Chinese tube amp or stick with ss Quad?

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by jr33, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. jr33

    jr33 New Member

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    I have The Quad 34 and 306 with a Little Bear t10 phono pre amp, an old Thorens with a re tipped Stilton Nagaoka and B&W dm602 s3. Oh and a NAD cd player. Which all sounds great.
    Now would a Chinese tube amp such as a Yaqin MC10t be an improvement?
     

     

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  2. thomo57

    thomo57 Super Member

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    I don't know about your other gear but the Yaqin MC10T is a great sounding amp.
    from me.
     
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  3. sanford12

    sanford12 Old Stuff New Stuff As long as it's Good Stuff Subscriber

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    Don't limit yourself with just Chinese tube amps
     
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  4. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Whats your budget? Yaqin makes some good stuff, but so do a lot of other China factories. Cayin, Opera/Consanance, Line Magnetic, Audio Space, the list is long.
     
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  5. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    I've moved from the Yaqin MC10T to an Oldchen K3 which is a significantly better sounding amp. I daresay I'll never want better. The only downside is the need to open it up for biasing vs the Yaqin
     
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  6. jr33

    jr33 New Member

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    My budget would be £400 to £500, so what options might I have. I listen to quite a bit of reggae though and sometimes classic rock so like a tight deep bass. I have been reading that bass is not so good with tubes, please correct me!
     

     

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  7. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. LCLC ps + 2 x 5ar4 Subscriber

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    To me , reggae , never sounded better on my tube amps. The voices and music become much more lifelike. On well recorded material, you can make a real emotional connection to the recorded material. When i first heard that i never went back to my SS NAD amp or the big Marantz . The tube amp that did it for me, actually a receiver, was the Fisher 500C. But since you are in England, Rogers, Phillips, Williamson, and i don't even know who the other vintage brands are, but that they are excellent sounding. Keep an eye out for something like that too.
     
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  8. jr33

    jr33 New Member

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    £400- £500
     
  9. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

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    The bass isn't quite as tight, but it's not flabby on a good valve amp. But, there are massive other gains with valve amps. And things start getting special with a valve phono preamp.

    I am selling my Quad SS gear at the moment and there seems to be a healthy demand for it here in the UK. You would have a bigger budget if you parted with it. :)

    A basic choice is between amps that use EL84 valves (like the Leak Stereo 20) or bigger ones (6L6, 5881, EL34 etc), that is between 10-12W per channel with EL84s or 20-30W with bigger ones.

    Another consideration is whether you need to buy new, or whether you are able to do some basic maintenance yourself.

    For used gear, check the for sale sections in the hifi mags (Hifi News and Hifi World) and the ads from dealers.

    Better still contact hifi works in Cornwall. http://www.hifiworks.co.uk/. I've just looked at their site and there is/was a Scott 299 going for £350. That is a classic with a big following on AK. It would probably need some work, but there is lots of love for Scotts here. Or there's a Trio W24, serviced for £300. No affiliation.
     
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  10. jr33

    jr33 New Member

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    Interesting, thankyou. I have some vintage stuff for sale, this guy might be interested. I can't sell the Quad as its a sort of permanent loan.
     
  11. No Money

    No Money AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you are in the UK then there should be some great vintage options, Leak, Rogers, Quad etc. if you have that sort of budget.
     

     

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  12. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

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    Leak and Quad tubes would be above OP's budget, but Rogers a possibility. Tube gear is less plentiful and more expensive in the UK than the US.
     
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  13. jr33

    jr33 New Member

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    Yes it would seem that way. Thats why I was looking at the chinese stuff as you can sometimes get more bang for your buck (or pound)
     
  14. MudSlideSlim

    MudSlideSlim Well-Known Member

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    Me too. The weak point is the Quad 34 mainly the op amps it used or at least that's what I've read. The 306 is one of the better power amps. I use the 34/306 in my office and it's an excellent compact desktop system but I'm not doing any critical listening. But it's been trouble free for 20 years now.

    I've use the 306 with a Benchmark DAC II as a line stage with a phone preamp and the BMII really makes the 306 sing. Granted the BMII is rather expensive in the UK but there are other and cheaper Preamps with excellent line stages.

    Getting into tubes is a lot of fun but it's also a can of worms too. Tube rolling will become part of your vocabulary and tubes units tend to be temperamental and might need to be worked on.

    Michael
     
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  15. Tubeglowpio

    Tubeglowpio Active Member

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    I feel the same way, once you hear music through sweet tubes its hard to not hear how most solid state gear sounds dry and clinical. I do find tubes lack more in the deep bass unless you have enough power and a large output transformer. I've wanted a fisher 400 for years but enjoy building amps too much to dish out 6 or 700 for used these days.
     
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  16. Dandy

    Dandy Super Member

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    I seldom feel the need to roll tubes, but vintage tube gear does need to be restored before regular use.
     
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  17. slimecity

    slimecity Super Member

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  18. primosounds

    primosounds SE KT120 w/ 6J5G drivers. LCLC ps + 2 x 5ar4 Subscriber

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    True dat! Kinda like old cars, furniture, second wife.
     
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  19. mjw21a

    mjw21a Super Member

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    I ordered mine on eBay. The seller still hasn't shipped so I may end up going for a cancellation and refund shortly and reorder on AliExpress. The seller only get paid once you recieve the goods on that site so much better than eBay generally. Faster postage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
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  20. MudSlideSlim

    MudSlideSlim Well-Known Member

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    We all come from our own experiences but I struggled with my PAS3 and ST70 going south for years, but that was all very last century and before the tube renaissance that we are experiencing now. Maybe it's just bragging rights but I'm always hearing from people who I respect about rolling some NOS Mullard, Amperex or the latest Tung Sol supper tubes. Frankly it's good to know that many of these units now come with decent stock tubes.
    Michael
     

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