Monoprice 50w Hybrid Amp

zingozingo AudiophilePosts: 11,681
The reviews on these amps have been mixed, but seem to be improving as Monoprice has tweaked them over the last few years. I had eyed them out of curiosity, but never felt like spending $200 for a maybe.

But today, Monoprice emailed that the unit is currently 20% off. I went to their website to check the reviews again, and the flash page offered a 20% code. I applied it assuming it wouldn’t work, but it did! I clicked checkout and it applied free one-day shipping; with tax and one-day shipping the unit cost me $136.

I’ll try the unit out and compare it to my Denon PMA-2000, but I see a great value in a Bluetooth integrated amp for under $150 with a warranty.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=16153
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Comments

  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,681
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  • la2vegasla2vegas Posts: 2,881
    Waiting eagerly for your review. What speakers will you be using it with?
    2.3TL, 3.1TL, SDA 2B, SDA II, 7B, 7C, 7 series 2, 10B, 5JR+, 5JR, 5A, 4.5, 4, RTA 11TL, RTA 8TL, RTA 8T, LSI9, LSI7 EBONY, LSI7 CHERRY, LSIC, RTI A7, RTI A3, CSI A4, CSI A6, F/XI A4, RTI4. That's all for now.
  • smglbrthsmglbrth Posts: 1,079
    "Bluetooth audio for grown-ups", had to chuckle at that on their website...
  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,750
    Thanks for the link. I just bought one for $127.99. Can always send it back if it sounds like garbage...
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,681
    It’ll sound better than a “wireless bluetooth speaker”, so that’s good enough, and might make a nice desk amp for work.
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,658
    Did we already forget about this wonderful thread?
    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/181379/karma-monoprice-fabulousness/p1

    Keep a fire extinguisher handy...all I'm sayin' and good luck.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • mark090852mark090852 Posts: 788
    Thanks for the link. I just bought one for $127.99. Can always send it back if it sounds like garbage...

    I might try one out for myself for a little living room system. How are folks seeing a price lower than $159.99? That's the price I see when I add it to my cart.

    Yamaha Aventage RX-A840 receiver, Emotiva XPA Gen3 2 channel amp, Polk LSiM 703 speakers.
    Oppo UDP-203 Blu-Ray player, McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amp, Polk Signature S20 speakers.
  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,750
    Use coupon code GOAL20.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 330
    I'm not getting any popups for another 20% off. I only see $200 minus 20% so $160. It seems like the price is variable.

    I always run an adblocker with no tracking cookies. I think that is why I'm not seeing the deals. I disabled adblocker for the monoprice site (but still have no third party tracking) but no popups. No one wants to be tracked but I think if they see you looking at all these other audio sites and amps that is when they give you a deal.

    If the reviews are good I might have to turn everything off for a while.


  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,750
    You put the coupon code in at checkout.
  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,750
    The coupon is on the home page.
  • mark090852mark090852 Posts: 788
    Use coupon code GOAL20.

    Thanks so much for the code! I applied it at checkout and my price dropped to $127.99. Order placed.

    Yamaha Aventage RX-A840 receiver, Emotiva XPA Gen3 2 channel amp, Polk LSiM 703 speakers.
    Oppo UDP-203 Blu-Ray player, McIntosh MA252 Integrated Amp, Polk Signature S20 speakers.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 330
    You put the coupon code in at checkout.
    The coupon is on the home page.

    Thanks. I see it now.

    Now the real dilemma........What to do at that price,

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited June 24
    The 25 watt morph is... so-so.
    Manage your expectations.

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  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,681
    edited June 24
    I can’t find a ton of info on the 50w version as most of the info seems to be about the 25w as that was the original.

    I plan on testing it with a pair of Klipsch bookshelves and a pair of custom transmission line monitors.
    Post edited by zingo on
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited June 25
    Sounds good... it'll be interesting to see what you think of it.

