Author Topic: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp  (Read 17148 times)

mac5u

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As one who has recently been interested in upgrading my little home theater, this announcement by Decware caught my eye.  Decware recently announced the Decware Zen Ultra - "a six channel all tube pre-amplifier that has been designed for the audiophile who wants both home theater and serious two channel at the same time".

Since the announcement (early April), production has been delayed initally 30 days due to a problem with painting the chassis so it is possible that production might resume soon.

Additional details and the Owner's Manual can be found here

The entire website is slick looking and whoever writes the copy, possibly Steve Deckert himself, is very good at drawing the reader in.  Of course marketing is one thing but delivery a good product is something else entirely but there have been some good reviews of his products, both professionally and from users.

This new pre-amp seems different from the other 6-channels offers from CJ, Parasound, McCormack, and others.  You can read the extensive product description yourself but here is a brief summary of its designer’s claims:  Full on home theater, pure two-channel, mixed three-channel "stereo," up mixing and down mixing, individualized volume adjustments, plus master volume, center/sub alignment, bi-amp/tri-amp.

Oh yeah, Lifetime Warranty and 30-day in-home trial.  $2,995.00




Offline richidoo

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 07:14:06 PM »
http://www.decware.com/newsite/ULTRA.html

Goes with the matching amp:


Somehow they remind me of Cake Boss.  :-k

I bet they sound as good as they taste look.   :thumb:

It is a great idea. No "HT bypass" needed!

Offline tmazz

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 08:50:59 PM »
Wow, these sure do look sweet. Certainly make me rethink the concept of industrial looking rack mount gear.  #-o
Remember, it's all about the music........

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mac5u

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 12:15:35 PM »
http://www.decware.com/newsite/ULTRA.html

Goes with the matching amp:


Somehow they remind me of Cake Boss.  :-k

I bet they sound as good as they taste look.   :thumb:

It is a great idea. No "HT bypass" needed!

The two-channel Zen Torii certainly does match.  At 25-watts, it certainly has enough power, at least with more efficient speakers, for at least two channel audio.

I'd like to ask at least one of you more knowledgeable guys to read through the product page referenced above.  I'd like to read your thoughts. This pre seems to be an all-round gymnast when it comes to pre-amps.

Offline richidoo

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 02:28:39 PM »
I think it looks damn good. Choke regulation, tube rectified, tube regulated, 12 inputs, 12 outputs, switches 4 stereo sources AND a 5.1 source, mixing abilities for HT channels, can be used to control level and switch sources for active triamped speakers, uses my favorite signal tube 6922, or 6N1P (yuk.) High output impedance requires an amp with >20kOhm input impedance, you have to listen to it to make sure it has good bass slam with your amp. The only thing lacking (for me) is a remote control volume.

The website link to more details on usage possibilities is dead, as is the link to the owner's manual. I'd be curious to learn the various switching and mixing abilities, also to see closeup pictures of the knobs and their labels.  Very interesting preamp!! Dan Banquer (RE Designs) used to offer a 6 channel analog preamp, not sure how many were built. Parasound makes a 6 channel analog preamp also, reviewed in stereophile. Both of those are solid state.

Normally I'd caution that the site looks too good to be true, but they've been around a long time, and Lin (opnly bafld) says they're OK.  :thumb:

Are you thinking about snagging one for yourself mac?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2011, 02:34:27 PM by richidoo »

mac5u

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2011, 09:50:32 AM »
Try this link instead:  http://www.decware.com/newsite/ULTRA.html There are some interesting diagrams for different configurations as you scroll down the page and discussions on HT issues and potential fixes.  The owners manual is at the very bottom following the descriptions.

I don't know.  I was all set to get a pre-pro which would give me bass/channel management, general DSP and room correction options.  HDMI optimizes those tools better than analog.  Now, I am not so sure.  This pre-amp doesn't quite get me there but some of the features seem so interesting.

Knobs
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 10:01:22 AM by mac5u »

Offline Carlman

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2011, 08:38:08 AM »
The only thing I'm confused about is the surround processing... it's not covered in the diagrams... and if each input is a pair of L/R inputs, I'm guessing you just use 1 of each when connecting from pre-outs of a DVD player?
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline Barry (NJ)

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 08:06:55 PM »
The only thing I'm confused about is the surround processing... it's not covered in the diagrams... and if each input is a pair of L/R inputs, I'm guessing you just use 1 of each when connecting from pre-outs of a DVD player?
The "Surround Processing" or more aptly "Surround Decoding" would be done in the source component, and utilize the analog outs of the source component to feed this pre-amp. I find it intriguing.
So much media, so little time...

FockerRN

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2011, 12:03:30 AM »
Wow, that is a work of art!

I've had a McCormack MAP-1 for the past few years and have loved every minute with it. This thing looks amazing, but I wonder if it could best my SAS 10a tube pre with HT bypass? It sure LOOKS more impressive, but I really like my 10a

What an amazing concept though!

Offline Morganc

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Re: Decware Announces the Decware Zen Ultra - A Six Channel Pre-Amp
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2012, 12:35:12 AM »
I don't know about this Pre, but I have owned two Decware Amps including the Mini Torii and the Torii and I have preferred them over many other amps....