The Decware SuperZen Triode is a handmade 2.3 watts/channel tube amplifier that hits much harder than its power rating would suggest in a smaller room or home office. There are two pairs of RCA inputs, and it is available with several different bases for additional cost.
It’s built incredibly well by a company that has such a cult following that the waiting list is getting longer and longer with each passing day.
Just how long? Possibly 8 months before your order gets built.
The amplifier has a rather non-conventional look (12”D x 6”W x 8”H) and absolutely becomes the focal point of any system; both aesthetically and sonically.
It’s rare to find their products on the “used” market and they don’t last more than a day when one pops up. $1,395 for this 18-pound amplifier that has a lifetime warranty and delivers rather remarkable performance at this price.
Made in America to very high standards and I’ve never heard a single Decware amplifier that didn’t sound great with high sensitivity loudspeakers.
They also stand by their products, offer excellent customer service, and their amplifiers don’t use super expensive exotic tubes that cost a fortune to replace.
The Decware SuperZen Triode Model SE84UFO2 is shipped with premium quality NOS 6P15P-EV output tubes with gold grids rated at over 5000 hours. These Russian military spec tubes are the top grade of what we came to know in this country for a brief spell as the SV83. You can also use EL84 tubes in this amp.
What makes the Decware SuperZen Triode such a good amplifier is that it gets the basics right; quality circuit design, good iron, affordable tubes, and excellent reliability.
For a tube amplifier, it doesn’t commit the usual sins of rolling off the top end or sounding slightly soft in the bottom. Pair it with the right pair of loudspeakers and it can create a huge soundstage and layers of beautiful music in your space.
Listening to music through the SuperZen Triode is even better with some Peruvian Pollo a la Brasa, french fries, and hot green sauce. Wash it down with a cold Inca Cola or Pillsen Callao.
Single Driver Heaven
Omega Speaker Systems have a very loyal following because they offer bespoke high-sensitivity loudspeakers that offer tremendous performance and craftsmanship. Louis Chochos is a detail-oriented designer and builder who offers excellent customer service and is willing to work with each customer to make sure they get the “right” loudspeaker for their specific situation. He builds beautiful looking cabinets that are designed to last.
The CAM (Compact Alnico Monitor) don’t have the slam of the now discontinued Zu Audio Cubes, but they are overflowing with texture and definitely more laid back sounding which might be preferable in a nearfield listening situation. They are “compact” in comparison to other Omega models, but they are certainly not small loudspeakers (16”H x 12”W x 8.5”D) that will vanish on your desktop.
They can be ordered with the bass port on the rear/front of the cabinet depending on your set-up location. They work really well in a bookcase with the port on the front of the cabinet. The 94.5 dB (8 ohms) sensitivity rating makes them ideal for the Decware amplifier.
There are a wide range of DACs and streamers that work well including the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt (which you can use separately as your headphone amplifier), Andover Audio Songbird/Schiit Audio Modi 3 Multibit DAC combination, or Cambridge Audio CXN V2 streamer/DAC.
Another excellent network streamer that keeps the cost down is the brand new Bluesound NODE which keeps things really simple as it already has an internal DAC. $549 and access to all of the major streaming platforms.
The Decware almost screams out for a good vintage turntable and we’re huge fans of the restored Thorens turntables by Vinyl Nirvana which is based in New Hampshire.
Select either the Croft Acoustics or Moon by SimAudio phono stage from our list of favorite audiophile phono preamps and you have a very high-end system for under $7,000.