Review : Monoprice 15 watt tube amp revisited , VIVATUBES.COM, Schurter Audiophile fuse

 Budget Esoterica Review Magazine
November 2020 Issue

A few years back i reviewed the Monoprice 15 watt per channel tube amp and while i thought it was a good amp for the money , i was less than enthusiastic about it. Fast forward a few years later and i decided to try it in  a different system with upgraded tubes and an audiophile fuse. Now, i think it comes closer to what i would call audiophile sound. So the focus of this review will be the upgraded tubes i bought from VIVATUBES.COM and the Schurter fuse that i installed in the Monoprice tube amp. 

The tubes i purchased were a NOS matched pair of Voshkod Rocket 6N2P-EV / EB silver shield vacuum tubes. The total price was around $20 which included shipping. The Schurter audiophile fuse is available from Ebay seller ericyam, from Hong Kong. The price is $6 plus $5 shipping per fuse. The fuse has a ceramic body and gold plated end caps and is available in several different sizes. You will need the 5 x 20 mm , 1 amp fuse for the Monoprice tube amp. 

I gave the tubes and the fuse a thorough break in and it only took me a few minutes to discover the improvements to the sound. The improvements were evident while i was listening to John Coltrane, The Believer , Original Jazz Classics cd recording. 

     1. Improved Tone
     2. Greater Musicality
     3. Smoother Sound
     4. More Detail
     5. Livelier Presentation
     6. Slightly Softer Sound
     7. Improved Dynamics

Both the Viva tubes and the Schurter fuse are effective low cost upgrades to an already low cost tube amp. These two upgrade tweaks brought the Monoprice tube amp performance up a notch and is now much closer to the sound of my more expensive amps. Tubes are highly recommended and i demand that you buy a pair! Fuses are more controversial , but, at these prices , why not give it a try and see what you hear. Easy Review!

Associated Equipment

Monoprice 15 watt tube amp
Jefferson Memorial T-amp stand
Insignia speakers
Yamaha carousel cd player
Supra power strip
Atacama speaker stands