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Quality Issues on Buying Chinese Made Amps

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Hi there. Am searching for a suitable starter home amp for my K701s. Generally like the American made amps by RSA, Singlepower ,etc but I find these a little expensive for my budget. Based on the post here, I am considering the relatively cheaper prices of Chinese made Amps from ebay such as Bada PH12, Darkhorse 336i & Doge 6210. Considering high shipping cost to ship from China to USA, it will be a long and arduous process if I have to ship the units back because of defects/returns. Would value some fellow members/ owners advice on the following:

(i) any reliability reports of these Chinese amps over a period of > 1-2 years or more?

(ii) anyone had bad experience such as being sold a fake Chinese amp? If you've been to the Far-East .. you'll know what I mean - you think you're getting the real thing but when it arrives in your mailbox, its an immitation product made to look like the real one ..

(iii) any ebay /internet vendors that should be avoided based on past bad experiences?

Thanks!
post #2 of 43
I thought the same as you at first, but then came to the conclusion that it is best to buy something in the US of A if you live in the US of A because if it breaks or needs fixing, it's a lot easier getting support and shipping it out around the US (of A).
post #3 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderjoe View Post
Generally like the American made amps by RSA, Singlepower ,etc but I find these a little expensive for my budget.
Ok, this might make toooo much sense but why don't you just save some $$$ for a little bit longer and buy a decent amp, preferably from the good folks here in the USA who are still willing to design and market a headphone amp in the states? We are the richest country in the world! Until recently I had a small amount of hesitation buying China-made products but after hearing about recalled wheat products that were killing animals, poison in china-made toothpaste and reports of crappy assembly of some china-made tube amps, the LAST thing I want to do is reward the Chinese with my USA dollars!! We are talking about a booming manufacturing culture whose primary concern is slapping something together and getting it shipped with disregard of what parts are used so that it can make the journey across the ocean to the impatient American people. I do realize that there are exceptions to every case and certainly I have the same reservations about buying a Chevy but at least I know that I can get it serviced.
post #4 of 43
A few years ago I bought a Chinese amplifier, the amplifier had a very intrusive hum, so I tried to contact their distributor and I couldn’t reach them; I sold the amplifier as is.
I bought a Single Power “Extreme” and it had a problem with the left channel so I called Mikhail… The amplifier was back in my house 15 days after I had sent it back.
Not every Chinese distributor or manufacturer is going to be the same, maybe there can be an excellent Chinese product, but I rather buy the American amplifier as it contributes to the internal economy.
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatFarm View Post
Ok, this might make toooo much sense but why don't you just save some $$$ for a little bit longer and buy a decent amp, preferably from the good folks here in the USA who are still willing to design and market a headphone amp in the states?
Agreed. Yes, there are good Chinese products out there but if ya can discipline yourself a little and save up the extra couple hundred dollars for another month or two, I say do it. I think it's worth it. I still support the Chinese though and buy their food.
post #6 of 43
Buy Darkvoice. They're all professionally built.
post #7 of 43
little dot has very good customer service. if there is any problem with one of there amps, which on occasion there is, you will have absolutely no problem returning it or getting a replacement. i think the ld2++ is a pretty great amp for around $200.
post #8 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for the feedbacks! I'm inclined to try one of these Chinese amps given their cheaper prices. Could use the spare change to play with some tubes as drarthurwells suggested. The fact that our USD is devaluing against the Chinese Yuan rapidly could make these Chinese amps pricier in the future?

Another question:

What is the correct voltage rating when buying these Chinese Amps.. most of these amps list 110V 60Hz while I came across one or two with options for 115 and 120V. Did any of you specifically asked for a 120V 60Hz power supply during your purchase? Just wondering if these Chinese amps were originally designed for their domestic 240V 50 Hz applications and then slapped a with a lower wound transformer at 110V 50Hz for US exports. With our voltage here at the plugs of 115-120V, it could cause the input power supply to overheat (overvoltage and higher frequency) and affect reliabiltiy and sound quality? I currently have a monster power HTS 3500 mkII which is not a regulated.

Thanks!
post #9 of 43
Quote:
The fact that our USD is devaluing against the Chinese Yuan rapidly could make these Chinese amps pricier in the future?

All the more reason to purchase soon. With all pressure these days to revaluate, the longer you wait, the more you have to pay.
post #10 of 43
Good luck with that ... uh... Chinese amp...
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiderjoe View Post
Thanks guys for the feedbacks! I'm inclined to try one of these Chinese amps given their cheaper prices. Could use the spare change to play with some tubes as drarthurwells suggested. The fact that our USD is devaluing against the Chinese Yuan rapidly could make these Chinese amps pricier in the future?

Another question:

What is the correct voltage rating when buying these Chinese Amps.. most of these amps list 110V 60Hz while I came across one or two with options for 115 and 120V. Did any of you specifically asked for a 120V 60Hz power supply during your purchase? Just wondering if these Chinese amps were originally designed for their domestic 240V 50 Hz applications and then slapped a with a lower wound transformer at 110V 50Hz for US exports. With our voltage here at the plugs of 115-120V, it could cause the input power supply to overheat (overvoltage and higher frequency) and affect reliabiltiy and sound quality? I currently have a monster power HTS 3500 mkII which is not a regulated.

Thanks!

Specify the USA model with 110 volt use (actually measured about 122 volt) model when ordering direct from a Chinese supplier. Pacificvalve is a USA dealer that sells only 110 volt models.
post #12 of 43
Judging from Skylab's review, the Bada and the Doge should both be fine options. I love the build quality of my ASL and have no problem with it.
post #13 of 43
i personally have had no issues buying chinese mad amps/dacs because there's a local dealer who takes care of all warranty issues so that's good

and also because there's hardly any if any australian designed products
post #14 of 43
China has a long reputation of manufacturing sub-standard products but as their economy grows, more and more manufacturers of really decent products are emerging - don't have the impression that EVERYTHING that comes from China is crap. Just becareful of what you buy and buy smart - buy from reputable sellers and ONLY buy products from trusted brands.
post #15 of 43
Well, I scarfed these pics up from a thread a few months back - because I had never seen work so bad in a retail amp. For that matter, I'm not sure if I've seen much worse in first-time DIY CMoy's. Cold solder joints and blobs throughout, film caps, 'lytics, and trimmers all hanging on their leads and canted at odd angles, a board that looks like painted metal tape, and resistors that cross over board components at all angles. This was from a multi-tube, "audiophile quality", slick metal-flake and wood finish amp. My apologies to the original posters:


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