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Zen TORII Mk 5
20 WATTS x 2
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 !
A stargate that lets you step inside the music.
"A Torii is a traditional Japanese gate often found at the entrances to Buddhist temples, where it symbolically marks the transition from mediocrity to the sacred. This is how the amplifier makes me feel when I listen to it, so this is what it was named. We find it's extraordinary fidelity is a catalyst for out of body listening experiences.
This comes in part from it's esoteric point-to-point simplicity and our proprietary transformers.
I'm not sure if this is a time machine, a spaceship, or something that you plug in like a glowing gate to a higher plane of consciousness but every time I listen to it I disappear!"
Designed to be unusually good sounding, and it is.
Steve Deckert - DECWARE / High Fidelity Engineering
Zen TORII Mk5 Dual-Mono Amplifier
Dual-Mono design where the only thing shared between the two halves is the power cord.
Purist Design is hand built point-to-point with no circuit boards and zero solid state parts.
Tube Rectified and Vacuum tube regulated power supplies for each channel.
Rare harmonics that sound and feel like an SET amplifier.
No global negative feedback used.
Sounds great with simple and affordable EL34 output tubes.
Compatible with KT77, 6L6, 5881, 6550, KT66, KT88, 7027, EL34 and 807 with adapter.
Optional Transformer-coupled XLR inputs.
Boutique internals including Miflex Copper Foil capacitors and F&T electrolytics.
7 way bias meter to read each of the four tubes individually, in pairs, or all at once.
What sets this amplifier apart?
"The two biggest things other than no circuit boards or solid state parts, would be this:
1) Tube Regulation - shown left.
2) Even Order Harmonics - discussed below.
Both are unheard of in the vast majority of push-pull amplifiers, tube or solid state alike.
This beautiful tube is a variant of the OA3 regulator tube. It is a VR90 which drops the voltage to the input stage by around 15 volts. This can be just enough to tickle your exotic N.O.S. 6922 or 7DJ8 inputs tubes into a new level of nirvana. There are actually three of these tubes you can work with that will give you three different sounds.
Even order vs. Odd order harmonics is basically a discussion comparing the sound of SET amps to Push-Pull designs. Push-Pull designs, both tube and solid state have odd-order distortion whereas the SET (Single-Ended-Triode) amp designs have even-order distortion.
Even-order distortion is found in nature. It actually can make things sound better rather than worse. Odd-order distortion is like hitting the wrong notes on a piano, and is never enjoyable in any amount.
We designed the Zen TORII to have Even Order Harmonics by manipulating the operating points in the SET input stage and direct-coupled phase inverter. These harmonics are passed by the the output stage that has been designed with lower voltages and less demanding bias to eliminate clipping. This has a pleasant benefit of increasing output tube life and keeping the sound from getting hard or overly forward and dry.
ZEN TORII PUSH-PULL
ZEN TRIODE SET
Shown above are the harmonics of both the TORII and our SET amplifier side by side.
A typical push-pull amplifier's distortion graph looks like this:
Unlike the Decware's, the 1K tone doesn't generate an even harmonic at 2K, instead it is at 3K, 5K, 7K (A,B,C)
Despite the insane resolution of the TORII design, it manages to keep from getting clinical. The whole design was about the sound, not power. That said, the amp can drive nearly a dead short, and many have reported a death grip on the bass, so the lower power of 20 watts does actually have some nuts behind it.
THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS CAN BE SELECTED FROM WITHIN THE SHOPPING CART.
Wood Base Type
Shown above from top to bottom is: Maple, Cherry, Black, Walnut, Black Victorian. Custom hardwoods and or finishes are available upon request for additional costs.
From left to right is; Ebony, Gold, Black Chicken Head, Cream Chicken Head, Walnut.
LEVEL 2 Anniversary Mods -
This amplifier comes standard with Level 1 Anniversary mods. Level 2 Anniversary Mods simply upgrade the Level 1 mods to Miflex Copper Foil to match the exotic signal caps.
XLR Balanced Inputs -
You can add True transformer-coupled balanced XLR inputs to this amplifier in parallel with one of the two pair of existing RCA jacks for each channel. That means you can have one RCA source and one XLR source, or two RCA sources.
Most Decware Gear is black with no markings - this amplifier is also available that way at no additional charge.
The amp has a CE rated world voltage compatible pair of power transformers. You can select your voltage from within the shopping cart.
New Options -
When available additional options can be found in the the shopping cart.
"Decware founder Steve Deckert proudly proclaims the Zen Torii is “the last amp you’ll ever want.? And if you agree with Nelson Pass’ theory that there is a best amplifier for each type of speaker, the Zen Torii could be just “the best? if you have the right speakers. TONEAudio publisher Jeff Dorgay was smitten enough to purchase the Torii for his reference fleet of amplifiers. For an EL- 34-based amplifier, the bass grip is nothing short of breathtaking, and the Torii renders musical detail like Kodachrome 25.
Indeed, there’s never been a better example of specs not telling the whole story. The Torii plays louder and interfaces with a much wider range of speakers than suggested by its modest 26-watt- per-channel rating. Showcasing old-school style, the Torii is hand-wired in Illinois by the Decware staff and guaranteed for life. American craftsmanship at its finest." - Jeff Dorgay
ISSUE 41 TONE AUDIO MAGAZINE - FULL ZEN TORII REVIEW HERE
"Some tube amplifiers sound warm and rich, and some sound a lot like solid-state amps; Decware amps are right down the middle. The Decware I'm listening to today, the Zen Torii MKIV, scores big in image size and dimensionality. All Decware amplifiers are designed and built in East Peoria, Ill."
