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Monoprice 25W Stereo Hybrid Tube Amplifier w/ Bluetooth EXPIRED

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Monoprice has Monoprice 25W Stereo Hybrid Tube Amplifier w/ Bluetooth on sale for $109.99. Shipping is free. Thanks majaym
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121 Comments

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#16
I think this review is of the 50w model. Maybe they got a defective unit? Sharp contrast to other reviews and posts here about audio quality being good.

https://www.audiosciencereview.co...-amp.7513/

Conclusions
The monoprice hybrid tube amplifier nails the looks and aesthetics. The mechanical engineer and material procurement people deserve an A. The electronics designer know, gets a failing grade if he though this is a hi-fi product. Poor guy though was likely told to build this for nothing.

Congratulations are in order then for Monoprice to have produced probably the most faulty, and poorly measuring audio product I have tested to date. This would be good as a conversation piece on your desk and that is about it.

NOT recommended.
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#17
I was going to order this because it would look cool on my desk, then I saw that you have to replace both Op amps because the included ones are noisy.

You also have to lower the heater voltage on the tubes with some power resistors, because the OEM voltage is much too high (thus burns out the tubes prematurely ).

None of that is hard, but too much work for a **blah** performing product.



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#18
Quote from nightanole
:
A "real hybrid" would have the tube stage doing all the voltage amplifying and have discrete pnp and npn transistors as output/current buffers so you would have a nice low output impedance vs tube, for driving multi driver speakers with complex crossovers.
Does such a thing exist? I'll be honest, I love this purely for the looks. But do appricate that it can be done better.
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#19
Sup Tube heads. I agree with you guys this is a faux tube amp. I love tube amps so much I'm rocking a Panasonic CQ-TX5500 in my car.
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#20
Quote from nightanole
:
This thing is fake....

Its got a 6p1, which is just a low power EL84, but it doesnt "amplify" because you do not use a EL84 power tube in a pre amp. It uses a 6N1P, which is a preamp tube, but it has a gain of 33.

Now the whole "preamp tube stage" then goes through a standard "opamp" before going to a standard 25 watt "non discrete" IC output stage.

So the whole thing is pointless. Lets assume your input signal is a "low" 2.5 volt. Your output voltage is going to be 14 volts (8 ohm 25 watt). That means you need a gain of like 10 tops.

So that means the signal goes through the 6P1 power tube in a weird buffer mode. Then it goes through the volume control that attenuates the 2.5v signal down to odds are .25v. Then it gets gained up 30x via the 6N1P (along with 10x the noise because you roached 90% of the signal). Then the now 7.5v signal is buffered back down to 2.5v by the Opamp(because the power stage can not handle more than 5.1v in). And finally sent into the output ICs that odds are, are running 20v rail to rail voltage...


A "real hybrid" would have the tube stage doing all the voltage amplifying and have discrete pnp and npn transistors as output/current buffers so you would have a nice low output impedance vs tube, for driving multi driver speakers with complex crossovers.
Well I did indeed replace all four of the tube amps with some soviet-era ones, that I got for like $25, and I would say it does have somewhat of an impact on the sound.
I mean the tubes must be working. If one burns out, the whole channel goes dead.
Anyways I also had a humming issue on two of these units. I ended up removing the power supply coil housing, and cutting all the wires and extending the coil to hang on my wall as a beautifu, round wound coil display. And no more humming.
after all that, my cat's ended up jumping on it and now it only works for about one minute before one of the channels die.
This amp, will make your low-powered speakers sound warmer. Did not work on my JBL 530s.
But it made my Sony core and elac b5's sound richer and warmer.
After all that now I prefer to just get a cheap tube preamp, and connect it to a decent $50 to 100 D class amp. But I will have to wait until China begins to ship them out again. Everything's out of stock.

BTW: my monoprice 25 watts tube amp, I bought two years ago. They may have fixed the hum since then.
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Last edited by sorbitol July 21, 2020 at 04:37 PM.
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#21
Good lord, that's pretty.
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#22
You are all correct. I have this and the 15. But you're overthinking it. I have mine hooked up to my PC with some Pioneer Andrew Jones bookshelves. Or some old Speakerlab bookshelves I built at least 30 years ago. It sounds fine, impresses the neighbors and is a conversation starter. I lie about the S/N ratio and everything else. Everyone is happy 😉
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#23
Quote from ToddT2813
:
You are all correct. I have this and the 15. But you're overthinking it. I have mine hooked up to my PC with some Pioneer Andrew Jones bookshelves. Or some old Speakerlab bookshelves I built at least 30 years ago. It sounds fine, impresses the neighbors and is a conversation starter. I lie about the S/N ratio and everything else. Everyone is happy 😉
It actually does pretty well with the pioneers.
I end up getting one for my friend and giving him a pair of the pioneers as well.
Now after getting the smsl sa300 for $140, I'm hoping to replace his monoprice tube amp.
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#24
Any reason to get this over the smsl ad18?

Powering those Andrew Jones bookshelves and senn hd6xx.
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07-21-2020 at 05:55 PM
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#26
Quote from z320
:
I think this review is of the 50w model. Maybe they got a defective unit? Sharp contrast to other reviews and posts here about audio quality being good.

https://www.audiosciencereview.co...-amp.7513/

Conclusions
The monoprice hybrid tube amplifier nails the looks and aesthetics. The mechanical engineer and material procurement people deserve an A. The electronics designer know, gets a failing grade if he though this is a hi-fi product. Poor guy though was likely told to build this for nothing.

Congratulations are in order then for Monoprice to have produced probably the most faulty, and poorly measuring audio product I have tested to date. This would be good as a conversation piece on your desk and that is about it.

NOT recommended.
Thanks, this was actually helpful!
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#27
Quote from winnike
:
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."
-Albert Einstein

So anyways, thanks for your explanation full of 100% technical jargon and insider knowledge that it helped no one whatsoever and was just some kind of weird electronic flex that no one but yourself understood. Either that, or it was an excellent joke and I owe you 4 rep points.
I reexplained it in about one sentence a few posts ago.

But again, like some others said, its a fake tube amp.

Basically it takes the input signal, and lowers the volume down really low. Then it amplifies it through some tubes, back to the original signal level. That gives it the "warm sound". But then it runs it through some crappy opamps (which is why some people replace them) and then to an inexpensive output amplifier section.

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#28
This isn't a tube amplifier. It uses a $3 chip for an amp.
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#29
Quote from nightanole
:
I reexplained it in about one sentence a few posts ago.

But again, like some others said, its a fake tube amp.

Basically it takes the input signal, and lowers the volume down really low. Then it amplifies it through some tubes, back to the original signal level. That gives it the "warm sound". But then it runs it through some crappy opamps (which is why some people replace them) and then to an inexpensive output amplifier section.
Gotcha thanks, this is a very helpful explanation
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#30
Quote from SkillfulPanther767
:
Any reason to get this over the smsl ad18?

Powering those Andrew Jones bookshelves and senn hd6xx.
https://www.audiosciencereview.co...-amp.7325/

Conclusions
When I tested the Topping MX3, I was pretty disappointed to see some of the lowest performance numbers I had seen in all of my testing. In some sense I should have tested the SMSL AD18 to get a better perspective of how low one could go in that department.

In Jeff Daniels voice " Just when I thought they couldn't get any worse than the MX3, SMSL go and do something like this... and totally redeem themselves!
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