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  1. #1
    Wammer
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    I want to try a tube amp

    I'm just after a bit of advice, I have always fancied trying a tube amplifier, just to have a play around with and see what it sounds like.

    My speakers are Monitor Audio RX6.

    I guess ideally I need something used that I could sell on without too much loss. Knowing nothing about tube amps I'm worried it could be a mine field, there is all kinds of things on ebay. Can anyone recommend things to look out for?

    Budget wise is as little as possible really, I could stretch up to 200.

    Please let me know if it's possible.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Leper Wammer AmDismal's Avatar
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    It's possible, but tricky.

    In general, 200 will get you one of the following
    - a used Yaqin, Ming Da or similar grey import
    - a beaten-up old classic amp, which may need some tlc and be beyond fugly
    - a low powered classic amp (AI S300, say) if you're lucky

    It may be that none of these is suitable. While I don't know your speakers, they may well need a fair bit of control (i.e. damping factor in the amplifier), so would sound soft and mushy with pretty much any of the above. It'd put you off tube amps for life.

    The best option for sound would be the middle one, but buying vintage tube amps can be a minefield. There are the 80s and 90s ones, which should be reliable, but 50s and 60s ones are very old - while they can work fine, it's likely that there will be components that are well off spec, and the various switches and other contacts may be in poor condition.

    Ideally, double your budget and hold out for something like an Audio Innovations 500 or 700, which sometimes come up at the 400-odd price. Good at driving more tricky loads, and sound great.
    Compression drivers twerk my eardrums

  3. #3
    Wammer
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    Thanks for the reply AmDismal. My speakers are 6 ohm and 90db sensitivity and recommended amp power is 40-125w if that helps at all. I'm currently driving them with an Arcam 8P power amp.

    I guess I will keep an eye out, there are plenty of Yaqin amps on ebay for around 200 new, are they any good?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Moderator myrman's Avatar
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    Adam makes some good points. To avoid disappointment you really would be better to hold out till you have more cash and get something like an Audio Innovations 500 that he suggested. 400 is a much more realistic budget to start from.

  5. #5
    Deaf Wammer Tel's Avatar
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    I can't see any Yaqin power amps for 200 on ebay,
    They are all around 300 inc delivery, don't forget to factor in import duty and VAT.
    They may be properly specced for the UK but equally may not be and Hong Kong is a long way to send one back for repair.

    Realistically I think you will be very lucky indeed to find a valve amp that will suit your speakers for the budget you propose.
    "We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap" Kurt Vonnegut

  6. #6
    Wammer
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    Thanks myrman, guess I will put the idea on the back burner for now. Your Zingali's are a beautiful piece of art by the way, sounded superb.

    Cheers Tel, I did wonder if it was a bit optimistic. The Yaqin for 200 was MS-34D EL34B Integrated amp.
    Last edited by Nick1881; 05-03-2012 at 02:13 PM.

  7. #7
    Wammer Lokes's Avatar
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    I'm having a clear out,
    I'm moving house within the next 12 months and don't want
    to be flogging stuff at the last minute,
    I've got an Affordable valve amp El34 model, good condition
    upgraded with hovland coupling capacitors, nothing to beat it at this price
    250 collected or we can arrange a courier.
    I won't take less, it's a give away at that price.
    "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing."

  8. #8
    Wammer
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    I'm interested, just a few questions. Am I allowed to trade here being a new member? I don't want to break any rules.

    How does it sound? I noticed tube amps have different terminals for 4 ohms or 8 ohms, will my 6 ohm speakers be ok? Guess I'd use the 4 ohm connection?

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Wammer Lokes's Avatar
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    I've sent you a PM
    "If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad. If it measures bad and sounds good, you've measured the wrong thing."

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