Has anyone used this amp??? The price is right.

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by djnagle, Feb 21, 2017.

  1. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    I dislike criticism of imported products as automatically being attributed to "nationalistic fervor" - whatever that is.

    Judge the criticism on the unit in question. In the case of this particular unit, it would seem it is well founded - regardless of who made it or where.

    Simple as that.
     

     

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  2. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

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    I'm not familiar with this particular unit other than what I read here. Aside from that I agree with your above comments 100%.
     
  3. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    :beerchug:
     
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  4. hobbit

    hobbit Active Member

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    Attitudes that all but killed the British and American automotive industry!

    Yes, I have bought a few Chinese turkeys but generally its been great value and interesting.
    I have been especially impressed with the smsl chip amps and DACs.

    This little hybrid isn't bad value and my replacement Soyuz tubes cost me under 2 USD each.
    They did improve the sound over the originals, so I will agree, change the tubes.
     
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  5. BinaryMike

    BinaryMike Pelagic EE Subscriber

    In general, I think most folks would be better served by purchasing a simple triode linestage/preamp and a cheap SS power amp as separate components. The power amp can then be upgraded independently, providing a more efficient path to high-end performance.
     
  6. hobbit

    hobbit Active Member

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    Unless like me, you like the modern steampunk looks.

    If you can get it cheap enough , go for it.

    Don't be fooled into thinking its true tube , but as a bedroom or office amp with effective Bluetooth and USB inputs as well as 2 x rca , good value
     
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  7. 6DZ7

    6DZ7 Super Member

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    Who wants to keep rolling the dice over and over again? Are you always going to find well tested and comprehensive opinions you put your trust in? General consensis is born out over time from experience and the poor quality of product from China has a long history and a real continuum. They dump their substandard raw material by puting it in finished goods to get it out of the country when it can't be exported as commodity. Especially steel product. Soft metal screws and nails are the worst of it. But it goes everywhere into other countries and then gets reexported as a new country of origin to hide where it actually comes from. I bought some socket-savers that had such poor internal soldering that they were shorted from splash and blob joints. I was lucky that the first one I found in use causing a problem didn't do permanent damage to my amp. I dissasembled the saver and found the mess. I had to fix that one and 2 others out of the 6 I bought. Not good QC.
     
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  8. 6DZ7

    6DZ7 Super Member

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    ..."banging through drywall"... Do a search for toxic drywall.
     
  9. cubdog

    cubdog banging through drywall Subscriber

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    Drywall has nothing to do with audio. We live in a world full of problems. Most of them can't be discussed on AK. You seem to want to equate everything made in China as bad, inferior or dangerous. It's not. If you don't like audio gear from China fine don't buy it. But don't tell others who have had good experiences with Chinese gear that it's all crap. On second thought go ahead. I really don't care.
     
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  10. mroboto

    mroboto Super Member

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    China manufacture products thinked and engineered everywhere in the world and there are pretty good ones.
     
  11. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    I've been extremely impressed with the Gustard DAC-X12 and S.M.S.L M8 DAC's.

    The S.M.S.L M3 and SD1955+ Sanskrit 2 are competent, though nothing spectacular.... The S.M.S.L SA-50 sounds nice paired with the right pair of bookshelf speakers and a decent sub.... Good for the computer sound system. The Nobsound MS10D Mk2 is better than it has any right to for the money once tubes are replaced with NOS Russian equivalents.

    I was extremely impressed with my Yaqin MC10T after rolling tubes, upgrading coupling caps and volume pot though this was blown away in turn by the base model Oldchen SEP amp, and the Oldchen K3 push / pull amp.

    I've been particularly impressed with the Sheer Audio MM-88 phono stage (Marantz 7 based) and Douk Tube Phonobox (EAR 834P circuit) and am currently awaiting delivery of a Valab LCR-1....

    Also incredibly impressed by my Aurum Cantus F620 speakers which put every other speaker I've owned to shame.

    So yes, there is some good to great Chinese gear available. You have to do your research first though or you'll likely be stung.
     

     

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  12. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    Like sarcasm has any place here ...

    (THAT was sarcasm by the way) ;-}

    I take any of those big boxy transformers with a pound of salt. Lots of examples of digging under the cover and finding a tiny cheapo unit inside. Be interesting to see a gut shot on that particular unit.
     
