Monoprice 50w Hybrid Amp

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Comments

  • pitdogg2pitdogg2 Posts: 10,810
    zingo wrote: »
    Well it looks nice!

    Any initial impressions?

    It won't cook marshmallows
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 18,961
    pitdogg2 wrote: »
    zingo wrote: »
    Well it looks nice!

    Any initial impressions?

    It won't cook marshmallows

    That's good, actually -- although EL84s usually run pretty hot at normal Class AB operating points.

    It's particularly good if one cannot cook marshmallows on the power transformer.

    :#
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,674
    Next I want to try this unit as a preamp using the line-out. I don't know a dedicated amplifier right now except my Christie, but I'll try that and see what it sounds like driving both pairs of speakers.
  • ConradiclesConradicles Posts: 5,748
    zingo wrote: »
    Well it looks nice!

    Any initial impressions?

    No loud buzzing noise like the hybrid I sent back. Gets pretty warm. Actually, really warm as expected.

    Sound is a bit smoother than the hybrid. Still, the bass is a bit weak compared to the other amps I have rotated thru this little rig. Build quality is really good for a $230 tube amp. Great deal.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 18,961
    edited August 1
    the weak bass is partly endemic, but (probably) mostly represents the quality (or lack of same) of the output transformers. A single really good PP EL84 output transformer would cost [edit] about as much as the whole amplifier is sold for. :)
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,674
    Congrats on a neat budget amp! Enjoy!
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 310
    Just a heads up. The Monoprice 50 watt hybrid is on sale again for $160. It also appears you can get another 15% off with the coupon on the home page.

    Its been a few months. Any updates from the people that bought one earlier?

    Still running? Buzzing? Fires?

    https://monoprice.com/product?p_id=16153
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,674
    I’ll A/B it against my tube preamp and similar powered SS amp and report back.
  • Mine is still working fine. For what I paid for it, and it's location in our vacation home, it was not money wasted. And, as I said before, my wife likes the looks of it a lot! I'm hoping that she will start to like the looks of this even more....so much so that she FORCES me to buy one!

    https://www.mcintoshlabs.com/products/integrated-amplifiers/MA252
    Yamaha Aventage RX-A840 receiver, Emotiva XPA Gen3 2 channel amp, Polk LSiM 703 speakers.
    Oppo UDP-203 Blu-Ray player.
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,674
    With upgraded tubes, it’s a darn fine amplifier. I am listening to the Monoprice integraded with two way monitors and it is well worth the money against a decent tube preamp and solid state amp; $500+ on the used market. The bluetooth input is decent and easy, but lower quality than lossless over WiFi. It’s a nice unit and better than anything I’ve heard at the price.
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,712
    edited September 25
    I'm glad that you are enjoying it. I didn't mind the sound it put out either. However, certain other things about it bothered me like the turn on transients, and the disgusting burned chemical/electronics smell that it exuded while powered on.

    Edit: I'm referring to the 25w version. Maybe the 50w one has better build quality.
    Got Dayens?
  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,298
    edited September 25
    zingo wrote: »
    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

    Just saw this. What about the VK-200 I bought from you? That is surely better than the Monoprice amp, right?
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:

    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\

    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,674
    That was a great BAT amp and I loved the sound driven by a balanced PASS clone preamp.
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,674
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I'm glad that you are enjoying it. I didn't mind the sound it put out either. However, certain other things about it bothered me like the turn on transients, and the disgusting burned chemical/electronics smell that it exuded while powered on.

    Edit: I'm referring to the 25w version. Maybe the 50w one has better build quality.

    Yes it seems the 25w version under performs the 50w beyond the power rating from feedback on both, and mine doesn’t have any smell. Have you opened it up to look for something funky or melting?
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 18,961
    edited September 25
    The 25 watter in question (it may be recalled) resides - or is at least being held hostage, much like @mrbiron's Reduction phono preamp - in New Hampsha now :p
    It does not smell when in operation, and I don't find its power on/power off utterances particularly disquieting.

    I was fiddlin' with some borrowed loudspeaker cables a little while ago, though -- and, after a fairly careful (and disappointing) audition of them with the aforementioned 'hybrid' amp, swapping to a good amplifier did reveal that the 25 watter (even with halfway decent Rooskie tubes swapped in) does leave much to be desired in terms of flesh-and-blood thereness compared to, say, the AmpCamp Amp :|

    http://www.hifihaven.org/index.php?threads/unity-audio-cancer-fighter-speaker-cable-reviews.3476/page-4#post-75264
  • zingo wrote: »
    With upgraded tubes, it’s a darn fine amplifier. I am listening to the Monoprice integraded with two way monitors and it is well worth the money against a decent tube preamp and solid state amp; $500+ on the used market. The bluetooth input is decent and easy, but lower quality than lossless over WiFi. It’s a nice unit and better than anything I’ve heard at the price.

    Since I am new to tubes (except for back in the day when my dad would send me down the street to the drugstore to pick up replacement tubes for our tv when it went on the fritz), what tubes would be a good upgrade for the 50w, and where would I get them? I'd appreciate any recommendations you could share with me.

    Yamaha Aventage RX-A840 receiver, Emotiva XPA Gen3 2 channel amp, Polk LSiM 703 speakers.
    Oppo UDP-203 Blu-Ray player.
  • verbverb Posts: 3,305
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    The 25 watter in question (it may be recalled) resides - or is at least being held hostage, much like @mrbiron's Reduction phono preamp - in New Hampsha now :p
    It does not smell when in operation, and I don't find its power on/power off utterances particularly disquieting.