    Not to bias your assessment or anything :) but (FWIW) -- the 25 watt morph is kind of hard sounding, and gets kind of congested/muddled with more complicated music at moderate volume (on 104-ish dB sensitive loudpspeakers). I need to try it on some other speakers than the two I've tried so far, though. :|

    I have this urge to throw a pair of 6922s in place of the two Chinese twin triodes that are in the amp. It's not 100% clear to me that 6922s are a proper substitution -- but it looks like they might be. I really should check first and see if the filament voltage in the amp is - as was reported in early "reviews" of the 25 watt amp under another brand name - higher than 6.3 VAC. I don't really want to cook even a cheap pair of 6922s in the pursuit of knowledge.

    As a not completely unrelated aside -- I really (really) wonder whether the AF power pentode tubes in these amps* actually do anything?

    ____________________
    * The tubes in the amp (at least in the case of the 25 watt morph) are Chinese "6P15". The 6P15 is reported to be equivalent to EL86 or 6CW5.


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    Post edited by mhardy6647 on
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,681
    yrkstbt5rtro.jpeg
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    thoughts? ;)

  • tonybtonyb Posts: 29,957
    My thoughts are.....plastic tables melt. :)
    HT SYSTEM-2 channel
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Dynaudio Audience 72
    Polk FX500 surrounds
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k Ref 4420 amp

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    B&k 1430
    Tad 803 speakers
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    Yeah -- but wooden ones burn.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited June 27
    Not sure if this is a good time to mention it, but Monoprice is actually also selling a pure-play little all vacuum tube mutant variant of these "hybrid" amps. Looks to be PP EL84 (i.,e., somewhere in the 10 to 14 wpc neighborhood depending on operating points). EDIT: Monoprice website sez 10 wpc. Not nearly as cheap, though, of course, as the two hybrids.

    https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=109&cp_id=10919&cs_id=1091903&p_id=27222&seq=1&format=2

    PS is it just me or is that Monoprice site kind of tedious to navigate?

    si4gf6dles2q.png
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    yrkstbt5rtro.jpeg
    Those are cute little loudspeakers.
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,681
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    yrkstbt5rtro.jpeg
    Those are cute little loudspeakers.

    I need to finish the cabinets, thinking glass gray paint and leaving the cherry wood horn raw, but they have been fun and sound great; the tweeter is the Vifa dual ring radiator horn loaded and the woofer is a 7" Dayton reference TL loaded.
  • Toolfan66Toolfan66 Posts: 13,914
    The promo code is expired, I would have tried it for that..
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,681
    edited June 27
    After an hour of listening in 24 hours, it would be hard to beat for the price and has a warranty. I will be taking the unit apart to see the build quality and how it's constructed.

    Pros-
    -Build quality well exceeds its price
    -sound quality well exceeds its price
    -all in one integrated with bluetooth, line in, and line out
    -tone controls boosted the bass slightly without degrading the sound

    Cons-
    -Bass shy (I don't know if that a design issue, or the limited power)
    -Stock Chinese tubes are the cheapest (maybe contributes to the bass response?)
    -volume is a little unbalanced at the bottom of the pot
  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,750
    Got mine today. Very nice looking unit for the money. Build quality is great. Now to figure out which speakers to pair it with...
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    tonyb wrote: »
    Well, it should be noted your operating under safer conditions than someone else I know....cough....cough.

    A fireplace right behind it makes for an easy push should things go south. :)

    There's a handy window behind the one here. B)
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    zingo wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    yrkstbt5rtro.jpeg
    Those are cute little loudspeakers.

    I need to finish the cabinets, thinking glass gray paint and leaving the cherry wood horn raw, but they have been fun and sound great; the tweeter is the Vifa dual ring radiator horn loaded and the woofer is a 7" Dayton reference TL loaded.

    Not sure why you'd even want to finish the cabinets; they look great as is (at least in the photo).

    Did you make the horns yourself?
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,681
    The cabinets are MDF which always looks unfinished to me if you don’t do something with it. Is that weird?

    The cherry horns were turned by a gentleman much more talented than I.
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