Author Topic: Poison me with a cheap tube amp  (Read 136510 times)

Offline Darthfunk

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Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« on: May 14, 2007, 23:54 »
Hey guys iam itching for a 2nd set up for my Master bedroom as my love nest is goning to be up in a months time.
Will need some advice and recommendations for an affortable tube amp/mini amp ($300-$400 if its possible).
Will be matching it with an Usher S-520.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 01:17 by Darthfunk »

Offline weibchen

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2007, 00:10 »
hifiluv one not good enough for you meh?
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Offline DJQ

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2007, 01:05 »
wah... count me in too... still hoping to try Dared mp5. but i will be pairing it with my B&W 601 S3. bro darthfunk do u already have a tube amp?
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 01:07 by DJQ »
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Offline Darthfunk

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2007, 01:21 »
wah... count me in too... still hoping to try Dared mp5. but i will be pairing it with my B&W 601 S3. bro darthfunk do u already have a tube amp?

Bo leh no tube amp. Wanna try some cheap entry level tubes for my bedroom only. Was also thinking of those mirco mini amps. 

Offline 2100

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2007, 09:44 »
When going for cheap china amps, be sure to swap out any of those crazy cheong parts and/or cold solder joints. They have a knack of using recycled computer parts and really lousy stuff which can just barely work. And it doesn't help that they squeeze the parts into such small spaces and the heat builds up leading to component failure (usually the caps fail first as they can't do 85 deg C for long).

Even Cayin and Dared are not spared, oscillating issues and stuff when the conditions are wrong. Later going to swap out the coupling caps which have the brand REALCAP to Auricaps. Its not funny when my IR thermometer shows these REALCAPS are operating at about 90 deg C (!!) as they are very near to the EL84, ECC82/83 which are cluster f***ed together with no "breathing holes" around da tubes. Actually if you are operating for an extended period, the tubes shd not be encased as it will heat soak the OPTs (mine are), but luckily nowadays a lot are more open concept. I hope the Nichicons they used are not cheong ones.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 09:50 by 2100 »

Offline DJQ

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007, 10:19 »
wah meaning if i buy 1 china one i must open up and overhual it huh. i like the Shanling tubeys but hell those china ones are a few k's.  ::)
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Offline 2100

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2007, 11:09 »
wah meaning if i buy 1 china one i must open up and overhual it huh. i like the Shanling tubeys but hell those china ones are a few k's.  ::)

Those are the better ones. You do hear the big difference in the better setups. Some of them do use decent stuff like Mundorf M-cap and M-cap Zn for interstage coupling. Consonance does use auricaps for their better stuff. At this technical/price level of tube stuff, you'll be surprised how much difference resistors and caps give you the final sonic presentation, more than tubes (eg 2A3 vs 300B - the difference in power and overall control esp bass).

Surprisingly the China OPT are quite good in sound (actually heard Tamura nowadays outsourced OEM in China too), so mai hiam buay pai. The OPT are usually expensive and dictate the highest % slice in the overall fidelity slice.

With auricaps costing the price of a regular CD and even the best FEP Teflon Film Tin Foil caps costing less than a Mo-Fi LP, it is a no brainer to mod actually.....even before playing with tubes. Probably $500 on 2pcs of metal base Sylvania 6SN7W improvement is around $50 worth of caps. 


Offline Darthfunk

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2007, 16:00 »
Bro locally any cheap tube amp or mini amp to recommend or should i try out Dared MP5 from JB?

Cheers!

Offline Spunky

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2007, 18:27 »
Bro locally any cheap tube amp or mini amp to recommend or should i try out Dared MP5 from JB?

Cheers!

MP5 is more like a integrated amp with a tube input stage and solid state output.  But it's really COOL looking!

Skyaudio HERE has a used el34 mini amp for sale.  u can go and audition.

