|There have been recent questions regarding this amp,|
being an owner of the version with the 2A3 driver and
a former owner of the 300B driver version. I thought
I would offer these comments. They apply to the 2A3
Ming Da 3008A 40 Watt Single Ended Triode Mono Blocks
I assume no responsibility for any decisions made as a result of anyone reading
The following. Iím only expressing an opinion
Iím been an avid audiophile since the age of ten. Iím currently 60, and still in pursuit of that perfect sound. Iím retired now (AT&T Labs) and spend most of my time designing audio gear. I currently design interconnect and speaker cables for Salk Sound Inc. and do freelance design work for various companies.
The last year or so, Iíve been working on a full range driver speaker design.
One important requirement of this design, is the ability to work well with both conventional and low to medium powered SET amps with 300B, 845 and 805 output tubes. To date, Iíve achieved positive results with McIntosh solid state (MC2100) and Conrad Johnson tube gear (MV52). I decided to use an 805 design for the single ended triode testing. Based on its advertised specifications and price, I decided to use the Ming Da 30008A mono blocks for the SET testing.
3008A Physical and Technical Description:
The Ming Da 3008A is manufactured by the Chinese based Miexing Audio Corporation.
(www.meixingaudio.com), and sold through distributors worldwide. I purchased my pair from Jenny Chan a Hong Kong based distributor. (firstname.lastname@example.org) I would highly recommend this dealer if you intend to purchase from a foreign dealer. Jenny responded to all my emails in a timely manner and is providing what I believe to be excellent service. It took about three weeks from the time of purchase for delivery. I live in
the U.S. (Chicago, Illinois).
Warning!!! Only the dealer you purchased these amps
from will service them. In my case, there is a dealer less than 50 miles from me. They
will not work on or support my purchase, not for money or anything. You will
find this to be true of other dealers. If you want support from them, you must buy
from them. Also note, there are versions of this product which utilize a 300B Vs a 2A3C
driver tube. Be aware of this when considering a purchase. Iím one of the few to have heard both. Keeping in mind, the driver tube has a lot to do with the sonic signature of
most tube power amps, I preferred the version with 2A3C driver. To my ears, this
version is harmonically rich with lighting quick transients and has that ďyou are there soundĒ as compared to the more neutral ďHigh-EndĒ sounding 300B version.
The manuals are in Chinese and donít include a procedure for setting the 805 tube bias. If you plan on rolling 805 tubes youíll probably need know how to do that.
I would rate the build quality and component quality of the 3008A extremely high. (See photos) It is very well put together and appears to have used nothing
but the best of components everywhere I looked. The power supply caps are SCR (Solen)
and German Mundrof (Mcaps) are used for coupling. All its wiring is the best example of point to point Iíve seen. I just donít think its possible for it to be any neater.
The amps have a highly polished Black with silver metal flake automotive paint finish.
My wife and my brother think they are gorges; so do I.
The 3008As I purchased were equipped with (1) 12AX7 , (1) 12AU7, (1) 2A3C and (1) 805 DHT. The 12AX7 and 12AU7 are Russian Electro Harmonix brand. This brand is
used by a number of the top names in audio including Sonic Frontiers and Conrad Johnson. The 2A3C and 805 tubes were Chinese Shuguang brand. Shuguang is one of the few remaining manufactures of the 805 tubes. A new one will run you about $55 and
that includes shipping. A new old stock RCA or GE brand 805 starts at about $185. Do the NOS tubes sound better? YES THEY DO!!!!!! I'm currently running Cetron 805's
3008A subjective impressions:
The 3008A rated at 40 watts RMS, sounds more like an 80-watt RMS amplifier. At no time during my testing did I perceive a lack of power. Its low end response,
while not matching some solid-state amps impact, does best most when it comes to timbre and accuracy.
Its midrange response is unsurpassed. IÖ know of no solid-state design that can better its ability in that area. Its treble is lighting fast. You can hear the drummers stick hit the
cymbal before it explodes. Only a hand full of solid-state designs exhibit this speed. When playing jazz the Piano sounds like a Piano. You can actually hear the Piano hammers strike the strings. A tenor Sax will shock you with its power and harmonic richness. Itís as if you are at a small jazz club with a table close to
the performers. Jazz vocals have that you are there (front row) quality. You hear
The sonic attributes Iíve described for the 3008A is also probably true of most high end 845 and 805 SET amps. The big difference here is cost. A pair of 3008As
Can be purchased for under $2000. Just how much under $2000 depends on the
Dealer you purchase from. By comparison a pair of antique sound labs 805 mono
Blocks will set you back $3750. That price does not include shipping.
I must state that single ended tube amps sound like no other design. There are
Those who donít care for their sound. If you do opt for these, keep in mind
They will magnify any weakness your system has. You really need to use
only the best support components. I used a Conrad Johnson PV8 Vacuum
Tube preamp, Sota Sapphire turn table with a Sumiko premier FT3 tone arm.
My phono cartridge is a ClearAudio Aurim Beta. Some of the testing was performed
Using power cables valued over $2000. All of these components are at least
Stereophile class B rated. Guess what? I can hear issues with each and every
One of them. My very first thought when hearing the 3008A, was my turntables
pitch accuracy could be better. Use a better AC outlet feeding these amps and their
performance ramps right up. Use a better power cord and they sound even better.
These amps are probably not for everyone, but if you are thinking of getting into
the Single Ended Triode arena, these offer exceptional performance at an unbeatable