Decware - any substance here?

With 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 fanbase, but my problem with the fanbase 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, Atma-Sphere, etc...?

Showing 2 responses by jwt

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.
did you buy a Tori Mk 3 with VCAPs, just wondering. I recently sent my Tori back because something was wrong with it after a ton of run around but it turned out some solder joints had actually broke how is anyones guess. The other reason I sent the Tori back is that whilie using it with the GR Research Super V's I built it produced a annoyingly loud hum thru the upper driver of the Super Vl After about a year of trouble shooting and avoidance I was finaly able to send the unit back for it's supposed lifetime warranty. the unit was only partially fixed, as the attenuator was monkeyed with and still doesn't work right and there is still a hum thru the speaker, although it's not quite as bad as before. So if I had a complaint it would be when a audio builder is asked if his amp will play nicely with another person's speakers then I wish it were true of what I was told in the first place. The amp doesn not play well with the Super V and a very annoying hum omits from the speakers to this day if I'm even listening. I've had the unit completely overhauled, it has VCAP's, Shugang Treasure matching quad output tubes, the attenuator and what looks like new transformers even but non the less it does not play with my super V speakers so I am forced to sell, but not a sole is interested in buying this so called classic. Man I hate it when things like this happen. Now I can understand why he does not have but a small handful of reviews done on his equipment out of fear they'll uncover the pitfalls.Unless of course speakers and preamps are bought from decware as well then you may bery well have something there.