Haven't had much time to test them, but I'm not catching any differences to be honest.
Mercator 6J1 - Very Inexpensive Chinese 2 X 6J1 Tube Pre-amp, Head-fi Amp. Consensus is that this is NOT an LD Clone - Page 3
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Ordered this in China from TaoBao which is similar to eBay.
Guy who makes these has 3 other small cheap tube amps. One based on a single 12AU7, one all-in-one 12AU7 DAC and amp, another amp on a pair of 6N1's. All are under $70. The 'top line' has an outboard power supply. Clearly the guy is a DIY hobbiest and wants to spread good sound for cheap to many people. He will customise the amps with input switches, multiple outputs, RCA or mini, just ask and he will do it.
This is obviously a LD clone, but the other amps are small originals on established simple circuits and I see no issues with that and ordering on eBay - just do not understand your comment about that.
Shipped from Chongqing in bullet proof packing with the tubes already installed and everything arrived in perfect condition.
Listening to The Vapours 'New Clear Days' on it as I type this. Great little amp to start with and tube rolling can be done.
Couple of times the small nature of the amp has had me snag on a cord and knock it over, once I bent one tube to my horror. I straightened it out and turned it one and everything worked as always.
marone - can you or someone who read your post that is now old refer me to the Pacific person you're talking about. I see this is being offered on the site you mentioned by more than one vendor. It also now cost ¥480 which is now about $80. Well that's a price difference isn't a big deal but who is this guy? I would like to judge's other offerings.
The link to the shoppe that sells these, the guy who makes them in ChongQing, is this:
The item I purchased is this:
墨卡 XM 耳放 前级 掌心耳机放大器 胆机 6J1电子管耳放 DIY
The picture is gold chassis, but he has black as well.
He makes 5 different pre-amp or headfi units, the top of the line is a two chassis model.
I also use this 6J1 unit to pre-amp my desktop speakers when not listening on headphones.
Warning: Do not have headphones plugged in and the amp selected at same time, this amp cannot handle the impedance.
Got some Mullard EF95's, old, worn paint, rust on the pins. They have more air, sibillance, detail and body as well as a higher noise floor.
Looking for some milspec Russia and Westinghouse.
@Thread title change as those with more experience with the LD disagree about this being a clone.
Edited by marone - 8/14/14 at 2:17am
Now that you fixed that whats the difference between the Voshkod 6ZH1P-EV and the GE's ?<</div>
Can't help you there, but I rolled the stock Chinese (16cents each) 6J1 to some EF95's ($12 ea) and the tonality jumped up a huge notch. Have not done a detailed comparison but first impressions are very favourable.
More body, harmonic completeness, tonal realism, 3-D to vocals, better treble but a touch of sibilance, elevated noise floor.
Looking for the Voshkods but my TaoBao-foo is not locating any locally.