"The main takeaway from my Zen Torii MKIV listening sessions was the way recordings take on a more physical presence in my room. It's almost as if the instruments and voices are more fully formed. Each instrument and vocal is distinct and separated in space. When switching over to other amps, some dimensionality is lost and the soundstage feels flatter." - Steve Guttenberg
FULL ZEN TORII REVIEW HERE
The TORII MK5 comes with a hand-selected tube compliment that has been tested in the actual amplifier, not only are they gain matched, but the harmonics are also matched - something that can only be achieved when tested in the actual amplifier using a real-time FFT scope.
The input tubes, 6N1P-EV are Russian N.O.S. Military Stock. The output tubes are new production Russian EL34. The 5U4 Rectifiers are also new production Russian. The OA3 are N.O.S. Russian Military.
These are all some of the least expensive, but best sounding tubes available today and it gives us great pleasure to have an amplifier that makes these tubes sound like the exotic little jewels they really are!
If you're feeling adventurous and have the wallet for it, virtually every tube in this amplifier can be replaced with boutique and New Old Stock (NOS) tubes that have the potential to elevate things even higher. If you want the very best obtainable we can fix you up with some very special cryo-treated tubes made specifically for this amplifier by Cryotone.
The input stage can be rolled with the popular 6922, 6DJ8, 7DJ8, or the Russian 6N23P or the lower gain 6N5P. The front tube is the gain stage that makes the biggest difference in sound. The tube behind it is the phase inverter and is usually best served by the high current 6N1P-EV that comes with the amp.
Output tubes can also be rolled. There are no adjustments, no biasing... just plug and play. Output tubes must be used in matched pairs. Output tubes that are not matched can cause an audible hum on efficient speakers.
Below are listed some of the 6.3V output tubes from the EL34/6CA7 family that are compatible in this amplifier.
Compatible with KT77, 6L6, 5881, 6550, KT66, KT88, 7027, EL34 and 807 with adapter.
Each of these output tubes sound different, thus changing them is like getting a different amplifier. We find the KT77 to have a classic British well-controlled sound. 6L6 and 5881 have a more tubey / romantic sound. 6550 tend to be fast and super clean. KT66 is a favorite in this amplifier, everything just down the middle. 7027, NOS are the fastest and most transparent tubes. 807 is for midrange lovers.
The power doesn't change more than about a watt or two from type to type in this amplifier, so the only reason to Tube roll is to change the sound.
Exotic output tubes from Asia... anyone with extensive experience can tell you that defect and failure rates can be high. In our experience, the lower voltage amplifiers (<350V) do pretty well with these tubes, while the higher voltage amplifiers (450V+) have more issues. The TORII amplifiers all run with lower plate voltages (<350V) and lower bias currents (<50mA) so the tubes are far from stressed making it possible to explore the large variety of exotic tubes on the market today with less disappointments and longer tube life.
We choose tube rectification in this amplifier because of it's profound effect on the sound signature which gives the owner the power to control the signature of his or her amplifier on a foundational level.
This amplifier compared to prior versions is now using an 8 uF Atom Sprague Capacitor as the first section of the power supply filter. This was done as a gesture of kindness to those who enjoy rolling rectifier tubes as there will be less failures from arcing on start up.
Additionally this model was upgraded with external fuses for the rectifiers so that if you do get a bad one, it will blow the fuse and you can easily replace it with no harm done.
The amp was designed for 5U4 but can be used with 5AR4 and similar variants. Also it can be used with some 274B rectifiers.
This meter shows the bias current of each individual output tube so that you can see if the they match. Additionally you can select the tubes in any combination (there is a switch for each tube) to compare the left channel with the right channel or as shown above -- monitor the current draw of all four. Different tubes will bias differently. If the amplifier begins to reach max power you will begin to see the needle move giving you a visual indication of distortion before you can actually hear it.
INPUT TUBE CHOICES: 6N1P-EV, 6922
OUTPUT TUBE CHOICES: EL34, 6CA7, KT77, KT66, 5881, 6L6, 7027, 350B, KT88, 6550 and 807's with adapters.
INPUTS: 2 RCA INPUT JACKS FOR EACH CHANNEL/ OPTIONAL XLR
OUTPUTS: 4,8,16 Ohm BINDING POSTS PER CHANNEL
OUTPUT STAGE TOPOLOGY: GND-CATHODE TRANSFORMER RK
RLOAD PLATE TO PLATE: 6600 OHMS
IDLE CURRENT: 37~57 MILS PER OUTPUT TUBE DEPENDING ON TUBE
HIGH B+ VOLTAGE: 360 VDC PER CHANNEL
INPUT IMPEDANCE: 100 K OHMS
INPUT SENSITIVITY: FULL POWER @ 2.0 VOLTS
POWER INTO 3.5 OR 8 OHMS: 20.6 WATTS RMS PER CHANNEL
OPERATION: CLASS A1
GRID REGULATION: TAPPED OUTPUT TRANSFORMER
INPUT STAGE REGULATION: ONE VR75~VR150 PER CHANNEL
RECTIFICATION: ONE 5AR4 or 5U4 PER CHANNEL
INPUT STAGE: TWO 6N1P or 6922 PER CHANNEL
OUTPUT STAGE: TWO MATCHED EL34 PER CHANNEL
SIZE: 19-1/8 " WIDE x 13-3/4 " DEEP x 7-3/4 " HIGH
NET WEIGHT: 36.8 lbs.
WARRANTY: LIFETIME TO ORIGINAL OWNER / 90 DAYS ON TUBES
PREMIUM GRADE EL34 OUTPUT TUBES
6N1P PREMIUM INPUT TUBES
N.O.S. OA3 VOLTAGE REGULATOR TUBES
REMOVABLE POWER CORD
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20Hz ~ 20kHz +/- 0.4dB
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION @ 1W: 0.069 %
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 on our support forums.