    John James likes this.
  13. pdm4606

    pdm4606 Super Member

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    I have a very hard time paying twice the price for half an amp.
     
  14. superjojo

    superjojo Active Member

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    Are we talking about cows or Chinese stereos?
     
  15. RGA

    RGA Super Member

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    I've been living in Hong Kong for the last 6 years and did a year in Mainland China - here's the thing - the good Chinese products still cost real money. Line Magnetic can run you over $20,000 US for an amplifier. Granted the amp weighs 203kg but still. There is good Chinese - then there is a big pile of cheap junk with a nice looking case.

    I have seen Chinese brands for example where you look at the capacitors and they say Rudycon. Oops - the real cap is Rubycon from Japan - their fakery artist was apparently dyslexic. You have so called hybrid amplifiers where if you take the tube out the amp still works - oops that's not hybrid - that's a solid state amplifier with a tube that serves as window dressing - or it it simply follows some cheap op amps as a noise adding buffer.

    I recently reviewed the KingKo KA 101 integrated amplifier and the owner/designer has been repairing Chinese and US etc brands for over a decade and I discussed with him some of these $300-$400 tube products and he said his concern is their long term use because a lot of this stuff is possibly dangerous - on top of it not really sounding very good.

    Personally, I feel the KingKo amp is rather spectacular at the ~$800 shipped to the US and while for some that is expensive - I feel having some pride of ownership counts for something - and if you have to buy 3 $200 tube amps that do odd things and make noises and never sound good or burn you house down - well I don't know.

    The KingKo KA 101 to me is just about the best beginning tube amp I have ever seen. It is a 12 watt integrated amplifier with pre in so it can be used as a dedicated power amp. It uses inexpensive to buy EL84 output tubes (which last the longest as well), it has a very good headphone output that is a true tube output not a cheap IC(integrated circuit) it has meters for each channel. It is autobias - so you don't have to deal with voltmeters when you change tubes. It is dead silent - no hums or noises. It clocks in at 24lbs which for the size is positively beastly. It uses solid aluminum feet (not cheap rubber or plastic paint). I consider a great first tube amp and I also consider a great downsize amp for audiophiles who move to Florida and want something they can carry.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. hobbit

    hobbit Active Member

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    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    The tubes do add colour to the sound in this little thing and whilst I agree with much of the sentiment , I bought this on a whim mainly because I liked the look of it as a styling exercise and was going to give it to my daughter for her University room if it wasnt what i needed.
    As I sit hear listening to Hand Cannot Erase by Steven Wilson , played through my equally cheapo chinese built floor standers that i got dirt cheap and modded with better crossovers, you know what, it doesnt matter.
    I run two power amps from a pre - one is a single ended EL34 , and the other is this . The combined noise is very pleasant, at least to my ears, that have admittedly been knackered by years of loud bands
     
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  17. hjames

    hjames dancing madly backwards ... Staff Member Moderator Subscriber

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    I got a Jolida Amp - paid over $800 for it used, then bought some better tubes for it -
    it sounds sweet and I've gotten compliments on the sound.
    Its my 5th Jolida - generally they have been upgrades in power as my budget allowed, NEVER failures.
    US design, made in china, QC in the US.

    But if you want tube gear you do need to be serious and spend a bit of cash for quality,
    wherever its from. Cheap stuff continues to be cheap stuff.
     
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  18. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. LCLC ps + 2 x 5ar4 Subscriber

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    I am inclined to think that you already realize the units you have purchased will probably need to be modified or need "adjustments" in order to be up to snuff. But the problem is that why start with unknown quality components. You have written about personalizing your equipment so why not take the next logical step? Build your own tube amp. You can buy components from local distributors, farm out the chassis to the local machine or sheet metal worker and get the trannys from some local winder. If you do that you would SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY. I would find it hard to believe that none of those trades do not exist in your country. Step up to the plate, erm, lace up and step onto the pitch. It is time to start building your own. IME, the best sounding amps for the money are not available from some stereo salon, but made by one person who controls all aspects of its creation.
     
  19. shrinkboy

    shrinkboy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    i've had one for a while, put Russian tubes in, seemed unremarkable, like an amplifier, still have it as a backup
     

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