Monoprice tube amp?

I'm looking to dive into an intergrated tube amp. Right now all I have is a modded CD3 Tube buffer.

Budget is tight. Wanted to know if anyone has used one? Impressions? Worth the price? Its half what my next option was. The Jolida FX10.

I dont want a hybrid, only one with tube pre and amp.

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=27222

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Comments

  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 7,189
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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    Didn't someone here spring for one of those the last time there was a big discount on 'em?

    There are a couple of their cheaper hybrid cousins floating around this forum, FWIW.

    My guess is that it is a perfectly decent cheap amp. Hard to go too wrong with push-pull EL84s as far as I am concerned (even with cheap output transformers). :)

  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,688
    edited October 15
    I have heard this to be a nice amp for the price...if you get one that had the manufacturing up to snuff.

    Nobsound EL34 Class A amp.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NWISSGU?tag=viglink4323590-20
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  • tonyp063tonyp063 Posts: 457
    I have a couple of pieces of that type of Chinesium that I got for gits & shiggles.
    Doc Hardy has it right. They are not bad. Pretty good bang for the buck.

    "Pleasantly Surprised" is the descriptor I use.
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,427
    Several folks have purchased and given their impressions on this, and IIRC, the consensus is the 50W integrated is much better than the smaller fire starter.

    I believe @zingo and @mark090852 have one.

    http://forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/182501/monoprice-50w-hybrid-amp/p1
  • CH46ECH46E Posts: 731
    Thanks guys. When I searched the forum for monoprice tube amp I did not find much. I must have missed something.

    Anyways I think I've read enough to know that it's not worth the gamble.

    I think I'll pass on them.
  • zingozingo Audiophile Posts: 11,681
    My experience with the 50w version was great. I suggest it for a small system or HiFi on a budget.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    zingo wrote: »
    My experience with the 50w version was great. I suggest it for a small system or HiFi on a budget.

    "was" -- past tense?
    Did you move it along (already)?
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 330
    edited October 19
    CH46E wrote: »
    Thanks guys. When I searched the forum for monoprice tube amp I did not find much. I must have missed something.

    Anyways I think I've read enough to know that it's not worth the gamble.

    I think I'll pass on them.

    Don't confuse the 25 and 50 watt Monoprice models. The first karma one was for the older 25 watt version that admittedly had problems. That is where all of the fire and DOA comments came from. The newer 50 watt hybrid design seems to have fixed those problems. It has much better reviews both here and on the monoprice site. Some of the negative comments in the 50 watt thread were actually for the 25 watt one

    I bought a 50 watt one and I have been impressed and no problems so far. It is still hard for me to believe you can get such detailed sound out of something costing $150 shipped (wait for the sale and extra coupon).
  • CH46ECH46E Posts: 731
    I wanted to go with a true tube intergrated. No solid state amp section.

    Doesn't seem like a lot of options these days for under $500.00
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited October 19
    CH46E wrote: »
    I wanted to go with a true tube intergrated. No solid state amp section.

    Doesn't seem like a lot of options these days for under $500.00

    Not without good reason. Decent tubes are available for reasonable prices, as are passive components (resistors and capacitors, in the case of most vacuum tube amps) -- but decent quality "iron" (power and output transformers, and a power supply choke, if one is employed in the design) for a vacuum tube amplifier won't be inexpensive.

    As with most things, ya gets what ya pays for, I would opine. B)

    EDIT: PS, by and large, the 'cheap' amplifiers will be low-ish powered; it may be necessary to spend far more for decent loudspeakers of adequate sensitivity and 'tube amp friendly' impedance characteristics than the cost of the cheap amp to which they'll be connected! :)
  • FaustinFaustin Posts: 765
    What about Yaqin? Perhaps used? My first integrated Tube was the MC 100. Nice step into tube rabbit hole.
  • CH46ECH46E Posts: 731
    Faustin wrote: »
    What about Yaqin? Perhaps used? My first integrated Tube was the MC 100. Nice step into tube rabbit hole.

    I'm actually listening to music right now staring at my Yaqin CD3 buffer thinking I need to open it back up and fix it.

    I picked up some KenRad tubes and want to have it fixed by the time they show up.
  • halohalo Posts: 4,431
    CH46E wrote: »
    I wanted to go with a true tube intergrated. No solid state amp section.

    Doesn't seem like a lot of options these days for under $500.00

    The 10 wpc monoprice all tube integrated is under $300 right now, with shipping. Use the coupon code RAKE25.
  • CH46ECH46E Posts: 731
    halo wrote: »
    CH46E wrote: »
    I wanted to go with a true tube intergrated. No solid state amp section.

    Doesn't seem like a lot of options these days for under $500.00

    The 10 wpc monoprice all tube integrated is under $300 right now, with shipping. Use the coupon code RAKE25.

