• advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
HoopsOnToast

SV83/EL84 and 274B

53 posts in this topic

Moderator

Chaps, I have just bought a new amp, a Decware Zen SE84CW (older 2003 model of the version below).

http://www.decware.com/newsite/SE84C.htm

It has a pair of EL84 tubes in the output stage, instead of the original SV83. I gather (and on the Decware site) that they are interchangeable, and require no bias change as its auto-bias.

To return it to original spec, where is best to find some SV83 tubes? There are a few places, they seem very cheap.

Also the Rectifier tube can be changed for a number of different models, including the 274B which is a common modification apparently over the original 5U4G.

Are these changes likely to make a massive change?

This is my first proper tube amp, I had the Consonance Cyber 10SE USB a good while back (a single ended KT88 amp) but I did not really have it long enough to play with other valves.

Ta, Rob

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

The indications are this is a particularly sensitive amp to its environment so I would expect tube rolling and cable changes to have an impact on performance. I would just get it in and have a listen. You have to know it before you can properly assess changes.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

Cheers Henry and Paul, will do some reading over the next week and hopefully have a good session tomorrow when it arrives! :^

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the russian version of tubes in all manner of setups and have never been less than impressed.

I currently run russian 6P14s in my Leak stereo 20 in place of the EL84s. There is some suggestion on the web that the SV83 is a 6P15 type tube and does not exactly share the same pinout as EL84 so proceed with caution if you are swapping http://www.boiaudioworks.com/TubeData/SV83/Technical_Bulletin_29.html

I would agree with soderator and for the small cost of 2 tubes buy a few different EL84 types or russian direct equiv.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

You are welcome over anytime, as you are only just down the road (in the grand scale of things)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

It arrived today, nice and weighty little beast, EL84 tubes are a lot smaller than I imagined! :doh:

It comes with 3 EL84 tubes, and a SV83, I guess the previous owner bought a few replacements. It has a variety of spare input tubes as well.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

6966989580_7e641ce8bb_c.jpg

Decware Zen SE84CW by hoopsontoast, on Flickr

7113344817_a84ecea370_c.jpg

Zen3 by hoopsontoast, on Flickr

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

Well I have had a whole evening of music, got in early from work at 4:30 and been listening since.

Just as a size comparison, its around the same as the Kolts, I am not sure if that says more about them or the amp! :P

7113067065_fb6af2dcb6_z.jpg

Decware Zen System by hoopsontoast, on Flickr

Well the first think I noticed that it did not sound much different to start off with, bit underwhelmed (after a good 30 min to warm up).

I started to play some albums that I know very well and as it went on a bit, actually found myself turning it down. This is because I was listening louder than I would normally without realising.

It has two bias settings, not labled, one sounds a little bit more airy and the other (which I prefer a lot) has a lot better punch in the bass, and speed, and no real difference in the rest of the presentation.

I have found, over this evening, that its more the little things that I am noticing, like bass guitar and piano seem to really have texture, its a bit of a cliche I know.

The seperation and layers of the music really stand out as well.

I got into a certain mood with some Folk music, and three albums in particular, Seth Lakeman-Freedom Fields, Kila-Luna Park and Pressgang-Fire. I actually had a Wow moment with one of the songs on the Seth Lakeman album. They are good references, as I have seen all of them live. Listening to them now does not feel like a live performance in front of me, but makes me think back to that specific gig (if that makes sense)

This is playing at very low level now, around 40dB average acording to my phone, with peaks of 50dB. It sounds really really really good at this low volume, which is what I was looking for, I dont feel I am missing much of the performance, that you usually get from low level stuff.

Just got John Martyn-Solid Air on and its lovely, everything is just right.

I really did not think the 80dB Kolts would work at the lower levels with just the 2wpc of the Zen but they work really well. Both the Sony integrated amps, the Bantam Gold, TA2020 and AVR200 never sounded this good late night listening. It does remind me a bit of a scaled down system I heard at Scalford, Chris's T+A/Oto combo, although its a lot quieter and completley different, it has the bass speed and punch with the great seperation and imaging!

I do seem to be gushing over this amp (I have never felt the need to write so much about the other equipment other than the Kolts) but I never go this with the Consonance Cyber 10 SE KT88 Single Ended amp I had for a while. Only bad thing is I am really looking forward to tomorrow evening now in anticipation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

Yeah it 'drives' them really well, I have not really tried it at high volumes at all though. The Zen are said to be stable down to 2 Ohms acording to the website, the new version down to 1 Ohm aparently :shock:

Another downside is thinking that the AVR200 as pre (and Rotel RQ-970BX) should be replaced with a Croft Micro 25 Basic! :nup:

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting amp Rob, nice one, i'm a bit jealous! I've always hankered after another valve amp, I still miss my WAD KEL84, lovely sound especially with a valve phono stage too.

I also had a cheapo (£90) ebay valve amp, that was fun for a bit to.

I used some new old stock Russian ruggedised 'EL84's' too, they were smooth, open with solid bass, nice.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

I am quite smitten with it, even after a nights sleep after the over enthusiastic review above :D

Really looking forward to the next couple of nights, got nothing planned, Sky box is recording so will be 3 music nights (with a short interval for dinner) in a row! :oj:

Yesterday was Folk/Vocal stuff, so I think it may be Electronic/Rock night tonight!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah it 'drives' them really well, I have not really tried it at high volumes at all though. The Zen are said to be stable down to 2 Ohms acording to the website, the new version down to 1 Ohm aparently :shock:

Another downside is thinking that the AVR200 as pre (and Rotel RQ-970BX) should be replaced with a Croft Micro 25 Basic! :nup:

Had the little Croft pre about 25 years ago. You won't go wrong. Smashing thing and (by today's recession standard) reasonably priced.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

I think it may be a good move in the future, a Tube/Hybrid Pre including a phono stage for £350 seems good value to me.

One thing I did not say is that the Zen is silent, no hum as far as I can hear :^

Also, anyone recommend somewhere to get a nice knob? :D

Found this @ £9, which looks nice.

knob_hatl.gif

http://www.hificollective.co.uk/catalog/aluminium-knob-34mm-p-2774.html?osCsid=1rcpp8van7t56r2hf4v1o0vlp3

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Moderator

Yeah its 6mm, I checked last night :^

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.