Anyone tried the new Monoprice tube amp?

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Comments

  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,457
    OK, input appreciated! I'll be cancelling the replacement. You guys have convinced me it's probably not worth it. I'm sure with a little patience I can piece together a nice integrated and small speakers. In the interest of keeping this thread on track, I've started another thread here looking for suggestions and advice.

    Now, back to the Monoprice hybrid integrated amp... YMMV. The one I got had issues and as reviews imply, they seem fairly common. Quality is a sort of 'you get what you pay for', so don't expect an audiophile piece here. It's probably good for a small office, but I don't think it'd work for what I wanted it for. It does have a cool factor, but since I'm new to tubes, can't say how 'functional' it really is.
  • mikeyb128mikeyb128 Posts: 2,752
    scubalab wrote: »
    OK, input appreciated! I'll be cancelling the replacement. You guys have convinced me it's probably not worth it. I'm sure with a little patience I can piece together a nice integrated and small speakers. In the interest of keeping this thread on track, I've started another thread here looking for suggestions and advice.

    Now, back to the Monoprice hybrid integrated amp... YMMV. The one I got had issues and as reviews imply, they seem fairly common. Quality is a sort of 'you get what you pay for', so don't expect an audiophile piece here. It's probably good for a small office, but I don't think it'd work for what I wanted it for. It does have a cool factor, but since I'm new to tubes, can't say how 'functional' it really is.

    If you want tubes maybe explore a yaqin? Great reviews, great prices.
    2 channel:
    Bryston 4B3, Bryston BDA3, Cary SLP05, Shanling CDT1000SE with parts conneXion level 2 mods, Nottingham analogue ace space 294, soundsmith Carmen MKii, Zu DL103 MKii, Ortofon MC 20 MKii, Dynavector XX2 MKii, Rogue Audio Ares, Core power technologies balanced power conditioner, Akiko Corelli power conditioner with Akiko Audio HQ power cable, Nordost heimdall 2, Frey 2, interconnects, speaker and power cables, Focal Electra 1028 BE 2, Auralic Aries Femto, Black diamond racing cones, ingress audio level 1 roller blocks, JL Audio E110 with Auralic subdude, Primacoustics room treatments.
    Theater:
    Focal Aria 926,905,CC900, SVS PB ultra x2. Pioneer Elite SC85, Oppo BDP93, Panamax M5400PM, Minix neox6, Nordost Blue heaven LS power cables.

  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 2,026
    Why in the world would they pair a 25WPC amp with a pair of 83db efficient speakers? Unless background music levels are all you require, that's asking for disappointment.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 15,134
    Desktop solution.
    audiothesis.com/

    Speakers: Harbeth: 30.2, SHL5+; Usher: Be-10, T-515; Rosso Fiorentino: Elba, Pienza, Certaldo, Fiesole, Volterra; Polk: T50, Signature S15, RTA 15tl, RTi12; Sonner Audio Allegro Unum, Legato Unum, Legato Semis, Legato Duo; Emerald Physics CS-2.8; Klipsch KLF-20
    Preamps: Shuguang S200MK, Dayens Ampino, Parasound P5
    Amps: Shuguang S845MK, Dayens Ampino Monoblocks, Parasound A23
    Integrateds: Triode Corporation TRV-88SER, MastersounD: BoX, Dueventi, Compact 845, Evolution 845; North Star Design Blue Diamond
    Sources: AURALiC Aries, Denon HEOS Link, North Star Design: Magnifico, Supremo, Incanto, Intenso, Venti
    Cabling: Wireworld
    TV: Sony XBR-75X940C
  • polkfarmboypolkfarmboy Posts: 5,724
    I just read the review of that equivalent and was shocked when the guy ripped it apart. Never look a gift horse in the mouth is a saying that no longer comes to my mind when thinking about audio as my thoughts are now cemented with ' There is no such thing as a free lunch'.
  • heiney9heiney9 Posts: 23,900
    scubalab wrote: »
    OK, input appreciated! I'll be cancelling the replacement. You guys have convinced me it's probably not worth it. I'm sure with a little patience I can piece together a nice integrated and small speakers. In the interest of keeping this thread on track, I've started another thread here looking for suggestions and advice.

    Now, back to the Monoprice hybrid integrated amp... YMMV. The one I got had issues and as reviews imply, they seem fairly common. Quality is a sort of 'you get what you pay for', so don't expect an audiophile piece here. It's probably good for a small office, but I don't think it'd work for what I wanted it for. It does have a cool factor, but since I'm new to tubes, can't say how 'functional' it really is.

