Hi Is this the amp Nelson Pass designed?
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The Decware amps are very nice sounding for the money, but they are not a good match for your SL3's. You will find that
they do not have near enough drive for them. In response to the above question....no, Nelson Pass did not design these amps. You are mistaking theses amps for an older solid state
amp Pass designed with a similar name. You will probably find that you need a minimum of around 30 w.p.c. to get the
the advantage of these amps is the very pure sound you will get...if you use speakers with an easy load and not a lot of crossover. they do not have a lot of drive, but they do very little to the signal. a tradeoff. count on having 96 dB efficient speakers or a small room or both. in this situation and a good front end, the music they produce is beguiling.
martin logans would not be a good match, but it would be fun to try.
Efficient speakers are a MUST. Neither my 88 dB towers nor my 90 dB mini-monitors cut it. I had to craft some 96-97 dB efficient speakers loosely based on what I learned at the Pi speakers-, HammerDynamics- and on the SingleDriver web-sites (DIY Afterburner project). Combined with an inexpensive sub the "B" revision of the SE84 Zen amazes me.
The C, CS, and other amps from Decware use even better parts...
I have a pair of the Zen B Monoblocks. With the pair, I have very successfully driven Joseph Audio RM50si (89 db)and am currently driving Spica Angelus (87 db). Steve used to run Maggies with the Zen and said that it was a wonderful sound but you could only obtain modest listening levels with out clipping. The amps are clean, fast and smooth. They have incredible midrange magic and wonderful imaging and soundstage. With the monoblocks you can pair them with a wide range of speakers but with the single zen you will want a more efficient speaker.
As a follow up, I bought a Zen, and the amp is simply amazing!! Although the SL3's are not really efficient enough for it, it provides more volume than expected. Although there is not nearly the bass output of my Odyssey Stratus, the sound is so much more involving. After listening to it for about a month and switching back to the Stratus, the difference is even more noticable. I can no longer listen to it.
So, my next question is, do I get another Zen Select to run mono's or, do I opt for the BAT VK-60? Although, I love the sound, I definately want more bass extension and volume. I tried horizontally bridging the Stratus to run the woofers, it did not work well, the gain's were no way near close enough. There was too much bass output. Either a more efficient speaker or more power by bridging the Zen mono's should give me that. With BAT VK-60's selling used for under $2K, that route also seems tempting.
thanks for the advice,
Congratulations on your new Zen. People's stories about their experiences with the Zen amp seemed too good to be true, but have all proven true for me as well.
I ran into the same puzzle about bass extension and got a subwoofer (REL Strata III), which has solved the puzzle to my satisfaction.
In my experience, serial bridging (the recommended method for that amp) doubles hum. If you want to test this out, the instructions for serial bridging using a jumper are included with the amp, and the hum can be measured at the amp's speaker posts with a digital multimeter set to AC volts.