Welcome to Decware
Here is the 2.3 watt SET amplifier that started DECWARE in 1998...
We still make it.
The Zen Triode Amplifier
O R I G I N A L V E R S I O N
What sets this amplifier apart?
The Sound - it's what we all chase.
No circuit boards or solid state parts.
A signal-path featuring 2 resistors and 1 capacitor.
Decware's highly interleaved Ultra Fidelity Output transformers.
Class A SET operation that can handle 2 ohm loads.
8 revisions spanning 22 years.
Feedback from many 1000's of customers creates a highly evolved product.
Point-to-point wiring with no circuit-boards and zero negative feedback.
Designed by audio guru Steve Deckert.
Parts and Labor from the USA.
A Lifetime Warranty.
Pure class A Single-Ended Triode amplifier with only 2 tubes, 2 resistors and 1 capacitor in the signal path.
It makes 2.3 high-current watts per channel and does not require "easy to drive loads" like many SET amps.
It features a volume / gain control and two pair of input jacks. It can be used either with or without a preamp.
You can also bridge it into mono for 6 watts. Because of our floating output stage design, a pair of these amps can even be run as fully differential-balanced amplifiers.
The amp is based on one triode-wired EL84/6BQ5 output tube per channel driven by a single 6922 and features 5U4 tube rectification.
We ship it with Russian 6P15P-EV, a superior alternate to the EL84 in this amplifier, rated for 10,000 hours with gold grids, plated pins & thicker glass. Also from Russia a variant of the 6922 called the 6N1P-EV. This is a warmer and nearly bullet-proof tube that exemplifies the term 'liquidity'.
If you're new to this amplifier, what sets it apart is the extreme simplicity. With only six parts in the audio circuit there isn't much to get in the way of the music.
This is the entire audio circuit of a Zen Triode amplifier.
"For those who adhere to the 'first-watt' theory of HiFi, here’s a bonus: the Decware Zen amplifier gives you two. Yep, two watts per channel single-ended triode. I must admit they are pretty big watts, as I had no problem driving my reference GamuT S-7’s to a more than reasonable level. (The S-7’s have a rated sensitivity of 89db at 1 watt and a retail price of $42k per pair.)"
"What really sets the Zen apart from all the moderately priced tube amplification I've heard is its incredibly lifelike tonality and bass control."
-Jeff Dorgay, Tone Audio Magazine
You may select the following options from the shopping cart:
Knob types: Ebony, Gold, Black chicken head, Cream chicken head, Walnut
VOLUME CONTROL CHOICE
You may select between a 20-position stepped attenuator with precision low noise SM resistors or a conventional volume control. The conventional volume control is best when not using a preamp.
Anniversary Mods increase the already ultra-high resolution of this amplifier with strategically placed film or foil caps in the power supply. Level 1 and Level 2 are the same mod -- but with different capacitors. Level 2 uses the same boutique copper-foil signal capacitors as those in the signal path of the amplifier. Level 1 uses less expensive poly caps.
NOTICE ABOUT THESE MODS
All of these mods can be added or removed at any point in the amplifiers life by Decware. They are designed for and best appreciated by audiophiles with treated listening rooms. In a more challenging listening space or when used with a less than wonderful source component, the amp will often sound more musical and forgiving without these mods.
NOTE from the DESIGNER
Decware amplifiers are point-to-point wired without circuit boards and are laid out in such a way that the part leads themselves create the circuit. This creates minimal wire and minimal solder nodes. Also there are no solid-state parts in this amplifier. The power supply is a brute-force design which simply means that it is sized 300% larger than required so that even at full output there is zero sag. With no need to regulate there is no possibility of liquidity-robbing artifacts from the regulation.
In summary, this is how you would build an amp for yourself when there are no concerns about the profitability of mass production, and you just want the very best possible sound for the dollar. The happy side effect of this approach is that the amplifiers last forever, which is why we can offer a lifetime warranty.
Steve Deckert / DECWARE
The Zen Triode Amplifier
Weight 17 lbs. ea.
