China built tube amps

Well I had an interesting conversation today. I contacted a large dealer and let him know I would like to buy a certain integrated tube amplifier that is made in China. I was told he wouldn't sell me one. He said they are all junk.  Prima Luna, Line Magnetic, Cayin, etc, etc, he said forget it. If you want a tube amplifier buy an American or European built unit that can be serviced.

So, I am new to valve amplifiers and I want to try one to understand what they're all about and sort of get my feet wet with tube rolling etc. I don't want to spend a lot of money at first which is why I was looking at Chinese built integrateds. So my question is, without getting into any particular brand other than what I have already mentioned, what is your experience with Chinese built tube amps? As a whole are they reliable? Am I wasting my money if I buy one according to this dealer? I have to admit I was rather taken aback by how adamant he was. Thoughts anyone?


I own Chinese equipment, and I have no problem with purchasing it. Still, I'd never buy any 845 amp from unknown, dubious Chinese manufacturer, seen these issues for years with 845's. We're running nearly 900 volts here, very demanding of quality parts, design. I'd be wary of some of these push pulls as well.


Less problematic would be lower power tube amps with point to point wiring. I'd always look closely under the hood prior to purchase, get someone with expertise to check for you if not  experienced in these matters.


We see ever improving Chinese equipment over the years, stick to the well known brands, let others  take the risk with the unknown. The good stuff will persist in market, the others will disappear.

If you are just getting into trying tubes look at the Carver Crimson 275. A giant killer at $2750.  KT 120 power tubes (or it 88 or 6550) gets you all kinds of power.  Five year warranty on the entire unit including tubes.  Change the signal tubes to some NOS and being it up another level.  Bob Carvers proprietary transformer design.  And you can try it out from Jim Clark Stereo with no questions asked 30 day return policy, no restocking fee.  


Re: LM805ia

If you go with one, I’d suggest swapping in some NOS Melz 6SN7’s, a National Union 1940’s NOS 6SL7, PSVANCE ACME 805, and PSVANE ACME 300b tubes. I estimate a 20-25% sound improvement over the original tubes.

Your tube rolling experience is very similar to mine on the LM805ia. I’m using the Psvane ACME 805’s, EML 300-XLS’s, a 1960 Mullard ECC35 (6SL7), and a pair of 1944 TungSol 6SN7GT round plates. 25% sound quality improvement is about right. Such a lovely amp that conveys hauntingly evocative music.


I have the Audio GD tube preamp.  And it is nothing short of awesome and is built like a damn tank.  It is a Chinese company.

Today's China Fun Fact: 

China has produced a programmable quantum computer that is 10,000x faster than Google’s Sycamore.

Zuchongzhi 2.1, which takes its name from a historical 5th century Chinese mathematician-cum-astronomer and engineer, is a 66-qubit programmable superconducting quantum computer.

It is reportedly 10 million times faster than the world’s current fastest supercomputer.

Moreover, it can even handle calculations that are 100 times more complex than what Google’s Sycamore can handle.

But ...can they build a proper hi-fi amplifier? :)