For the past few months I had been powering my Junior 8 XRS with a Bottlehead SEX amp which puts out around 1.5 watts. Overall its a great sounding amp with efficient speakers and headphones. However replacement tubes for the amp have become scarce and there are limited tube rolling opportunities so I started looking into other more available tube types.
Yeah, Bottlehead SEX is one of amp that really popularized the use of 6EM7 and similar tubes. Unfortunately my SET am also use 6EM7 and I've watching the price of these of these tubes going up in recent years.
Anyway, if anyone here have a stash of 6EM7 tubes lying around and want to get rid of let me know.
While looking for used EL34 amps on ebay I came across several Chinese made offerings from Nobsound and Douk Audio. In particular the EL34 amp made under the JHB Tube brand caught my eye and seemed to be very affordable at $200 + shipping. There were no reviews I could find but there was a return policy so I gave it a shot.
I've seen many Chinese made tube amps on places like eBay. I have admit that even though I know that labor cost is a lot less over there compare to the labor cost here in the US. I mean, what $300USD total with shipping? Still I have to scratch my head of how do they made that so cheap!
It is a bit of a risk I would say even with a good return policy shipping it back from US will cost a lot of money.
Anyway, I wonder how is the quality of the output transformers are? Copper purity, winding tolerance and etc? Beside that I'm interested in how reliable this amp is. Please keep us posted on this.
Also, a little side note... SET circuitry is very simple. You can tinker with it a bit. A simple way and this can have a big impact in sound is try some coupling caps. Of course if you don't like it you can always put the original caps back in. If you assembled the Bottlehead SEX yourself this should be easy for you