I've read a review. I think the thing is you can get a tube amp, DAC, and USB option all for a relatively low price.
The only problem is the sound didn't seem that great. I'd stick with Antique Sound Lab for budget tube amps that sound great.
I've got their VP-300B quasi-monoblocks (power supplies share a box). I've use it as my main amp (running Gallo Ref 3's) and its normal home is to drive my headphones (Stax Lambdas).
never had any problems... even dropped one of them from about 2 feet... heavy little booger, but no damage.
I'm very happy with the amps... am running the Shugang 300B tubes (changed one of the resistors to make it more compatible).
Just my 0.02.
I had problems with my dared vp16 I will pass on dared.Madisounds stocking founteks new el34 based amp heard it very nice.
For the price they are offered at, I'd say Dared is a good amp for a low budget.
I certainly wouldn't pay too much for one.
China offers much better stuff than Dared.
I had the VP-300B's for about a week. I didn't like them and now they are gone.
Can you give the link for the EL34 amp.
I too am looking for a cheap tube integrated for my 2nd sys. Can you recommend some other chinese brands you know of.
I bought the SL2000a a few months back. The sound with the stock tubes was just a touch too subdued for my taste. I replaced the tubes with Siemens (another $60 for a pair in addition to the preamp) and I am liking the sound more and more. Very transparent, excellent soundstage. For the money, I don't think there's a better buy.
Hi Dilly The founteks not cheap arround $1300 US. If cheap you want I would say ASL I have owned 12 ASL products had very good luck with them.
i own a vp16 and have played it every day for a yr.
best sounding amp i have had (i did swap drivers to good effect)
if someone has a problem with a us produced amp, it's because, well, it's a tube amp and occasionally there are problems. if someone has a problem with a chinese amp, everyone assumes that the stuff is junk.
I've had an SL2000a for about a year now. I recently rolled tubes to a Amperex NOS GZ34 rectifier, and Mullar NOS 12AT7's. It sounds wonderful, and has been totally reliable. It can't be beat for the money (I bought it used for $300, plus another $40 for NOS tube).
I bought MP-15 (KT-88, single ended) about a month ago new from Audiogon (US distributor). Here is my impressions:
1. Quality of workmanship is outstanding, it is simply stunning to look at. All tube socket are tight, connectors and swithces working as supposed, it looks like a manufactured unit and not a home brew.
2. The seller is a very responsive and nice person to deal with. They even sent me a diagram.
3. It's a new amp and it certainly needs significant break in period. I have it running for about 100-120 hours now, it gets beeter with time. Out of the box it might sound a bit flat and harsh, then it gets much better.
4. Stock tubes: Shuguan (?) KT-88 no problem, P3N -quiet but I don't like them and replaced the with NOS GE 5670 ($20!). They are a bit noisier but have much better sounstage.
a. Pace, Rhythm, Presence factor, Low end- it is KT-88 amp after all. Double base, guitars and drums and voices just shine with this amp
b. Midrange is nice and neutral (not 300B lush), but very very good
c. Transparency is very good, better then my modded Eico HF-81, you will hear things that you haven't heard before on familiar records. Also you can hear very slight voice modulations in recordings like Sarah Vaughn and Nina Simone, Or Zoot Sims sax.
d. It's pretty, the clipping tube is fun and useful.
e. Noise floor is very low on my Hartleys (90db/wt/1m) and drives this 6 ohm drovers fine on 4Ohm taps.
6. Weakenesses- minor:
a. I am not completely sold on passive preamp of this amp (that's what I think it is)-it could sounf little flat on some recorings. Perhaps it'll be even better as a power amp.
b. there is a bit of sound coming in if you switch to wrong input by mistake.
c. the markins on volume pot nad input switch are barely viisible - which is not a big deal.
d. It's much better with good recordings: this could be setting of my rig. Perfect for quartets, jazz, and classical, acoustic folk (Bregovich and co).
e. Marketing ploy- they call it SET- it means single ended tube not triode- you can't get 18 watts from KT-88 in triode mode!