    I responded in your other thread

    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Plus DAC | MIT Shotgun S3 | MIT Z P/C's | updated SDA 1C| SQ Box Touch/Welbourne Labs P/S- Tubes add soul!
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 4,765
    well if anyone wants a REAL cheap throwaway piece, the refurb is 99 bucks! I must admit its tempting, but I don't like to throwaway money!!!
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio Nova Integrated; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10 + MartinLogan Dynamo (original) sub; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - SVS PB10-ISD; LG UP870 4K BDP

    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; Audiosource Amp Two, PSB Imagine B, Boston VR-10 center, NHT Super One CI surrounds, ACI Titan subwoofer, Squeezebox Touch
  • scubalabscubalab Posts: 2,457
    Paul, I too got an email from them yesterday with the refurb sale highlighted. I actually considered it thinking well, maybe the refurbs will have the issues addressed. I bought one, and returned it around Christmas. Just didn't think it was worth the $219 with the speakers or $149 without. At $99, though, it's probably worth it. It is cheap, but it actually sounds half decent, looks cool, and has some nice features. The channel that worked on the one I had sounded nice and the Bluetooth worked just fine for me. This would be ideal for an office or computer rig IMO. Having had one (albeit one that wasn't 100% functional, and only for a short time), I'd say it's worth it if the refurb process actually fixed the issue. And, from the reviews, it seems most of the issues (including mine) were just bad tubes.
  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    I first wanted to create a new thread on this product but found this one instead.

    First and foremost, I did acquire this "cute" amp before joining CP. Just wanted to get that out there. Yes it was cheap. About a hundred bucks shipped.

    I can attest that these (plural, more later) amps are really POS!

    My first one was purchased in April 2017 for my office. I liked the looks, wanted the BT connectivity, and am running TSi200's with em.

    So I plugged the unit in, and POP! Literally a cloud of smoke! OMG! Nothing like the smell of burning electrical components! What a POS!

    One thing about Monoprice is that they have a decent return policy. Free return shipping.

    Got the replacement about 2 weeks later. Had the fire extinguisher nearby just in case :smile: , hooked everything up and it worked fine. For the intended mission, it was pretty good. BT worked great, no issues. VU meter, tubes lit up, kinda blingy. Not bad IMO. Never ran a CDP through it, again my intention was to stream music via my iPhone. No critical listening intended.

    So a few days ago, turned the unit on, and a rather loud "humming" sound was coming through the speakers, independent of the volume setting. At zero volume, constant humming. I could still stream music to it, but let's just say the noise floor was about 2 stories high!

    Contacted Monoprice again, and they accepted my return, free shipping, and is sending a replacement item out again. POS number two!

    All I can say is live and learn. We'll see after this April when the original purchase date is over a year old.

    Just though I'd share.
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    All Monoprice tube amps hum, it's normal.

    Why are you being so difficult.

    :lol:
    verb wrote: »
    So a few days ago, turned the unit on, and a rather loud "humming" sound was coming through the speakers, independent of the volume setting. At zero volume, constant humming. I could still stream music to it, but let's just say the noise floor was about 2 stories high!

  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    So my replacement Monoprice amp (free of charge) will be delivered tomorrow! Oh boy! Maybe I should have started another "I'm Ashamed" thread! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    Review it and post up some pics.
    verb wrote: »
    So my replacement Monoprice amp (free of charge) will be delivered tomorrow! Oh boy! Maybe I should have started another "I'm Ashamed" thread! :smile:

  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    Ugh! :smile: And suffer through the Monoprice opinion deluge? Isn’t my shame enough? :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    Whatever dude, there's no right or wrong in this hobby. Everyone's tastes are different.

    I'd be curious to read an objective unbiased review.
    verb wrote: »
    Ugh! :smile: And suffer through the Monoprice opinion deluge? Isn’t my shame enough? :smile:

  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    edited March 26
    Don’t make me send the amp to you for an objective review! :smiley: Besides my audiophile vernacular is still developing if you will :smiley:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    I would love to review it! So long as it doesn't burst into flames again and take my 703s with it!
    verb wrote: »
    Don’t make me send the amp to you for an objective review! :smiley: Besides my audiophile vernacular is still developing if you will :smiley:

  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    Clipdat wrote: »
    I would love to review it! So long as it doesn't burst into flames again and take my 703s with it!
    verb wrote: »
    Don’t make me send the amp to you for an objective review! :smiley: Besides my audiophile vernacular is still developing if you will :smiley:

    No guarantees! Do you have a fire extinguisher? :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    Hahah, I do actually!

