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  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Looking for some advice/education from people familiar with the Miniwatt/APPJ amps

    Good Afternoon Everyone,

    After toying with the idea of buying a small tube amp for my work office, I finally broke down and picked up one of the small 3 tube APPJ models. Despite my apprehension about buying anything on eBay, especially from China, it turned out to be a great little amp, at an almost unbeleivable price.

    I love the sound, and after experimenting with some different kinds of tubes I personally think it sounds as good as anything I have at home, and my whole little work setup cost less than the A/C cord on some of those things

    My question to anyone more familiar with these amps than I am, regards the speaker hookups on the back. As anyone who's seen one of these knows, there are 4, 6, and 8ohm connections, and I am not sure Im using the correct ones. I have 8 ohm rated speakers, and I'm using the 8 ohm port, but from what little I have been able to find about these small amps, the jacks seem to be more about the load on the speaker, than matching specs.

    I'm using cheap-o Polk T15's, which are just the Best Buy version of the R15, so they aren't exactly the most efficient speakers in the world, but since I listen mostly to classical music, and at very low volumes (I rarely put the volume knob past the 9'oclock position) their sound and size are perfect for my needs.

    So far, everyone I've asked has told me the same thing, just try the different jacks and see what sounds best to me. Personally I don't notice any difference at all no matter what jack I pick, but as someone who works on electronics all day(non-audio, I work on power supplies for aircraft braking systems) I know their must be a formula somewhere to help me pick the correct jack. I could just be acting OCD with my 'toys', but I'm sure someone out there can relate to how I feel, and hopefully provide me with some advice.

    Well thanks in advance to anyone who actually reads this block of text, and thanks again to any one who has tips to offer.

    - Jason
    APPJ PA0901A
    Vintage Telefunken12AX7 Ribbed Plate
    JJ EL84 Matched Pair

    Polk T15 Bookshelf Speakers
    89db
    8 Ohm

    APC LE1200 Line-R 1200VA
    Automatic Voltage Regulator

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
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    Congratulations Jason on the best deal in audio,

    I have the original 4 tube 2.5 watt Miniwatt S1 with the diode mod. It only has the 8 ohm taps but my Dared 2a3c has both. If you have 8 ohm speaker you should use the 8 ohm taps. I use the 4 ohm taps on the Dared only when there's a 4 ohm load. Running 4ohm speakers from the 8 ohm taps will cause the amp to work harder and produce more heat. You can drive 8 ohm speakers off the 4 ohm taps but there's no advantage to be gained.

    My friend has an APPJ N3 like yours and I love the fact that it runs the EL-84 tubes plus it makes one additional watt vs my S1. Driving those Polks will not show how good your little amp can be. You need high efficiency ( 93 db or higher ) full range speakers to get the best from your single ended pint sized wonder. My friend drives Omegas and Tekton 4.5OB with his N3.

    Welcome to the world of single ended triodes which set the standard for resolving detail at low levels. My original Miniwatt was a fine match for the $$$$ Zu's but is even better with my open baffle full rangers.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular
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    Original Miniwatt/APPJ S1

    Here is the S1 with a couple of the full range speakers it's driven in the background.


  4. #4
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Thanks for the reply. I figured leaving everything hooked up the way I have it was best, but like most things there are so many varying opinions on the internet, its easy to start second guessing yourself.
    APPJ PA0901A
    Vintage Telefunken12AX7 Ribbed Plate
    JJ EL84 Matched Pair

    Polk T15 Bookshelf Speakers
    89db
    8 Ohm

    APC LE1200 Line-R 1200VA
    Automatic Voltage Regulator

  5. #5
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Jul 2012
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    Also, to clarify, I'm using the Polk's purely because for one they were free (I stole them from an old home theater setup I had) and second, I work in a very, very small office. The fact that they are small and quiet works in my favor. Even if they were more efficient, they would never get a chance to really sing.

    I have heard the amp at home, hooked up to almost every speaker I own, and most of my friends as well, and I agree with you wholeheartedly, hooked up to the right speakers that little amp can literally blow you away. I love the fact that it's so small and portable, I can bring it to my friends houses and wipe the smile off their faces when they try to make me feel foolish for buying a little "toy" amp.
    APPJ PA0901A
    Vintage Telefunken12AX7 Ribbed Plate
    JJ EL84 Matched Pair

    Polk T15 Bookshelf Speakers
    89db
    8 Ohm

    APC LE1200 Line-R 1200VA
    Automatic Voltage Regulator

  6. #6
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Helotes,TX
    Posts
    771
    Hi Jason, ya, the MW is a pretty cool amp and like PG remarked, is the best deal in audio. I bought a MW earlier this year and rolled some tubes myself and wound up preferring the Sylvania EL84 black plates. About a month ago I took the MW over to my friends home and hooked it up to a pair of Klipschhorns that had been modded with the ALK Fastrack horn. Wow, I was very surprised that the MW was really able to the the Khorns moving as much as they did.

    Regarding your inquiry as to which taps to use, I used the 6 ohm taps with my Dali Ikon 2 mk2 speakers and the 8 ohm taps with my System-Audio Aura 1's. While I could not audibly tell any difference between the taps I used them according to the way they were intended to be utilized.

    I have since parted ways with the MW but not because I felt it to be seriously lacking in SQ. In fact, I preferred the MW over my Rogue Cronus Magnum in every way except for two areas. I have since parted ways with the MW but it's a long story as to why. Anyway, you got a great musical amp even if it does look like a toy.
    My audio lab:
    Qinpu A-6000 MK ll Integrated Amp
    Blue Marble Audio Speaker Wire
    Tannoy Mercury V4
    HHB CDR-850
    Grant Fidelity DAC-11/Phillips 7DJ8 tube

    Parasound Zamp V.3/Parasound ZPre2 Preamp
    Signal Cable Analog 2 Speaker Wire
    Dali Ikon 2 mk 2
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001
    Stello DA 100 Signature DAC

    HT:
    Arcam AVR 200
    Signal Cable Classic Speaker Cable
    Mirage Nanosat
    Rel R-528 Subwoofer
    Marantz SACD/DVD DV6001

    Various power cords, I.C.'s, optical, coax, and analog cables.

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