Decware CSP2 +

How good is this as a preamp? How does it compare with much more expensive units? My most recent active tube linestages have been CAT SL1, Joule LA-150MKII SE, and Dodd. Does it compete in that league? If not, how so? The fact I can use it as a headphone amp is just icing on the cake. My current reference is the Lightspeed Attenuator, but I want an RCA-based tube linestage to throw in the mix. This is for a single source CD system.
Anyone own it?
I spoke to Steve about this preamp at length as I had some mild interest in it as a headphone amp primarily, but was curious about it as a line amp too. Very good design and I especially like the adjustable output voltage feature. Given it's price and the return policy I'd venture to say its worth a listen. I'd try it myself but I have some new toys coming in and doing some final testing on our own preamp. Not enough time right now.
it seems well thought out - yes variable gain is very nice feature,
The other interesting one is the unity gain/buffer/volume control -- Zbox - like a B1 with a 12au7/ax7 tube. Also choice of DACT/Goldpoint/and some Japaneese attenuator Steve really likes. Still in the camp of why gain? Expecially since my CD Players is switcable between 2v/4v.
Hi Pubul- Did you ever purchase one of these? I also have an LDR preamp but as you stated, love the idea of a Headphone Amp/Pre combo.
No, I just have not pulled the trigger on it yet. In the winter I use my Atma-sphere gear, but once it warms up I might be looking again to find something to match with my Music Reference RM10 MKII in addition to the Lightspeed.
I think he has a money back if you don't like it deal (less 10%) so I may give it a shot. I don't want to lose the transparency of the LDR, nor the black backgrounds but I must say the LDR does have the drawback of not being very linear in it's volume levels across the dial. And I find that there are about 4 spots on the dial that it sounds its best.
Ordered a CSP2+ a couple weeks ago to mate with my Odyssey Khartago. Steve from Decware said there were 90 units ahead of mine (not all CSP2's, of course), and it would take about 12 weeks. So, if you order one, you best be a patient man.
You want to know patience? Order an Ars Sonum integrated:)
As my 90 year old grandma would say, "oy."
Rischa: I too am very interested in the CSP2+. It's either that or a Burson HA-160D (again). If I get the Decware, I'll have to hold on to my current dac. I don't know what to do here. My headphones are the, somewhat difficult to drive, Audeze LCD-2's. I don't know if the Decware will be able to drive the 'phones sufficiently. I guess you didn't get yours yet.
Nope, hasn't come yet. But I did get an email from Decware informing me it was in QC. I'll report back when it's here.
Just saw that the proper Decware headphone amp for the Audeze headphones is actually the Taboo. Meant for headphones from 4-60 ohms (the Audeze is 60). Also, I can sell my amp and use the Taboo (only 6 watts but my speakers are 96db so I'm good). Problem is, looks like the Taboo needs at least 3 volts and my dac outputs only 2V. I emailed Steve and asked him if I'll be ok.
CSP2+ arrived last week and is now, more or less, broken in. How does it sound? In a nutshell, phenomenal. I've already been writing about it over on Audiocircle, so I'll just post a link to that thread in case any of you frequent both sites. Happy to answer any questions here, though, if folks are curious. Here's the link:
I have the CSP2+ and the Taboo on order. The CSP2+ will have two sets of RCA outputs, as well as the two sets of RCA inputs, plus the headphone jack. The Taboo will have a capacitor cable made up so I will have the option of not hooking up speakers when I listen to my Audeze LCD2 Rev2's.
Is a capacitor cable the same as a resistor cable? Are you making this yourself or are you purchasing it?
Sorry, probably resister cables to attach to the speaker outputs on my Taboo when listening to LCD2 headphones. The CSP2+ is back at Decware for an upgrade to the cryo treated beeswax capacitors. I am continuing to upgrade my all analog system every year.