Wow! Most U.S. vendors are sold out of these amps, and can't believe no one owns these amps to comment??...
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I have no direct experience with MingDa amps, though I own 845 20 Watt SET amps and speakers with the same efficiency as yours, so I will comment on amp/speaker matching.
The 805 tube is rated for MAXIMUM 125 watts power dissipation, meaning that the maximum clean power you can get out of one tube without melting it is 125/4= 31 Watts. Since no one in their right minds runs a tube at 100% dissipation, a more realistic figure is 25 Watts in class A, maybe 30 pushing the tube into class AB2.
So, the manufacturer's marketing department is pushing the numbers (many tube amp manufacturers are guilty of over-optimistic specs).
A SET amp is usable up to roughly half-power until distortion becomes a problem...in your case, 16-20 watts is a confortable power level.
However, your speaker's specs ask for a "Recommended amplifier power: 20-200 Watts".
So, if you like to listen to loud music, the MingDa monoblocks will be a borderline match in terms of power.
Ideally, to play loud in an average size room, you should look for more tube-friendly speakers or buy a push-pull tube amp with say, 70+ Watts per channel.
If you only listen to chamber music and folk singers or your room is really small, the MingDa amps may do.
I hope this helps
Casouza, thank you for sharing your honest opinion on the topic of realistic power levels of the 805 SET amp. I am planning on using the amp in a 14x15 room for classical music. For a bedroom, I'd like to budget around $2-4k for a 845 or 805 amp - something with decent output transformers based around a good design.
88man, I have looked at the internal pictures of the 3008 and it looks very well made. The specs are very good too.
Most inexpensive tube amps are weak in the bass, this one goes down to 18 Hz +/- 1 db, very impressive, a sure sign of large output transformers.
The signal to noise ratio is excellent, largely due to DC heater supplies (we can see the diode bridges in the underbelly picture).
All, in all, it looks like a good deal. Anyway, because you listen to classical music, I would upgrade the speakers to more tube-friendly ones.
However, if you live in the USA, I suggest that you buy american, you will get superior quality and peace-of-mind regarding maintenance.
The Art Audio Carissa 845 and DeHavilland 845 SET amps are extremely well reviewed and I have read many positive comments about them. A friend of mine has Art Audio 845 amps and is very happy with the sound quality.
Both manufacturers have a good reputation in terms of customer support.
I believe you can buy them used within your budget. Tube amps have no parts that wear out besides the tubes, so buying used is relatively safe.
You may also want to look for Hyperion HT-845 amps, the ones I own, though I have never spotted a used pair for sale.
Beware of cheap chinese 845 amps offered on eBay. Quality is very questionable and shipping charges are outrageous. Ask for an underbelly picture, some amps (e.g. Music Angel AKA MA) look like they were wired by a drunken trailer park electrician.
I have not heard the latest version but have a lot of experience with Ming-Da products and have heard several of these amps.
The 300B driving the 805 is a special sound. It provides you with plenty of body and warmth as well as the dynamic control an 805 is known for.
The 805 has a very full sound to it in this application.
Obviously there is no real way to know for sure without experiencing it for yourself.
Thank you Casouza and Response34! The sonic signature of a 300B and 805 combination is captivating. Pacific Valve appears to be the exclusive U.S. distributor for the MC-3008-A2 amp. I found out that Ming Da builds the A2 version to Pacific Valve's specifications with modified components. I also like the fact that I can use it as an amp or integrated amp. Not bad for $2,800 and 30 day guarantee.
Casouza, Wow! I didn't notice the DC rectifier on the underbelly photo. I'll change the stock front end tubes with what I have: NOS Telefunken 12AX7 Smooth Plates, and Telefunken 12AU7 tubes. Changing the 300B or 805 may/not be necessary. After the warranty is over, I may replace the bypass caps with Black Gates or Elna-Cerafine units, and coupling caps to Auricaps or Mundorf Silver/Oil...
Thanks again, guys!
I own the 3008a monoblocks and all I can say is WOW. With the right tubes these amplifiers will seduce you in every frequency. I am driving some old VMPS Tower IISE to loud levels. They are a 4 ohm load and 90db at 1 watt which is efficient. The bass is just down right deep and tight even with the stock tubes. My tube selection is as follows:
12au7 Amperex (Holland)
5751 GE 3MBP silver clips
I tried Teles in the au and ax position and was unimpressed.
I bought these 2.5 years ago from Pacific Valve and have had great customer service. Absolutely no problems with these amps. I also own the Doge 6 and the Ming Da MC2A3. These 4 units together are just magical.
just a couple of things: Casouza is mostly correct but: the tube is an RF tube so it must be run in class A2(grid positive) to get the power. and as an SET amp it can never run in class AB2. My experience with 845 and 211 amps is they seem to play louder and push speakers conventional wisdom says they shouldn't be able to do to high spl levels while maintaining smooth sound. I would suspect this amp will do the same.
I was checking that very same amp out and could only find two reviews . One was done by a Pacific Valve employee . The other , was not very favorable at all . Everything else that I could find was from people , asking for wiring diagrams , who wanted to use this amp as a base for rebuilding . All of this was in the SET section of Audio Asylum .
Now you have a favorable review above .That is one good , one bad , one questionable and several that don't consider it good enough to use as a stock unit . I decided to look elsewhere for now .
It is a shame that there are not more reviews for this unit as it does read as a possible good piece . If you do decide to try it out , I would be very interested in your opinion .
Good luck .