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Nov 26, 2022
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Vancouver British Columbia Canada
I am interested in finding a relatively inexpensive (-$1000 U.S.$) tube amp, that sounds great with the Motion 40i's. Five or six years ago, I bought a pair of ML Motion 40 speakers. I was using an older Musical Fidelity A3.2 dual mono integrated amp, with about 120 watts into 8 ohms. The combination was absolutely outstanding! I mostly listen to jazz, female vocalists, and some classical/"world" music. I've just upgraded to the new Motion 40i series. I want to try my first tube amplifier. I'm 73, and began seriously playing (hi-fi) & listening to music, when I was just out of high school. Over all these years, I've heard how great tube equipment is, and anything not analog, is a waste of time. It's as can't be an audiophile, if one doesn't use vinyl...only. But that's a discussion for another time.

There does seem to be some level of consensus, that tube amplification makes the music more "real." Words like" warm, soft, musical, rich, tubey, organic, and "euphonically distorted." Anyway...One amp I looked at was the Cayin MT-35. But it sells for $1,000 U.S., which is about $1300 Canadian. Then I've seen a few reviewers give great reviews on the Boyuurange amps, which, if I deal directly with China Hi-Fi, I can get for $350-600 Canadian! I'd be interested to hear feedback especially on the Bouyuurange, "range" like the
A-50 and the MT-34. Also, I've heard some good things about Yaqin tube amps as well.

Many thanks, for any help in getting me into tube amplification. I'm an older gent who is now living on a crappy Canadian pension. bucket list is a fair bit shorter than many, and the bucket itself, has been springing wee leaks more of late. Thanks again!
G'day Alan P, greetings from down unda, and welcome to MLO!

I've not had direct experience with the speakers you have but have had auditions with the Electro Motion 60 series at my ML dealers store. He was using ARC (Audio Research) amplifiers, obviously had no issues with these speakers. I currently use a full array of Conrad Johnson amplifiers to drive CLX's and the level of synergy is superb! There's nothing lacking.

In the past I've used Cayin and Prima Luna amps with Maggie's MGIIIA. It was not too shabby, the Cayin portrayed a nice soundstage, with good depth and fairly detailed presentation. That was the KT88 tubes 100w integrated version, which I found had more drive factor compared to the little Cayin EL34 integrated amp that I also had. The EL34 suited better with small monitor type speakers, like Wharfdales or the Quads.

The Prima Luna integrated (KT88 version) delivered a further layer of definition, greater dynamics and controlled the Maggie's more successfully compared to Cayin. These were the only two I've had experience with coming out of China. All three integrated amps were sold back to the dealer from where I had purchased, since he had come across a customer who was specifically looking for these amplifiers.

A 50w or 100w tube amp using either KT88's or a bank of EL34's shouldn't have an issues in driving the 40i's. As long as their power supplies are designed well and the amplifier is capable of good current. Using such Chinese made gear is not an issue as long as the amplifier is well designed or at least meets the basic criteria of a good designed output stage.

If it's possible to audition before you commit that would be the ultimate test then you can determine whether it's a good match or not.

There's one other brand from China that I found quite good and that was Line Magnetic. They make some pretty decent gear and recently I auditioned an Avant Garde Horn system driven by a simple integrated version of a Line Magnetic. At only 35w the highly efficient AG horns worked quite well. However, this is very high efficiency around 110dB at 16 Ohms, so quite a breeze to drive...

For what it's worth, check out the other integrated versions of Line Magnetic, I found their design to be superior to Cayin and Prima Luna. They might cost bit more but you may come across a few good deals.

Hope that helps. Let us know how it goes.

Cheers, RJ