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Why the hell are tube amps so expensive?


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i have a couple of these yaqin mc10L's from china one of which is american modded and sounds so good.

I also have a Yaqin and really like it. Cost is reasonable and they are good build quality. Mines as functioned flawlessly.

Yours is a bit more pricey than the yaqins i have. This cheap one i have, the 10L for about $580 they can be bought with warranty. Depending on what speakers are being used the stock tubes may or may not be up to certain tasks. Power tubes are el34's and can be found everywhere. I have used some very expensive tube amps in my home for testing and prefer a more economical approach to my main running systems. Other than upgraded all tubes and larger power cord iv put another $500 in upgrading it internally. I have other nice amps around but will keep this one for the long haul. It actually puts out a lot of usable power. For under $600 its a good place to start. The 10L does needs a seperate phono preamp

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A couple of observations on the cost issue. First, except in the higher end there are not a lot of 2 Channel only receiver/or amplifiers be built at say, the typical $300 to $500 level you would pay for a good multi-channel receiver.

So if you are comparing 2 Channel tubes to 2 Channel SS, not as much difference price-wise as you would think.

Second, please remember that the production of high-voltage transformers as well as vacuum tubes, is driven, not by the audio market, but by all those musicians who just have to have a tube amp for their electric, not acoustic, guitar.

Without the guitar amp market, it's doubtful if any tubes or tube transformers would be getting built.

So encourage the young ones to play the electric guitar!

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there are inexpensive tube amps on the bay and amazon and inexpensive SS amps everywhere. those new class amps have really driven the price down to almost the cost of a case of beer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wanted to try tube gear so I purchased a Yaqin VK 2100. It gave me a taste of tube gear without spending to much money. I have been pleased with the amp on my McIntosh XR 5 speakers and can hear a difference compared to my SS amps. The amp is from China and is of good bulid quality and has been a solid in my system. This amp has tubes in the front and SS in the rear so it is not an all tube amp. It can driver the RF 7's without a problem since it is 80 watts. Some of these amps may be a consideration for people not wanting to spend a great deal of money to see if they want to go in a tube amp direction or not fuss with the hassle of fixing up a vintage tube amp. Here is a pic of one for around $650. Buy them from Canada and save on shipping and get a gurantee. I guess is that you can sell them fairly easy if you don't like it.

Great post and totally agree, mine came from China and it cost two Bones shipping. Tube sound has long ago spoiled me, however SS has its place.

My next Mod will be splitting off the Sub base and going with an active SS crossover, one guy here in our forum has pics of this for around $800 I believe.

Other than that, tubes will forever be part of my life.

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So if you are comparing 2 Channel tubes to 2 Channel SS, not as much difference price-wise as you would think.


I don't know about others, but I was comparing 2CH basic power amplifiers, not receivers or integrated amps, or multichannels.

Yeah, it's not fair to compare even a SS amp to a receiver. Less fair to compare a tube amp to one........


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