    I was fiddlin' with some borrowed loudspeaker cables a little while ago, though -- and, after a fairly careful (and disappointing) audition of them with the aforementioned 'hybrid' amp, swapping to a good amplifier did reveal that the 25 watter (even with halfway decent Rooskie tubes swapped in) does leave much to be desired in terms of flesh-and-blood thereness compared to, say, the AmpCamp Amp :|

    http://www.hifihaven.org/index.php?threads/unity-audio-cancer-fighter-speaker-cable-reviews.3476/page-4#post-75264

    I feel responsible for your disappointment :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Pre, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Cables
    Office: PC, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, Polk PSWi225 wireless sub, MIT AVt2 cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Auris BluMe, Polk TSi200's
    Living Room: Pioneer SX-N30 Network Receiver, Pioneer PD10AE CD Player, Furman M8-LX Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi Subwoofer
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 18,961
    No, no, no! :p

    That amp need make no apologies at all for itself, on its own terms. It doesn't sound bad at all... think about the price, man! ;)

  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 18,961
    edited September 25
    mark090852 wrote: »
    zingo wrote: »
    With upgraded tubes, it’s a darn fine amplifier. I am listening to the Monoprice integraded with two way monitors and it is well worth the money against a decent tube preamp and solid state amp; $500+ on the used market. The bluetooth input is decent and easy, but lower quality than lossless over WiFi. It’s a nice unit and better than anything I’ve heard at the price.

    Since I am new to tubes (except for back in the day when my dad would send me down the street to the drugstore to pick up replacement tubes for our tv when it went on the fritz), what tubes would be a good upgrade for the 50w, and where would I get them? I'd appreciate any recommendations you could share with me.

    I'm not @Zingo, and he should take the opportunity to reply himself :p but I will say that I got replacements from good ol' https://www.thetubestore.com/ (who list these Monoprice amps by name, which is helpful) and I was more than satisfied with the purchasing experience (first time I'd ever bought from them.

    Just FWIW.

    https://www.thetubestore.com/search?keywords=monoprice

    N.B. I believe the "output" tubes in the 50W amp are different than those used in the 25W amp! The latter uses SV83 tubes; the former (I think) 6p1p tubes.
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,674
    I swapped in a pair of Russian NOS 6P1P and 6N1P-EV that I purchased from Ebay. I have had good success on Ebay with good prices, but usually the same tubes could be purchased at a reputable vendor for a little more money. I have also used The Tube Store with good results, but I’m pretty comfortable with buying questionable tubes and testing them.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 310
    Well I had to do it. Just ordered one. They are still on sale for $160 and there is another 20% off from the promo code on their home page today. Add back $18 shipping and it should be here Mon or Tues for $147.

    I hope I get a good one.............but considering I spent a lot more than that for a speaker cable (that I now just keep in a drawer) I figured I had to play with it. Even if it is not for me I can always give it to my daughter (once I determine it won't catch fire)
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 310
    edited October 5
    My amp came in and I had a couple nights listening to it. I have to say for the price I am extremely impressed. My amp is quiet (so far). If you put your ear right up to the tweeter you can hear a static grinding noise but you can't hear it when you are a foot away. I was listening with some Monitor 10A's and I don't think the bass was lacking at all. I would actually say there is a hump at 100 Hz. I wonder if they are quietly tweaking the electronics as they go? The volume pot at the lowest levels is a little squirrely. You can hear one speaker playing first but this is at a level lower than you would want ever want to listen at. At normal volume it is fine. Fire wise I might be OK too. The unit got warm in the back (not by the tubes) and I didn't notice any smell at all. One thing I don't like is the on/off LED is closer to a bright orange deathray laser. I bet it uses a watt by itself!

    The upper midrange and treble are crisp, clear and detailed. I would say this amp is outstanding in that range. There is a little muddyness in the low mids / upper bass. It is hard to describe and others listening to it didn't notice but the amp seems to get a little confused on Rock songs where everyone starts playing at once. Listening to a jazz quartet sounded excellent though with good imaging and I was hearing some details during the quiet passages (like between tracks or the start of a song) I couldn't hear vs. the integrated amp I was comparing it to.

    I don't think the hyrbid amp section can keep up with the pre's potential. I didn't know this when I purchased it but it does have a pre out. When I am a little more confident that the amp is stable I will check it for DC and experiment with a SS amp.

    Zingo-
    How is your tube rolling working out? I am not sure if my amp needs 6N1 or 6N2 tubes and the ones that came with the amp are unmarked (the manual says 6N2 but the website says 6N1). Do you hear more of a difference replacing the P or the N tubes (or both).
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,674
    Tube rolling is good, and I do suggest replacing both sets; they are pretty cheap and the NOS Russian tubes are easy to find on Ebay.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 310
    I do have some confusion whether to order the 6N1P or 6N2P version. My manual says 6N2 but I saw you used the Russian 6N1P version. I read the 6N2s have a higher gain. Do you notice a difference between them and the stock tubes when using the volume control?

    I will definitely order some 6P1P-EVs and probably thru Ebay. Most of the listings are from Russia but you can get 8 NOS (supposedly) for $2-3 a piece. Are there any Ebay sellers you recommend?
  • mark090852mark090852 Posts: 767
    delkal wrote: »
    One thing I don't like is the on/off LED is closer to a bright orange deathray laser. I bet it uses a watt by itself!

    Thanks for the great write up. I've been very pleased with mine and felt the same way about the on/off LED. I used a couple of "Light Dims" and that brought its intensity down to the level of the other lights. Looks much better that way.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01BZBBITE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



    Yamaha Aventage RX-A840 receiver, Emotiva XPA Gen3 2 channel amp, Polk LSiM 703 speakers.
    Oppo UDP-203 Blu-Ray player.
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