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Looking for an inexpensive tube amp

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for an inexpensive tube amp to serve as both a headphone amp and to drive a set of Klipsch KG4s to relatively low volumes (if such a thing exists.) The speakers are rated at 6 ohms nominal and 94dB@1w@m. By inexpensive I mean <$400, hopefully much less. I've been looking at two products from Qinpu:

 

http://www.amazon.com/D-1-Integrated-SET-Tube-Amplifier/dp/B00703N05C/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=XO8M64XXRKX3&coliid=I3HBNYKM5Q1LLG

 

 

and

 

http://www.amazon.com/Qinpu-A-6000-Integrated-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0057OI448/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=XO8M64XXRKX3&coliid=IDZK9ZNNE5FIN

 

 

While I've seen some reviews of the latter which are generally positive, I can find nothing re: the former. I'd love to hear this community's advice on either or both of these products or the company that makes them, and I'd also love to get some alternatives for my intended usage. This would be my first foray into tubedom. Please help.


Edited by senorx12562 - 8/9/13 at 6:43am
post #2 of 31
A headphone amp can't drive speakers. It can be a preamp at most. You need a speaker amp for speakers. And there is nothing as a cheap speaker amp,
post #3 of 31

You can drive two speakers easily on a Lapai  - use a tube as a preamp if you want. 

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
And what would be the relative effect on sound vis-a-vis a tube amp? I already have a fiio E07 that I use with both cans and iems.
post #5 of 31
Fiio amps are not desktop amps. A real amp is much better than a fiio amp. Get a bravo audio hybrid amp and lepai speaker amp. You will get tube sound on a budget.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the suggestion.
post #7 of 31

If you can increase your budget to $539, you can buy a Bottlehead SEX amp.
 

post #8 of 31

I would have a look into the Yaqin MS-34D it is within your price range and will drive your speakers as well as your headphones.

And it looks great to boot, note I have not heard this amp but there are probably quite a few reviews around.

 

http://www.china-highend-hifi.com/prod0112341242262134522.htm

 

 

And FiiO does make a "Real" desktop amp, just ignore the one man FiiO hater here...

beerchug.gif

post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by techboy View Post

Fiio amps are not desktop amps. A real amp is much better than a fiio amp. Get a bravo audio hybrid amp and lepai speaker amp. You will get tube sound on a budget.


Rather than a Lepai (which seem to all have volume and tone controls) wouldn't I be better off with just an on off button since I would effectively have a pre- to control volume with?

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollDragon View Post

I would have a look into the Yaqin MS-34D it is within your price range and will drive your speakers as well as your headphones.

And it looks great to boot, note I have not heard this amp but there are probably quite a few reviews around.

 

http://www.china-highend-hifi.com/prod0112341242262134522.htm

 

 

And FiiO does make a "Real" desktop amp, just ignore the one man FiiO hater here...

beerchug.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by clowkoy View Post

If you can increase your budget to $539, you can buy a Bottlehead SEX amp.
 


Unfortunately, $400 is a little over my budget, and would have to include total cost including shipping (and I'd still have some 'splainin' to do). Also unfortunately, and embarassingly given the nature of this forum, building (Bottlehead) or modding/maintaining (Yaqin) are definitely out, as I don't have the time or the inclination. I just like listening. Maybe I should stick to SS after all?

post #11 of 31

Then the Asgard would be best for you.
 

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by clowkoy View Post

Then the Asgard would be best for you.
 

Asgard is solid state i think, though the schiit Valhalla (which is OTL) is tube. Haven't heard the valhalla so can't help there though its $349.

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by senorx12562 View Post

Unfortunately, $400 is a little over my budget, and would have to include total cost including shipping (and I'd still have some 'splainin' to do). Also unfortunately, and embarassingly given the nature of this forum, building (Bottlehead) or modding/maintaining (Yaqin) are definitely out, as I don't have the time or the inclination. I just like listening. Maybe I should stick to SS after all?

Inexpensive Chineese tube power amps are good looking, but from what I've read (after I linked it) you would probably only get 20 clean watts out of it... Same as the Lepai stuff, many stories of worked great for a month then this or that broke, buzzed, cut out etc... but for $25 they just buy another and move along.

 

This might possibly work for you the Topping TP41...

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=310-324

 

Don't I know the 'splainin game all too well... 

Remember sometimes it is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. biggrin.gif

beerchug.gif

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by clowkoy View Post

Then the Asgard would be best for you.
 

Where do you hook the speakers to an Asgard?

post #15 of 31

First off, neither of the amps posted were straight headphone amps. Both of them can drive speakers. Whether or not they can drive HIS speakers is a different story. 

 

@clowkoy: No. The asgard is not going to power large speakers any time soon. 

 

Who ever recommended the lepai is also a bit off. I bought the lepai for a small weekend DIY project, and it had some really bad distortion problems when you turned the volume up. Long story short, it is a piece of junk.

 

 The bravo amp should be burned and left in a shallow grave. It is essentially a crappy SS amp with a glowing piece of glass on it. 

 

And finally, troll dragon is right. Chinese amps suck. They are often times thin sounding, and you would be better off buying a decent solid state receiver. 

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

@OP: At your price range you would be better off hunting tube equipment on ebay. A pretty decent tube amp would be a jolida FX10, a sansui 1000a (especially if you take the time to clean it and restore it a bit), maybe something by Knight or dynaco.

 

In any case, you can always get a tube power amp, and then get/make a speaker amp to headphone amp adapter.  

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