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...?
jtnicolosi
Would anybody be able to relate experiences comparing Decware amps to Almarro?
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.

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!

And yes I am biased, and glad I found them. Their design work suits my ears and budget.

Happy Listening!

Will
As 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.

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 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!

And 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.

Happy Listening!

Will
Sorry about the double post... I must have messed up.
I own a Decware system.I am currently using the select monoblocks[purchased in 2003]with the cce upgrade.Also the CSP preamp and HDT speakers.I own an Orgin Live Calypso turntable and use the Decware phono section with remote power supply and adjustable on the fly gain control.I use the Decware Z-box[a tube output stage]with my Cambridge Audio 540 Azur CDP and get an improvement that far exceeds the cost.Finally,all my interconnects,speaker cable,and main power cords[amps,preamp,and phono section]are Decware as well.This system is an emotional experience every time I spin a record,offering reference sound without the corresponding price tag.I had onwed a Naim system before, the main piece being the NAP 250 amp.The Naim system doesn't hold a candle to this decware system and I really don't care what you think.The lack of smugness and elitism with this company is the first clue.Hearing is confirmation of this.In closing,Decware products more than anything point out the lie of overpriced inferior "mainstream'audio equipment.