    Also that reminds me of my dad for some reason. I was growing up and my mom was trying to convince him it was fine to leave me home alone while they went away for the weekend.

    She said something like "What's the big problem, what are you worried about?"

    And he said very dramatically "What if there's an electrical fire?!".



    Obviously there wouldn't have been one since Monoprice as a company didn't even exist yet, duh.
    verb wrote: »
    No guarantees! Do you have a fire extinguisher? :smile:

  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    This is interesting. Anyone else interested? @Clipdat already has got first dibs!

    I am running a pair of TSi200s with em. Used it entirely for streaming from my iPhone.
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    Here it is!
    9275rqgb19jm.jpeg
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    The TSi series punch above their weight. When had the the TSi100s, they were revealing enough that I could easily detect changes made upstream like cables/sources. The new owner that I karma'd them to is also super happy with them.
    verb wrote: »
    I am running a pair of TSi200s with em. Used it entirely for streaming from my iPhone.

  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    Clipdat wrote: »
    The TSi series punch above their weight. When had the the TSi100s, they were revealing enough that I could easily detect changes made upstream like cables/sources. The new owner that I karma'd them to is also super happy with them.
    verb wrote: »
    I am running a pair of TSi200s with em. Used it entirely for streaming from my iPhone.

    How long did it take to burn em in? Mine have less than 10 hours on em.
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    edited March 26
    50-60.
    verb wrote: »
    How long did it take to burn em in? Mine have less than 10 hours on em.
  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    Ok so I got the amp yesterday and hooked it up. Great no sparks, fire, or smoke! And no hum @Clipdat ! Paired easily with my iPhone, as with the others. Now what? The bluetooth connectivity sucks! Keeps dropping, losing signal, reconnecting, etc. Ugh!

    Did the ususal, antenna connection was tight, coax lead was fine, unpaired and re-paired, same result. What a POS!

    Any suggestions? Besides getting another replacement?
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    Damn! That's frustrating. Do you have a new case on your phone, or maybe another device that you could try with it to ensure that it's the unit/receiver itself?

    It could be something like the internal connection where it meets the PCB is loose or a solder joint is compromised.

    Part of me says open another inquiry with Monoprice and get another unit, but they might say "enough is enough"?
    verb wrote: »
    Paired easily with my iPhone, as with the others. Now what? The bluetooth connectivity sucks! Keeps dropping, losing signal, reconnecting, etc. Ugh!

  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    LOL'd at their advertisement. Ya hear that @verb? Life is too short for audio products that don't sound great!

    13194_01.png
  • verbverb Posts: 4,040
    Clipdat wrote: »
    LOL'd at their advertisement. Ya hear that @verb? Life is too short for audio products that don't sound great!

    13194_01.png

    It's life is too short! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Micro Seiki MB14 TT, VTL 2.5 Preamplifier, Marantz CD6006 CDP, Conrad Johnson MF2300A Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, AQ Diamondback (version 1) RCA IC's, MIT Terminator2 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, Marantz CD-1, Marantz AMP-1, Acoustic Technologies Classic Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus Subwoofer, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable
    Spare Room: Dayens Ampino Integrated, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Project BoxE, 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
  • ClipdatClipdat Posts: 4,971
    edited March 28
    Monoprice also offers this 10wpc "pure tube" amp! @mhardy6647!

    It is considerably more expensive, at $330

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

    272221.jpg

    It adds a "phono input" (47k-ohms) and a pre-out if you want to use it as a preamp with a different power amp.

    Insightful review:

    "It is a good tube amplifier in this price range.
    I tried to listen it from different digital (CD player, DAT, Mini Disk and Elite category network player with uncompressed media data) and analog (Compact Cassette deck, sorry I have no turntable) sources and the sound of the unit is relatively good. Its sound is warmer than my solid state amplifier, but its bandwidth is a little bit limited at both end of the spectrum. On the classical jazz recording, there is no bold bass and the cymbals is weak. Maybe the output transformers not 100% perfect, but I can live with it, and it is a good choice in this price range.

    The only reason why I hold back a star, because this "Pure Tube" amplifier is not a pure tube. If you take a look into the unit, it seems, that the Bluetooth unit is a solid state module (it is correct), the phono preamplifier made by silicon integrated circuits (it is acceptable), but the line preamplifier stage and the bass-treble control made by silicon integrated circuits too, which is unacceptable in a "Pure Tube" unit."

  • I use mine to play iPhone content wirelessly, I mostly wanted to test it because it was $90, and I was impressed with how good it sounds and it was loud enough with Klipsch Heresy speakers or ADS L9e or something like that.
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