitting in a sweet spot. While it's
not the room I do my critical listening in, I do want it to sound
good...without looking like some kind of Temple of Audio.
ERR's are fairly underserved with a Peachtree Decco containing a
Cullen-modded Sonos playing lossless files. Cables are Rega SC42. So
they're slumming a bit. They're replace some Rega RS5's, which were
wonderful, if traditionally 'focused' in their design, and a single
Gallo TR3 sub.
My initial set-up has the speakers nearly 18ft
apart, toed-in, very near the wall, facing the room as well as the
openings to the other volumes. Right now, the ERR's are simply sitting
on hardwood floors on their integrated plinths - they're not spiked.
Steve said this was entirely optional - they're threaded to accept
spikes, the use of which he said may affect the bass (but nothing else).
their newness, my neophyte experience, and the fact that this iw
significant across the board jump in performance from my previous
(beloved) speakers, I think all I can really offer right now is that
they are exceeding my expectations, which were good bass response, open
not shrill highs, not fussy about placement, clean look that works with
our modern furniture (hey, I don't live alone), and most importantly,
throwing a large and (er) diffuse stage. That is, the stage is
something between remarkably coherent and still quite good over an
enormous portion of the rooms. While this isn't a particularly
'audiophile' observation, with the RS5's I had about 20SF of sweet
spot, 150SF of OK sound, and 140SF of lousy sound in that room. Now
I've got what sounds like 80SF of sweet spot, no bad spots anywhere,
really, and damn good sound everywhere else...including the adjacent
dining/kitchen room. It's just what I was looking for.
continue to play with them, give them better amplification and sources,
and post more newbie comments here, but for now it's clear that I got
what I was looking for. Very pleased with the company, service, product
finish, and design of the ERRs.
My apologies that this 'review' isn't better informed, nor more
traditional in terms of what I'm looking for from my speakers.
I own the TORII MK III w/
VCAPS. I got the unit about 1.5 wks. ago after about a 2month wait. The
amp is still breaking in, the VCAPS rather as I only have about 350
hours on the amp. The VCAPS take 1000 hours so a real review of this
amp isn't possible. What I can say is the amp won't push my SF Auditors
with any kind of volume, they are 88 db. I can say that the amp easily
pushes a pair of Vince Christian E-6 90db to high levels with clipping.
That combo with a sub is immensely revealing, too much so at its
current break in point. It sound amazing but a tad forward, which is a
combo of a very highly resolving amp and highly resolving speakers. Not
to mention I have highly resolving cables.SR. The amp though at low
volumes is truly amazing in its resolving power, I hear details I
didn't know existed in my Analog playback hardware. Somewhat ruthless
combo, if the material isn't top of the line then you hear what is on
the material nothing more nothing less. The real deal, 100% percent. A
value that goes beyond words, 100%. A complex piece of simplicity 100%.
The last amp most would ever need 100%. Listening to the designer,
worth the price of admission right there. I have compared it to a 4500$
Meridian Amp that is outstanding and a Jeff Rowland Amp. The Meridian
Amps will stand up to just about anything IMO. They are sleepers, most
folk think of Meridian for digital but they started out making amps. I
have three M amps. The Rowland amps I have had are also great but in
comparison to the Decware TORII MK III I'd have to say the Rowland and
the Meridian at 2 and 3 times the price of the DECWARE, not in same
league, even remotely. Hand built point to point bullet proof design,
adding the VCAPS and Treasure Output Tubes set the stage/foundation for
ANYTHING you can throw at it. NO AUDIO SALESPERSON has a right to cut
this amp down because they know of something better, because in reality
they don't and if they do it would cost 30K. The audio industry sells
unbelievably overpriced crap in reality most which lose its value so
fast you wouldn't have time to look at your watch. Its no wonder the
like of many of these big companies keep changing hands, everything is
unpredictable. I just don't know what to say about retail audio except
for that it is a rip off big time not to mention a bad investment. I
cannot think of ONE piece of audio or video equipment that even comes
close to the value of the Decware Torii MK III or any of Decware's amps
for that matter. Built to last a lifetime, amazing sounding,
unbelievably flexible, economic, burn so much electricity I would
consider them for LEED points opposed to almost all Transistor based
amps. Its amazing more engineers don't get the BIG as well as Steve
Deckert has, I am blown away at what kind of system a person can put
together from Decware for the cost of a medium high end pair on speaker
cables. Really makes me wonder just how much bullshit there is flying
around from Audio Dealers and their respective lines. A true money
making machine that we assist you into foreclosure in a heartbeat if
you follow any one of these such dealers advice and buy say a Meridian
Surround Sound Processor, or a Theta Surround Sound processor, or a
Krell and the likes. Who needs a 35K pair of Wilson speaker's, to waste
money. Its really sad, but the upside is you still can buy a Decware
Amp and be ahead of the game in every regard and still have plenty of
money to buy material to listen to This all from a guy who has learned
the hard way.