    Dang it man!!!! That brings it to $247.00. Making it more difficult to pass on.

    Thx! >:)
  • oldrockeroldrocker Posts: 1,986
    Been wanting to try the tube thing for some time now, specially after pulling the amp from the old philco console last night... :s
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited October 20
    halo wrote: »
    CH46E wrote: »
    I wanted to go with a true tube intergrated. No solid state amp section.

    Doesn't seem like a lot of options these days for under $500.00

    The 10 wpc monoprice all tube integrated is under $300 right now, with shipping. Use the coupon code RAKE25.

    Seems like it would be hard to go wrong @ that price; that amp is PP EL84, if memory serves... I have yet to hear a bad-sounding amplifier, PP or SE, using EL84s (in their native pentode mode or wired as triodes) -- even with very cheap output iron.

    :)

    EDIT: FYI, FWIW, IMO, IME, YMMV, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    :|

  • CH46ECH46E Posts: 731
    edited October 20
    You guys think it will be fine to power some recapped RTA12B? I'm thinking 10 watts should be plenty for normal listening. Would be for enjoying blues and classical mostly.

    Not sure how accurate the article was I read but it claims the nominal is 4 ohms and a sensitivity of 87db. I though for sure they were a little more efficient than that. Worth noting that same article states the main drivers are 5 1/4. When they are 6 1/2. So it makes me wonder what else they got wrong.

    http://www.hifi-classic.net/review/polk-audio-rta-12b-339.html
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited October 20
    Not an optimal combination, but that doesn't mean you might not like the combination (e.g., nearfield with the right kind of music). IME the problem with low-powered amps and relatively insensitive loudspeakers is a tendency towards congestion (strain) when the limit is approached. Vacuum tubes tend to compress as they approach nonlinearity (clipping), i.e., they tend not to hard clip until way overdriven, so they tend to be more forgiving than soiled state :) amps in that regard -- but the way they sound in that not-althogether linear zone of operation can be audibly lacking, if not downright unpleasant. :|

    [edit: dang, that^^^ was a run-on sentence worthy of an academic tome! Sorry!]

    There is, for better or worse, only one way to find out :p

    Does that little Monoprice amp have 4 ohm and 8 ohm taps on the OPTs? I dunno.
    I guess I could look at the specs again. :)

    No 4 ohm taps isn't a deal-breaker per se, but it would be nice to be able to experiment with matching the load (speakers) to the amp.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,022
    Rta12 require some juice. I'd advise against it.
    audiothesis.com/

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  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    oldrocker wrote: »
    Been wanting to try the tube thing for some time now, specially after pulling the amp from the old philco console last night... :s

    heh, heh, heh... it's already too late for you.

    Bwahahahahahahahahahahhhaaaaaaaaa!

    :)

  • oldrockeroldrocker Posts: 1,986
    That hurts Doc...Hurts bad.... :'(
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited October 20
    oldrocker wrote: »
    That hurts Doc...Hurts bad.... :'(

    I just meant that you're in our clutches now!

    :)

    bsusrxl10oel.png
  • oldrockeroldrocker Posts: 1,986
    Grrrr. I'm out.

    Have to finish some outdoor work and get one of the snowblowers over to the daughters house.
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 330
    CH46E wrote: »
    halo wrote: »
    CH46E wrote: »
    I wanted to go with a true tube intergrated. No solid state amp section.

    Doesn't seem like a lot of options these days for under $500.00

    The 10 wpc monoprice all tube integrated is under $300 right now, with shipping. Use the coupon code RAKE25.

    Dang it man!!!! That brings it to $247.00. Making it more difficult to pass on.

    Thx! >:)

    If you are patient you can do better than that. Monoprice runs occasional 20% off the regular price and you can combine it with the weekly coupon on the main page. You also have to factor in shipping, some times it is free in their deal and sometimes it isn't
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited October 20
    oldrocker wrote: »
    Grrrr. I'm out.

    Have to finish some outdoor work and get one of the snowblowers over to the daughters house.

    I am fighting the Plague of the Dead Lawn Tractor Battery.
    You know, the one that finally pushed Pharoah over the edge. :|

    I charged it yesterday and it started yesterday.
    Today, no esta.

    I know the battery in it is old -- it says "Made in USA" on it! :(
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 19,383
    edited October 20
    halo wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »

    I know the battery in it is old -- it says "Made in USA" on it! :(

    That’s just sad. Is it a Die Hard?

    Deka.

    I bought a new battery today at ol' Home Despot, and it started my old (nigh-on ancient) John Deere lawn tractor (also "made in USA", among the last of 'em that were, I am told) with alacrity.

    :)
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