HK & world: with Cayin, are tube kits still good value (apart from learning)? - diyAudio
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Old 3rd May 2005, 10:22 AM   #1
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Default HK & world: with Cayin, are tube kits still good value (apart from learning)?

Several here have said where to get parts at good prices in Hong Kong.
HK kit suppliers, I only know one: www.diyhifisupply.com with prices a little less, but not dissimilar to elsewhere in the world.

While diyhifisupply - quality is I believe fine - their prices for kits are dearer than eg *built Cayin amps at HK based international mail order house www.cattylink.com/ (slow loading site).

From people whoíve heard a lot of amps, Cayin sound significantly better than many Chinese amps, and Opera Audio respectable.

Eg a 2A3 integrated:
Opera-Consonance Cyber-30 2A3 Class A single-ended integrated amplifier at Cattylink: US$ 4xx- (contact them for exact price)

vs - Joplin DHT 2A3 kit www.diyhifisupply.com/diyhs_joplin.htm
US$ 589 + $28 + $69 for tubes, to be assembled.
If we assume the Cattylink 2A3 is $450, parts alone are about 50% more! (And assembly = $200)

Other good value examples are the:
Cayin MT-12 integrated. 12AX7 x 1; 12AU7 x 2; OTK EL84 x 4. Just US$ 3xx- or
Cayin MT-35 12AX7 x 1; 12AU7 x 2; EL34 x 4. Just US$ 4xx-.

(Iíll be in HK tomorrow, and again later in May). For a mid quality kit seeker:

Who knows of *any *well priced *mid-quality kit suppliers in Hong Kong??

Thanks
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Old 3rd May 2005, 12:48 PM   #2
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I guess that's an impiled no - go for a Caiyin.

It seems too much margin in the kit suppliers . .
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Old 3rd May 2005, 12:54 PM   #3
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That isn't a fair comparison, the Joplin is a PP amp, and you say the Cyber-30 is a SET amp. Also, one doesn't know the relative quality of the components such as the OPTs.
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Old 3rd May 2005, 01:18 PM   #4
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Youíre right, it isn't a 100% fair comparison, itís not identical.

> one doesn't know the relative quality of the components such as the OPTs.

No we donít know the relative quality of the OPTs etc.
But subjectively both Cayin and Opera have been judged by others with wide experience as more than reasonable or better.

So given the known differences (off the web) do you still expect to find a built amp for roughly 2/3 the price of a kit??
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Old 3rd May 2005, 03:35 PM   #5
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Hi Rick57

Very good questions indeed. Last time when i was in HK i listened to a few Chinese amps. A completely unknown PP EL34 brand in absolutely gorgeous wood chasis was selling for around $200. Didn't sound particularly impressive but i seriously considered buying it for the chasis and junking the rest.

What did sound very impressive was one of the amps from the Cattylink range; forgot the model but it was an 805 driven by 300B. Stunning looking monoblocks for around $600 ea. I believe the US distributor charges considerably more than double. If i wanted to have a factory built amp this would be it. Any attempt to diy would realistically cost a lot more. And will likely look like something the cat brought in.

The kits are for a specialised market willing to pay a premium. Don't ask me who are the people who buy kits - i just don't get it.

A great example is the popular among vinyl - philes Incognito rewire kit. I think it sells for around $200 and contains easily available parts worth probably around $60-$80. It seems to solve the issue of having to solder two RCA jacks and if you get completely lost in the maze of 5 wires there are lots of satisfied users to ask.

Tube amp kits? Unless they use prime quality iron and passive components (diyhifisupply probably do) you'd be better off building from scratch.
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Old 3rd May 2005, 07:57 PM   #6
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> 805 driven by 300B . . monoblocks for $600

Now that sounds exciting!

Iím not that turned on by amp looks, but several of the Chinese amps (& CD players) look great

> The kits are for a specialised market willing to pay a premium. Don't ask me who are the people who buy kits - i just don't get it.

As Iíve never built an amp, they appeal to me as an easier introduction. But paying more than a completed amp of similar quality? And we know the resale on a kit.

(About the only kit I know that has a good chassis is the Transcendent Sound OTLs.

The kit providers seem to be making far too much money
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Old 3rd May 2005, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
The kit providers seem to be making far too much money
I don't think so. Dealing with an army of morons on a daily basis can't be easy
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Old 3rd May 2005, 08:26 PM   #8
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> Dealing with an army of morons on a daily basis can't be easy

Doesnít sound like fun to me either. But the apparent much higher margins to compensate them are a big disincentive.
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Old 3rd May 2005, 08:35 PM   #9
DanTana is offline DanTana  United States
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This the 805 amp driven by 300B's you were talking about?

http://www.cattylink.com/PRO-MC3008-AB.htm
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Old 3rd May 2005, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
This the 805 amp driven by 300B's you were talking about?
Pretty similar but mono-blocks. I listened to them through a set of non-badged Red Rose minimonitors (Aurum Cantus ribbons) from the same source and really liked the combo. Especially for the price. The Red Roses were something like $400.
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