Tube amps make a lot of sound better. All you need to do is plug it in to your sound system and you will be able to get a clear sound that pleases listeners. Whether you’re a guitarist looking for a way to sound good or an audiophile who wants to listen his collection, a tube amp makes everything a lot better.
It can be hard to make a choice from the many tube amps on the market though. Let’s take a look at one of the selections available: the YAQIN MC-10T EL34B*4 Hi-Fi Integrated Push-Pull Tube Amplifier. This large tube amp is an impressive addition to any sound system, though the question is whether it is a smart one.
Let’s begin by looking at the core feature of this tube amp. This is a tube amp that features push-pull amplification. Tube amps are classified into two types: single-ended and push-pull.
In push-pull amps, the power supply connects to two different points. These are the upper and lower end of a primary. This will allow the tubes alternate in operation.
There are three types of push-pull amps. Some of them use the class A operation, which will have current flowing in both tubes but in opposite directions from your output transformer. This prevents core saturation and puts less stress on your tubes.
More popularly though is the use of class AB or B operation. This means that the current alternates between the two connections. This puts less stress on the power tubes. It also results in the elimination of distortion and even order harmonics. This creates hi-fidelity sound like no other.
Besides featuring push-pull operation, this product features the use of four EL34B tubes. That’s a big difference for some people. The result is a brighter warmer sound than your standard EL34 tube. This may not be noticeable in lower volumes, but once you go up, there is a noticeable jump in sound quality.
Not all EL34Bs are equal though. The tubes that come with this amp are pretty generic. If you’re a perfectionist, you may want to buy a new set to further tweak the experience.
Besides this, you can also expect a wider response range from this product. This is thanks to its use of the SRPP preamp circuit, which helps boosts signals so that the tubes can further amplify them.
You’ll want to purchase this tube amp for several reasons.
- Clarity. This product will make you listen to your collection once again. When you plug in your sound system to this baby, you will start to hear the original music in a new light. You’ll hear instruments in the background and small details that you missed originally. A lot of people are happy with the current music that they have but they don’t hear a lot of the details. With this, it will open up a new vista of sound.
- Right Wattage. This tube amp is rated for 45W in its audio output. This may seem small compared to the 110W of some solid-state amps. However, you rarely ever got to use that much wattage. You only need low level current to get the sound that you need for any listening. This ensures that you are not overpaying for anything.
- Warmer Sound. Do you want to hear something like if it was a real-live band? Tube amps like this product can do just that. This is because of the way they are constructed. There is a more responsive feel to tube amps despite them being old-fashioned technology. It also allows the treble and the bass to be heard properly.
- Quality Materials. One of the big features that this product has is that it uses some of the best materials out there. The transformers alone are made from silicon sheet metal, which is tuned to audio purposes, while the enamel wire delivers the current cleanly to the various parts. Even the tubes are all good quality, with E34B tubes an improvement over the basic EL34 ones.
This device is not without its flaws though.
- Big. One of the first impressions that this product will give you is that it is big. You won’t be packing this away in your bag for a gig or carrying to another person’s house. The casing and transformer alone dominate the package. If you were thinking of an amp for your band, then this will be a miss.
- Better for Audiophiles. Another reason why you will not be buying this for your guitar is its design. This product specifically clears out distortions. A lot of modern music nowadays use distortions from amps quite effectively as an added effect. However, this amp will not give you the distortions you want to make your playing unique. What it does well is produce a clear sound, which is exactly what music listeners look for.
- Not Auto Bias. You may want to do some tube rolling to further improve this amp’s performance. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to do that easily. Whenever a new tube is added to an amp, it needs to have the bias changed. Different tubes have different current settings, even if they are the same type. To perform properly, your amp must supply them with the right current. Under bias and over bias can have different effects on the sound that your amp produces and will not be a faithful recreation of the original.
This particular tube amp is a bit too big for you to take on gigs. It also doesn’t help that it is more of a listening amp than a guitar amp. If you like listening to music, then this amp is the one for you. However, if you want to play music with it, you may want to take a pass and choose something else.
Overall, this tube amp is a great buy for those who like sitting at home and listening to music. If you’re willing to pay the price, you’ll have hours of great listening ahead of you.