1. E.Sound CDP- very good
2. Silent Audio silver IC and Speaker Cable- good
3. Hartleys on open baffle with Scanspeak tweeters on the top 1st with a cap at about 11KHz- that's a special topic in itself
Overall impressions of the amp:
Very solid performer. It stays.
Hope it helps
Dilly the one you are looking for is called CAYIN
I have the Jadis Orch Ref, a very good amp, but I feel could have got one of the cayin models with 4 KT88's , can;t recall the model, at half the price, new.
And sound just as good.
I'm looking at the Cayin 500, only avaliable in europe, $3K + ship.
btw Cayin does have some cheaper amps that are good as a starter/basic 2nd system/someone on a small budget.
owned lots of tube gear see my feedback the dared failer was not tube related but lack of quality control.Mine was a early one. Purchased new at the time dared had no US repair lined up.Do they now?
ok now that I'm in the right thread. And those of you that don't know what I'm talking about? Well you will find out if you cruise the threads.
Well......... I don't know? it looks like a split decision on the Dared. So should I or shouldn't I. I think it would be something I would defintely demo before laying down the cash.
Do they offer a money back guarantee? And do they have a repair facility in the U.S.? Than would be my concern. I would hate to need to ship it all the way to China for warranty issues.
I don't however think that everything that comes out of China is junk. After living there for some time, and living in a city that had plenty of high-edn stuff ( including all the big names sold here ) I found that some of there stuff was good and some not so good. How much do you want to lay down?
Where did you live? can you give me some store recco's (offline). I spend about 60 of my time in China now (mostly in the southeast)-the rest back home in the US.
I spent most fo my time in SZ ( ShenZhen ) I don't have a clue about store names. But unlike America, China likes to put all of their related stores in the same building. ( talk about a kid in a candy shop ) So as you pass through the various floors, you see all the big name brands. You think American high end dealers are helpful? These people will bend over backward and then forward agian to please you. You can get it all delivered and setup for free! And get a massage with it if you like :)
Well umm, anyway back to the stores. I don't recall the building they were in, but there is one main drag in SZ where the rich and famous go to shop. ( they have stores from around the world there ) So if you get on that street you will find it. You can tell the taxi driver ( if you speak enough Chinese because he wont be speaking English ) to take you to the street with all the computer stores on it. But try to stay toward the end of the street that intersects with the Pavilion Hotel. If I recall the store is close ( but across the street ) from a Mc Donalds. But I should warn you, there are a lot of McD's in SZ.
Feel free to e-mail me if you want. In the mean time I will try to recall more clearly.
I do spend a fair amount of time in Shenzhen (I head there about 1/10 weeks for a few days). Usually don't go shopping,b ut I might try to find where you describe... don't speak enough Chinese to try anything, but I can always get a colleague to joing me.
I can't guarantee the building is straight across from the McD's but it is fairly close. I'm sure if you have a friend in SZ he-she would kow of the building. If not when you are on that street a nearby store would likely know.
Keep in mind that the gear will be 220v and will need to be converted. Most likey the salseman could get it done for for little money. But your out the cash if they do it wrong. I remember when I was there I was looking a a couple pieces and I could defintely buy them and ship em back to the states for much less than what they sell for here. Also if you get serious to purchase. It is better for you to look by yourself. Decide what you want and then leave the store and have a Chinese person go back in a haggle the price for you.
I speak enough Chinese to haggle. But my Chinese friends could always beat my haggle by 10-20% I think it is because they expect the Chinese will haggle them. I can recall one small shop where the guy got angry because I haggled him down quite a bit and he threw my change at me :) It was a rare moment in my haggling.
Great sounding amp that belies its modest price. Tube rolling displays its excellence! Joe is helpful and a good communicator. A bargain!