Decware Zen Taboo

I am considering buying the new Decware Zen Taboo amp (six watts/ch). I currently have modded Klipsch Forte I speakers that have 98db efficiency and 8 ohm nominal load. I like to create concert level spl from time to time and wonder if anyone has used the decware amps with Klipsch speakers. I have been using Quicksilver Mini-mite monoblocks that are rated at 25 watts/ch and have plenty of headroom with the Klipsch Fortes.
Doing the math, your Mini mites should play 6 db louder. Depending how much headroom you had in reserve, you might get away with the Taboo.
I generally can't turn the volume knob much past 11 o'clock before it gets to ear-bleeding spl. The thing that has me interested in Decware is the theory that the first waat is most important. I've found that late night listening with the Quicksilver amps is somewhat uninteresting. There is a lack of dynmics at low volumes. Steve Deckert claims his amps are very dynamic at extremely low volumes and can still belt out surprisingly high spl with speakers rated at 90-100 dB efficiency. It seems that single-driver cross-over less speakers will optimize the qualities of Decware amps so I'm wondering how they'll do with the three-way Klipsch Fortes.
I think you're hearing the crossover getting in then way late at night. Single Driver Loudspeakers are the way to go. Of course, I'm prejudiced (being a a Single Driver Loudspeaker guy).

I think you are going to find out 6 wpc isn't enough to drive your loudspeakers to concert levels w/o audible clipping. However, at a less deafening levels, you might find the Taboo does so many other things right you may not need concert levels.
Will never be able to hit "Concert levels" 115db+ with a 6 watt amp.

98db at 1watt

101db at 2watts

103db at 4watts

105db at 8watts
104db at 4watts
107db at 8watts

If you end up trying the Taboo please keep us posted. I've got a pair of Forte's and I'd love to know if the Taboo would work with them. Low level background listening is what I'm most interested in.

With a username like Mootsdude you wouldn't happen to ride, would you?
Klipschfan - I assume I don't need 115db+ to reach concert level sound in my 16'x20' room. I remember as a kid reading that The Who held the world record at the time for the loudest concert - 120db "Live at Leeds". I really have no reference other than the perceived loudness of live music in a large venue. I'd guess that I only need low 100db range to produce concert like spl but I don't have an spl meter.

Samac - I have a feeling that I'll give the Taboo a try as Decware has a 30 day return policy. I'd assume they have the standard 10% restocking fee but I feel it's worth a go.

I ride a VaMoots ti road bike. I used to race but just don't have the time to train at that level anymore. The old legs can't do the 100 mile road races and crits are just too dangerous.

Good deal! It will be interesting to see if the Taboo will drive the Forte' properly.

I thought you might ride. A very nice bike indeed! I'm sure it rides beautifully. I've got an '86 vintage TREK 1000 that I used to ride many years (and pounds) ago. I've recently got back on a bike but I've crossed over to the dark side; a mountain bike. I picked up a Cannondale Rize 4 full suspension and I've been having a great time on it.

Enjoy the ride,


I see you're enjoying the new Merlin speakers and wonder how they compare to the Klipsch Forte's. Mine are modified with upgraded crossovers, 30 lbs. of sand in the base, and anchored with Audio Points brass spikes. They sound fantastic at medium to high volume with the Quicksilver Mini-mite monoblock amps. I'm interested in the Decware Taboo because I suspect it will sound better, particularly at low volume. Decware's website indicates that their amps are optimized for single driver cross-overless speakers, so I'm not sure how the three-way Forte's will fare with six watts/ch. I will let you know my findings.


Sorry for the later reply. One reason I delayed replying is that I wanted to mull over what I wanted to say. I've owned the Forte's for over 20 years, they are original with no mods. I believe they are outstanding speakers and I doubt I'll ever sell them. I've moved them into the family room where the family enjoys them all day long nearly everyday. To me they have great detail and when placed properly in corners they have outstanding room filling bass and very good sound to them. Over the years I've had tube and ss on them. I do believe tubes sound best on them but when set up right they sound very good with ss also. I know I'm probably preaching to the choir a bit here but I wanted to post my thoughts.

The Merlin TSM is another speaker I feel I will have for a long time too. A comparison is hard because they are so much different to the Forte', but I'll try. The Merlin's have amazing detail and resolution. The mids are fuller and more fleshed out than the Forte's. They highs are some of the best I have ever heard. The Forte's will go deeper but the fuller mids and the pitch and articulation of the bass of the Merlins makes this a non issue. The Merlins completely disappear. I still haven't got over that. I just sit there and look at the speakers at times trying to localize the sound at the speakers and cannot. So soundstage and imaging are outstanding. I'm very surprised how well they do in my room, which is an acoustical mess and open at both ends. And the should not sound as good as they do with my modest equipment. The fit and finish of the Merlins is outstanding even in the matte black textured finish of my TSM-mmi's.

In short, I love them Merlins. I did extensive listening to many speakers and there is some great stuff out there. I listened at length to the Dynaudio C1 and Focal 1007BE. Two great speakers but I prefered the Merlins. The Focals were close and I could be very happy with them but for me and my tastes the Merlins were the best.

I hope this helps. Good listening and riding!


That does help. I've had the Forte's for five years and found great improvement when I upgraded the crossovers. They are very revealing of any problems upstream. There are times when they sound a tad bright but this has just as much to do with the recording. I don't have much first hand comparison with other speakers but I'll say this - when I have my musician friends over for a listening session, they shake their heads in disbelief. I bought these speakers for $500 and put another $500 into them with the upgraded crossovers and Audiopoints brass spikes. I can't imagine finding a better sounding speaker for this amount of scratch.

Here's my dilemma - I am very happy with the Quicksilver mono's. Reliable, simple design, and inexpensive initial investment. Fun to tube roll. I heard a rumor that the designer, Mike Sanders, voices some of his amps through the Klipsch Forte's. Not sure if this is true but I can believe it. Anyway, there's great synergy except at low volume listening. My curiosity has me wondering if Decware will fill the void and give me the late night "out of body" experience, as well as the live concert sound that I get with the Quickies.

I'll let you know where I go with this. Goin out on the Moots now to enjoy the spring weather.