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Little Tube Amplifier with speakers and headphone out.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all,
I'm looking for a little tube amp for Grado SR60i and small speakers designed for low sq meter room.
Why I need amp with both out? I have resigned of seeking DAC, as I just get ESI Juli@ sound card to my PC, and I need that amp because ESI has only one analog out (RCA).

What I consider is:

----Musical Paradise MP-301 MK3 Mini Tube Amplifier / or older version MK2:
http://www.musicalparadise.ca/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=54
----Bowei 2a3 - is it possible to mount there good quality jack out?

 

Moreover, it would be nice to get one based on 2A3 tubes, push pull.
Brands like Decware are not in my price range, however wood body looks lovely.

If any of you guys, girls has or heard such thing it could be great to see your opinions.
I'm interesting in low cost amp - up to 350$

 

Cheers

:gs1000smile:

post #2 of 12

Just my opinion, but low cost tube amps usually disappoint, especially ones capable of driving both headphones and speakers.  The reason for this is because to drive both, it usually requires an output transformer, which when done right costs a lot.  Cheap output transformer can sound bad.

 

So, just my advice...you can agree or disagree, but if you want to stay in your budget, you'll get much better sound from a solid state device.  If you're set on tubes, you'll have to increase your budget, and in fact, probably double it.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Musical Paradise MP-301 MKx are getting positive opinions.

 

 

Ok lets focus on headphone apm only for Grado:
----****t Vali

----Bottlehead Crack

Mayby some DIY projects on request?

OTL apms are not good for low ohms I've heard from constructors.

 

What is your experience with low impedance hphones on tube amps Hodgjy??

post #4 of 12

I recently came across an awesome small footprint Tube amp that supports speakers and headphones, Its built like a tank and sounds wonderful, it is a single end pintode that puts out 3wpc. I have a pair of Senn HD-650, and a pair of book shelf speakers that are 95db effecient.  it drives both with ease. I doubt you could buy this quality at anywhere near this price

 

 

heres a link to the website

 

 

http://ampsandsound.com/products/amps/se-84/

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebizbir View Post
 

Musical Paradise MP-301 MKx are getting positive opinions.

 

 

Ok lets focus on headphone apm only for Grado:
----****t Vali

----Bottlehead Crack

Mayby some DIY projects on request?

OTL apms are not good for low ohms I've heard from constructors.

 

What is your experience with low impedance hphones on tube amps Hodgjy??

The Musical Paradise, from what I read, is primarily made for driving speakers and has a high noise floor for driving headphones.  I guess you should base your decision on that--what will be the primary use.

 

I have an OTL amp and have tried driving low impedance headphones at times.  It does technically work, but it's not an ideal combination.  Also, it's probably just a coincidence, but I did blow an output tube (scared the hell out of me) while driving some low impedance headphones.

 

My main amp has an output transformer for driving low impedance headphones.  Works great.  I use my OTL for high impedance only from now on.

 

You may want to investigate the Glow Audio.  They make a fairly good tube amp that drives both cans and speakers.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by joespride View Post
 

I recently came across an awesome small footprint Tube amp that supports speakers and headphones, Its built like a tank and sounds wonderful, it is a single end pintode that puts out 3wpc. I have a pair of Senn HD-650, and a pair of book shelf speakers that are 95db effecient.  it drives both with ease. I doubt you could buy this quality at anywhere near this price

 

 

heres a link to the website

 

 

http://ampsandsound.com/products/amps/se-84/

Forgot to mention, headphones on no music playing volume at max...............nothing but silence. I mean quiet as the GRAVE:L3000:

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by joespride View Post
 

Forgot to mention, headphones on no music playing volume at max...............nothing but silence. I mean quiet as the GRAVE:L3000:

You definitely won't get that with the Musical Paradise or any tube amp with speaker taps and output transformer at your current price point.

post #8 of 12

Personally I think OP would be better served to save for a bit and buy a good amp, rather than buy something you wont be happy with. Its been my experience if you buy less than what you want you will never be happy with it and after the WOW (if there is a WOW) wears off it will soon be sold at a loss.  Been there done that !!!!!!!!!!  It is hard to resist the urge to buy in lieu of saving, but the reward in the end is you get what you wanted are are much happier 

 

 

On another note how the heck do i update my system below:angry_face:


Edited by joespride - 2/28/14 at 6:36am
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by joespride View Post
 

Personally I think OP would be better served to save for a bit and buy a good amp, rather than buy something you wont be happy with. Its been my experience if you buy less than what you want you will never be happy with it and after the WOW (if there is a WOW) wears off it will soon be sold at a loss.  Been there done that !!!!!!!!!!  It is hard to resist the urge to buy in lieu of saving, but the reward in the end is you get what you wanted are are much happier 

x2.  I could have saved a lot of money over the long run by simply getting the better gear at the start, because I always did end up with the better gear later, along with a collection of lesser gear in the closet.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Glow audio site is not avaiable. I can see nice review of it on 6moons.
check this top PL amp:
http://dubieltubeamps.pl/hv1/hv1.htm
Mr. Boguslaw Dubiel is pro constructor. I can get this second hand amp for about 430$ (new is over 700$)

for now i feed my grados from canadian amp: PA2V2 from Electric Avenues:
http://www.electric-avenues.com/audio8.html

if purchase any amp like musical paradise, will it be easy to sell if not fit well?



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post #11 of 12

For me, at least, I can access the Glow website.

 

http://www.glow-audio.com/home.html

post #12 of 12

There aren't too many transformer coupled tube headphone amps in that price range.  I am not sure why, but thats just the way its always been.  Done right, affordable low watt speaker transformers make excellent sounding output transformers in tube headphone circuits.  Mapletree uses the $25 Hammond 119DA in their headphone amps and it sounds great with both low and high impedance cans.

 

http://www.hammondmfg.com/collins.htm

 

I use 25W speaker transformers to impedance match my darkvoice 337 with my Grados and K701. Together it sounds great.  The synnergy of the sum of parts, together scale up much higher (I think) than the individual components that make up the BOM. 

 

 But in either case thats ~double your $ ceiling (even more factoring in tube rolling).  But the point being, headphone output transformers don't have to cost a lot to sound really good.

 

Is there any reason you want an all-in one box solution?

Why not a tube hybrid like the LD1+, and a separate small power amp for your speakers?

 

I have no experience with the MP-301, so I am not sure how it derives its headphone out.  There are some www pics out there, but its a motherboard / daughter board design and impossible to decipher what comes from where.

 

Here's skylabs review...

http://www.head-fi.org/t/553325/review-musical-paradise-mp-301-mk2-vacuum-tube-integrated-amp

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