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question on budget tube amps

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Old 22nd June 2010, 12:45 AM
 
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question on budget tube amps


Hi Guys,
looking for a budget tube amp . Seeing a lot of tube amps (100$ and below pricing) on ebay. Would like your feedback on the following tube amps-

a. Qinpu Q1 Hi-End Vacuum Stereo Mini Tube Headphone Amp
b. YAQIN 6J1 Stereo CD Audio Tube Buffer Processor Amp
c. Bravo Audio Valve Class A Tube Headphone Amplifier preamp audio amp (EH 6922 Tube)
d. Music Angel 6p14 EL84 Tube Stereo Integrated Amplifier Amp

or any other amp which falls in the budget range which is a good buy.


Thankx
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Old 22nd June 2010, 07:12 AM
 
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Re: question on budget tube amps

As I understand it, there is a large compromise made on the transformers and power supplies of these units. So there is a reason they are priced this cheap. Also typically the lowest priced ones happen to be push-pull. Not an indictment of the technology, just a statement of fact. The SET ones are slightly costlier.

It would not hurt to order one and see how it goes. But I would keep expectations low - especially about reliability and longevity.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 08:49 AM
 
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Re: question on budget tube amps

I have a Bravo V2 with 12AU7 tubes. The build quality is not great.

It's an open design, so I hear interference a lot of times - sometimes even waving the hand by the sides produces noise, though not at all times. The whole thing is mounted on a black PCB, which I read is one of the lower quality ones. Copper traces fall off even when you point the de-solder at them . I was also not happy with the power supply. There was a hum even when idle. Since changing the adapter, the issue has been resolved. Of course, people at Head-fi have also reported that headphones should not be connected when switching on or off as it tends to fry the headphones. But, I've left it connected a few times and it did not "fry" - luckily

Even with all this, if you are trying to figure out what is a "tube sound" like I did, you can take a chance. These chinese guys are good in support. Mine arrived with a slight crack in the top plate. No sooner I e-mailed, "Henry" even while in the middle of Chinese New year holidays responded and sent top & bottom replacement plates as soon as the holidays were over.

The one product that did not give any problems is the Topping TP20 from Indeed Hi-Fi ("Peter"). It's actually very quiet. Of course, I digress...

The other reason to go for them is you can DIY and learn / make it better. Here's a thread on Rock Grotto Audio Forum. You could even do a lengthy mod (actually a complete re-build) like this : Bravo Audio - funny looking little tube amps - Page 43 - Head-Fi.org Community
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Old 22nd June 2010, 11:55 AM
 
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Re: question on budget tube amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by esanthosh View Post
I have a Bravo V2 with 12AU7 tubes. The build quality is not great.

It's an open design, so I hear interference a lot of times - sometimes even waving the hand by the sides produces noise, though not at all times. The whole thing is mounted on a black PCB, which I read is one of the lower quality ones. Copper traces fall off even when you point the de-solder at them . I was also not happy with the power supply. There was a hum even when idle. Since changing the adapter, the issue has been resolved. Of course, people at Head-fi have also reported that headphones should not be connected when switching on or off as it tends to fry the headphones. But, I've left it connected a few times and it did not "fry" - luckily
Do you notice the rolling as described in the link ?

Yes after buying the topping (which has not given any problems ) was thinking of going for these amps but am not much of a DIY guy so might just order one to check the sound out.

If i go for a proper tube amp (regardless of price) which should be the one I should go for ?
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Old 24th June 2010, 08:40 AM
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Re: question on budget tube amps

i've heard tube amps that dont give that warm musical feeling that its supposed to. just because its a tube amp doesnt mean its good. i suggest that you dont buy blindly. the best is to audition (somehow) or to speak to someone that has listened / owns the amp
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Old 24th June 2010, 09:24 AM
 
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Re: question on budget tube amps

Quote:
Originally Posted by maniac_2004 View Post
Do you notice the rolling as described in the link ?

Yes after buying the topping (which has not given any problems ) was thinking of going for these amps but am not much of a DIY guy so might just order one to check the sound out.

If i go for a proper tube amp (regardless of price) which should be the one I should go for ?
in india, pune based cadence is making awesome ones.
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Old 24th June 2010, 09:38 AM
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Re: question on budget tube amps

I dont think Cadence fits into the budget OP is looking at. Else Lyrita is another good option.
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Old 24th June 2010, 10:18 AM
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Re: question on budget tube amps

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Originally Posted by iaudio View Post
I dont think Cadence fits into the budget OP is looking at. Else Lyrita is another good option.
yes cadence amp is really good - but expensive. if someone has the money and the taste its for him. It will blow away similarly priced solid state amps.


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