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Offline 2100

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2007, 19:17 »
wah meaning if i buy 1 china one i must open up and overhual it huh.
Just an update, changed my Cayin HA-1A cathode follower from some fugged up no-brand electrolytic to Blackgate NX, and the interstage coupling from REALCAP (!!) to Audience's auricap. Wah lan eh, can only use expletives to describe the new sound. Absolutely no horse run. The fidelity leap is more than from the stock chinese toobs to Tesla 803S, Tesla 802S (not cheap!) and JJ EL84.....to give you a rough idea. I actually wanted to go all the way and yank in the Solen FEP teflons but....too ex.

And the best part is one of the stock electrolytic cap was plugged in the wrong way.  8) Coz Printed Circuit Board got white and "transparent" green printing to line up with the cap's white line, one side's cap is different from the other side one. I told you liao, Chinese really power. Its like tube manufacturing, the ulu low-end ones reaping low profits will be done by cheap labour (which is already F cheap in China), while the good stuff like 845/300B will be done by the trained workers. Its the same with Hous, AS, PL....coz all OEM from Spark-Cayin or some other. Maybe just extra QC or something.  ;D

Offline synthesis

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2007, 20:25 »
This is the inside of Dared MP5. Seems to be well built. So what can be modded; those green caps near the volume control?



Offline Darthfunk

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2007, 20:41 »
Guys what do you think of this Trends TA-10 Class-T Stereo Audio Amplifier?



About $190 dollars damm cheap!

http://www.trendsaudio.com/EN/Product/TA-10_feature.htm

http://www.goodsound.com/equipment.shtml



Offline 2100

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2007, 20:46 »
This is the inside of Dared MP5. Seems to be well built. So what can be modded; those green caps near the volume control?
Yes, looks like they using Silver mica stuff. (my Almarro 318B stock also!)  Size doesn't look too big, so i reckon pretty manageable uF. I think they may rate it as pF, so the numbers may look large. A 0.22uF Auricap is only $17 each at Auntie's. But the MP5 is a hybrid tube/SS, so i do not know if the transistor may that out some of that "magic". Coz solid state when not done right/properly sounds really not nice.

Darthfunk, the Trends is a really good amp....will not loose to 1K solid states after mods, if you do not need the power. Again, simple mods like changing the Bennic cap and using battery power.   ;D  Sorry, mod again.


« Last Edit: May 15, 2007, 20:48 by 2100 »

Offline Darthfunk

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2007, 20:58 »
Darthfunk, the Trends is a really good amp....will not loose to 1K solid states after mods, if you do not need the power. Again, simple mods like changing the Bennic cap and using battery power.   ;D  Sorry, mod again.

Since its for my bedroom i might just give it a try.
Btw who can mod this amp locally?  ;D

Next up CDP, where to find a below $300 CDP but at half the size.  ???

Offline 2100

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Re: Poison me with a cheap tube amp
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2007, 22:06 »
Since its for my bedroom i might just give it a try.
Btw who can mod this amp locally?  ;D
Erm...its more like DIY.  ;D  It's cheap afterall, so spending 50 bucks labour is like bo hua. But if you do not have solder wick, iron, good solder investment, then....   :P   But actually can just try out the battery power first, a 30AH SLA battery shd be sufficient and about $60 only. Though non-exotic, the stock Bennic XPP metallized polypropylene film caps in the Trends 10.1 version are actually quite ok (cost about $2)....same as Auricap actually (which is a $$ exotic cap actually)....  Its be theorised that the main factor affecting the sound is the dielectric absorption...and besides the amp is targetted at mid-fi region, so this can pass. That doesn't stop people using it in better systems though.  :) 

Of coz, the Mundorf Silver Gold is also metallized polypropylene.  ::)  You will not mistake a Bennic XPP sound for a Mundorf Silver Gold.

Auricap in SG can buy, coz auntie vong is selling cheaply. For eg, 1.0uF is S$21, PCX is selling nearly usd18