Just got a MT-604 review unit from Apos, a loaner I have to give back, and I’m honestly getting strong out of the box impressions with sound quality.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they have a very pleasant color coming through the tubes more than the TA-30 I have, at any angle I try to look between the two. Now, I do wonder if that glow is purely due to lights installed, and not actually tubes warming up (since, when I turned on the 604, the orange light was IMMEDIATELY brightly glowing; and tubes need time to warm up and glow brighter, in past experiences with my TA-30). Or maybe the filaments are just genuinely glowy? I gotta switch tubes to see what happens, but I think it’s just lights. Still very pretty!
I normally use a Xduoo TA-30 ($700 retail, often $600 on Drop), so my point of comparison is pretty strong already. Not to mention, my TA-30 has maybe $100 or more of tube replacements.
And yet, even before tube rolling the 604, I’m almost not inclined to bother switching them out to say that I enjoy what I get from it. And the thing is only what…$170?
I was only going to make an impressions video, but now I feel I have to record full fledged demos of the 604 with stock tubes, and my TA-30 with my favorite tubes. I gotta share sound samples in a video so people can hear for themselves what I’m hearing - that is, this cheap entry level priced tube amp may just be the best bang for the buck.
The only caveat may be, and I haven’t discovered yet if this is true, that the 604 may not respond to tube rolling as noticeably as the TA-30, because the 604 is not a full tube amp but a hybrid solid state and tube. Amps with solid state components are said to be less “tubey” than pure tube driven gear.
I don’t have small tubes that fit in this gear though, so rolling may be difficult for now
More thoughts to come in an official video review with demos!!