Dimensions 8.0" H x 8" W x 16.0" D
Circuit type Single-ended Class A Triode
Power output 2.3 watts RMS x 2 or 6 watts RMS x 1
Input voltage 1.5 volts for full output
Noise / Hum -79 dBU / -58 dBU@120HZ
Flat Response 10 Hz ~ 80 kHz
Rectification 5U4G / tube rectification
Output tubes SV83/6P15P-EV or EL84/6BQ5
Signal tube 6N1P or 6922 or 6Dj8
Transformers Decware UFO wide bandwidth
Biasing Self-Biasing / Cathode Biased
Resistors precision WW/MF by DALE, VISHAY
Signal Cap Exotic Film and Foils
AC cord Removable power cord
Consumption 65 watts
Input jacks RCA type Gold / Teflon
Output jacks 5-way binding posts accept 12 gauge
Speaker dB/1w 89 dB minimum / 94 dB or higher is ideal
Warranty Lifetime to original owner
Manual is in a .pdf format
Last Update 2020
Since we don't have dealer's and we sell our amplifiers directly to the customer, our customers have a direct line to us. As a result, Decware support is legendary for over 20 years.
Support is not only a phone call or email away at any time, but when you purchase this amplifier you join a huge family of customers who also own one and enjoy supporting each other in our Audiophile Support Forums.
CNET's Steve Guttenberg says in 2016:
"Trust me on this; you'd be amazed how good a few watts can sound, and when they're matched with the right speakers, micro power amps can definitely play loud enough to annoy your neighbors. You're skeptical? I don't blame you, but Decware amps are sold with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and the company wouldn't have lasted 15 years if it didn't have lots of satisfied customers. Business is so brisk there's usually a 30-day waiting list for new customers."
HISTORY of REVISIONS
Model SE84 - 1997 ~ 1998
The first dozen were built in Hammond aluminum chassis - each one hand-drilled and riveted together with a hand brushed finish.
They were 2.3 watts Triode or 5.7 watts Pentode with a switch. All 12 owners prefered the sound and the weight of Triode so in the amps to follow the switch was deleted and it became a permanently fixed 2.3 watt SET amp.
This is also were designer Steve Deckert learned not to build multiple amps at the same time as 6 mistakes were made on the first amp and then those mistakes were duplicated 11 more times taking days to fix. This picture taken on a back porch where it all started.
Model SE84A - 1998 ~ 1999
The chassis was changed to painted steel, still by Hammond, still being hand drilled. Now a dedicated SET amplifier the front switch was changed to a bias adjustment for the input tube giving the amplifier two different sounds.
Model SE84B - 1999 ~ 2000
Revisions were made to the power supply and the audio circuit that sped the amplifier up thus improving performance. This lasted for another 50 amps or so and then in the following model we started having the chassis custom made for us, pre - drilled and with a powder coat finish that can't scratch off.
Model SE84C - 2001 ~ 2008
New Chassis with powder coat finish, Further upgrades to the power supply set the design in stone and it was sold until 2008 when it was retired at serial number 1000.
Model SE84C+ - 2008 ~ 2009
The chassis thickness was doubled and stretched by 1 inch allowing us to move the volume control to the front. Additionally a second set of inputs was added with a source switch. This is now a meaty little beast that you can back over with the car and it will still work.
Model SE84C+ - 2009 ~ 2012
The color was changed to white, the binding posts were also upgraded and the circuit was further tweaked with the CCE mods dealing with the suppressor grids of the output tubes further improving transparency at these lower voltages.
Model SE84CKC - 2013 ~ 2015
The paint was upgraded again to a 1930's typewriter finish. The input stage was also re-voiced and the coupling caps were upgraded with cryo-treated beeswax at over 50x the cost of the originals.
Model SE84UFO - 2015 ~ 2020
The output transformers were upgraded to an even more interleaved version with more laminations, better wire and a bandwidth from 10~80kHz. The transformers are still proprietary as they have always been. They have been branded UFO for Ultra Fidelity Output.
Model SE84UFO - 2020 ~ PRESENT
The signal caps were upgraded to Miflex Copper Foil and Anniversary Mods were offered which bypass the power supply with film caps for more resolution.
2.3 WATTS x 2 or 6 WATTS x 1
Made by hand in the USA and sold wholesale to the public with a
L i f e t i m e W a r r a n t y !
Factory Direct $1195
Amps are hand-built to order. There are presently lots of orders on our real time build sheet. A 10% deposit secures your place on the list with today's date and time stamp. Balance is due when it's ready to ship. You will be sent a final invoice with the total price including actual shipping costs by our office during your wait.