Several years ago, I
bought a Decware 34I to replace my Audible illusions 3A and Belles Hot
Rod amp. The 34I was so much more involving and i found myself stuck in
front of my system for hours. I did not think that any gear could
captivate an adult like this but this amp did it for me! It drove my
Vandersteen 1Cs at low levels with such detail and also at such high
levels but not clipping these speakers! Before the separates, I had the
Cary SLI-80 which was sweet and tubey (and slow) compared to the
Decware. The Decware 34I was more dimensional and fast,and the notes
would just hang on some recordings. Then, a year or so later, i tried
the 84C+ (with 1/2 the power) and the music sounded even clearer (but
less powerful) with the Vandies so i reluctantly sent it back to the
manufacturer. I owned lots of gear (Cary, Rogue, Belles, Audible
Illusions)before, but the Decware amps are the best sounding amps that
i ever had. Highly recommended.
you've written it sounds like the Torii is hyper resolving--is it ever
distractingly so? I favor musicality, tone and dynamics over
uber-detail. Do you think the amp errs to the analytical side at all?
example, I have owned and ultimately sold Atma-sphere which seemed to
do most things very right and impressively, but ultimately was
uninvolving for my preferences.
The Torii is a serious contender
for me--especially wanting a successor that sounds as good or better
than my 845 SET without being as big a safety hazard to my infant
son/putting out as much heat. Gopher
What I meant by very
detailed at low levels, was that you hear all the notes of the music
clearly at a very low level without needing to have it playing fairly
loud to distingush all the instruments in the music. I would not call
the amps i heard hyper resolving or analytical but more like a
pleasantly dimensional sound of music.
I understand why a
low profile designer/manufacturer, especially one a bit iconoclastic
and with a dedicated fan base, might generate some of these
impressions, but in my dealings with the Decware community, I believe
these are inaccurate impressions. Many in the Decware user base have in
fact been all over the map with product, and some might be relatively
untested, but once seduced, stay seduced. ;-). I came to Decware late
in life, having been a builder or owner of everything from Dynakits as
a youngster to Carver to Quad (electronics and speakers), Linn,
Infinity, Conrad-Johnson, Maggies, Acoustats, Transcendence, etc. So,
please try not to form impressions about a product based on
misinformation about its customers.
I understand the
interest in comparing Decware to other stuff, but I, like many Decware
users are either long-time audiophiles, DIYers or/and musicians….a
crowd that is accustomed to critical listening. I personally prefer to
compare Decware to life. This is not the same as comparing gear, but it
is the most valid comparator I can think of. I just want it to feel as
real as I can get it without breaking the bank. I also want a certain
level of flexibility within this "realness." This requires that special
balance of detail, liquidity, tonal balance, weight, definition,
openness and all those other things we try to describe sound we love
with. But those things are never enough…..it needs that special
indescribable quality that makes me happy and amazed when I listen. The
final determinant: does it suck me in to the music.... am I fully
engaged and captivated by the music? And this can't happen unless it
sounds and feels extremely lucid and complete.
As to whether the
Torii is too detailed. The amp is very detailed in every respect due to
its quality, simple and synergistic design….it even uses regulator
tubes in parallel for power filters. But is also liquid, slightly warm,
and has deep and detailed bass….not cold. All delivered with speed and
open, harmonically textured definition. If you look at the Decware
forum, you will not find many Torii posts wanting more bass. For more,
this amp taught us that more room treatment may be needed to utilize
the amazing bass it offers. Anyway, I would call the detail real, not
hard or clinical.
You also have five sets of tubes you can
roll, so not to worry if the voicing from Decware (which is very good)
needs adjustment to your tastes. It is a tribute to how revealing the
amp is that all of them make big differences in my system. Even a
50s-60s tungsol OB3 reg compared to Sylvania OB3s of the same period
are similar, but real choices…not to mention more apparent tubes like
many available 6-type input tubes. And with the bass pots, treble cut
knobs, bias and impedance switches, Decware starts us off well, but
gives a lot of flexibility to tailor the amp to tastes.
that I want the amp to gather too much attention as it takes a while to
get stuff as it is, but this might answer the question about Decware
going to shows....it appears that they have more than enough to do as
And yes I am biased, and glad I found them. Their design work suits my
ears and budget.
to whether the Torii is too detailed. Not for me, but I am into detail.
The amp is very detailed in every respect due to its simple and
synergistic design, even using regulator tubes in parallel for power
filters. But is also liquid, slightly warm, and finally, has kick assed
bass. All delivered with speed, depth, texture, and open but not cold
definition. If you look at the Decware forum, you will not find many
Torii posts wanting more bass. For more, this amp taught us that more
room treatment may be needed to utilize the amazing bass it offers.
Anyway, I would call the detail real, not hard or clinical.
also have five sets of tubes you can roll, so not to worry if the
voicing from Decware (which is very good) needs adjustment to tastes.
It is a tribute to how revealing the amp is that all of them make big
differences in my system. Even a 50s-60s tungsol OB3 compared to
Sylvania OB3s of the same period...not to mention more apparent tubes
like the input tubes. And with the bass pots, treble cut knobs, bias
and impedance switches, Decware starts you off well, but gives you a
lot of flexibility to tailor the amp to tastes.
Not that I
want the amp to gather too much attention as it takes a while to get
stuff as it is, but this might answer the question about Decware going
to shows....it appears that they have more than enough to do as it is!
yea I am biased, my system is mostly Decware at this point, and I am
glad I found them. Their design work suits my ears and budget.