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HK & world: with Cayin, are tube kits still good value (apart from learning)?
HK & world: with Cayin, are tube kits still good value (apart from learning)?
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Old 10th May 2005, 03:03 PM   #11
protos is offline protos  Greece
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I was thinking along the same lines about my next tube amp i.e. for a 805 amp I am sure I could not build it for less than 2000 usd.
The ming-da amps look like stunning value but I was unsure because I never heard from somebody like analog sa (some more feedback please)about their sound quality.Now they look even more interesting.In any case assuming the otps are reasonable quality you could always pooge/modify the amp with higher quality parts, valves etc.
Secondly what I have been thinking about more and more about is that even though theoretically we may gain by building DIY amps at a fraction of the cost of some hi-end designs this is negated by the fact that when we want to ``upgrade`` we cant sell off our old diy amps.The best deal is always to buy a very good used amp and then resell it at an almost similar price a few years later .
Ok there is not as much fun in that but there are tons of smaller projects and cheaper that you can take a soldering iron to.Solid state is obviously cheaoer to diy but with tube amps you start spending too much money on the iron.
With the new chinese amps pricing it almost seems silly to diy unless you are winding your own trafos and/or ytou are going to make just one amp for the rst of your life.
They may not have a great resale value but if they are half decent sounding and upgradeable you will be able to sell them off after a few years for half price.So eg if an amp costs 1200usd you could still sell it for 600 at least.
My tube amp with eml tubes and plitron iron cost me close to 3000usd and although it sounds great I can never sell it to finance another project.
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Old 10th May 2005, 03:51 PM   #12
analog_sa is offline analog_sa  Europe
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The best deal is always to buy a very good used amp and then resell it at an almost similar price a few years later .
Yup. This makes the most sense. Cheap to diy? Ha, ha. I'll only believe this once i start selling kits

But good common or business sense have little effect on our neurotic hobby, right? Someone in my neighbourhood is selling a pair of really high end tube mono blocks as we speak. For less than the iron i am about to order. Do i rush to buy the monoblocks? Of course not, where is the fun in this? And what am i supposed to do with them? Listen to music?!

The 805 Ming Da amps sounded impressive in the dealer's room. The volume was clearly above clipping but they managed quite a racket. There was nothing about the sound that seemed particularly wrong - good extension; detail; soundstage. Very good dynamics. Still, my gracious host (Dr John) looked perplexed with my admiration. Maybe i am just not used to the air at sea level.

Having seen the schematics, it's hardly an amp i would leave alone if i owned it. A single power supply does all the work. Not good. The components inside are most definitely not boutique. And driving the 805 is best achieved by an interstage. They'll require so much work to keep me happy i'd rather start from scratch.
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