Manley Laboratories Stingray Amplifiers

4.71/5 (14 Reviews) MSRP : $2250.00

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Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jeff Harper a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 18, 2007

Bottom Line:   
First offI would like ti sayI have listened to alot of very high end tube gear.Audio Note ,Audion,Audio Valve ect...Push pull,single ended triode stuff coasting $10,000 and up I don't think I will ever be a 9 watt per brick kinda guy with 110 db speakers that sacrifice bass for a high efficantcy raiting ,as some times I like to rock out and I want to hear kick drums and a real bass line like in tommy the cat by Primus.Not all tube gear can meet this demanding chalange.The stingray plays 100% of what evers on your favorite media with compleate transparintcy.It simply plays everything you throw at it very well! Not just clasical or jazz.And it dose it in unselfishly and in abundance.The first thing you notice iswhen you turn up the volume insterments keep there individual space,sound stage just gets wider and deeper and never becomes a confused concoffany of noise.Never dose one insterment over run another,vocals are clear and strong but never in your face .
Attack and decay is stunning the vibrato of horns and strings raise the hair up on the back of your neck it is so real sounding .When my wife came home from work she said who is playing the gutar in our liveing room ? when she saw the new amp she said I never thought it was the stereo it sounded so real. Thanks Jessie Cook! In triode configuration you might think it is a single ended triode amp the details are that stunning,you can easily pick out the fly poo from the black pepper.You can hear every flaw in recordings in older cd's recorded on outdated dac's you can hear digital hic ups when adding tracks and mixing .Ultalinier configuration at the flip of 2 switches it is more forgiving,a little less anolitical and warmer sounding with a slightly larger presentation.The Stingray is really 2 amps in 1 in more than one way.
Forget tube rolling Eve Anna did it for you ,spending hours she really selected the best current stock for you.I could go on and on about this amp all night ,It is way under priced and there is nothing in its class to compair it to it is the best sounding amp under $10,000 and there is a fun factor here other amps can't match.
These amps come to you after days of break in time and Eve Anna never lets one go out that isen't perfact,how do I know this ? Because she saw a small flaw in the silk screen on one of the words on my amp and stopped my order for a day and picked out another one for me .She sent the imperfact one back to production to make it right,I would have never noticed the small flaw but Eve Anna did and dosen't compramise her quality! LAST,THIS AMP NOT ONLY SOUNDS GREAT AND IS ALL i SAY IT IS BUT IS FUN TOO! ISEN'T THAT WHAT IT SHOULD BE ? FUN?

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Purchased At:   venis hifi

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Zkidd a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 3, 2006

Bottom Line:   
For the last 15 years, I have been a "sepratist", that is, I have never owned an integrated amp, and I never was remotely interested in trying one. I was the "piggish" audiophile who believed that separates were the only way to go, and that anything less was "middle fi", and not high end. Well, let us rewind the tape to a few months back when the large powerful monoblock amps and pricey preamp were just not doing it for me anymore. Add to that the fact that the daughter was planning a large wedding, and the money for the high end was just not going to be there for awhile. I was cruising on Audiogon, and saw that Stingray. I am a fan of the EL84 tube, and I was also intrigued by the triode/ UL switch on this piece. I had recently sold the expensive preamp to help finance the wedding,so I had some extra monies to use to purchase this. I did commit the large Audiophile sin in that I purchased without listening, buying purely on recommendations of others I know who have or had the Stingray. I made the purchase from a very nice gentleman off Audiogon, and it was shipped to me well packed.

Okay, sorry about the long story but I wanted everyone to have some background. I was coming from some large 150w (each) monoblock amps to a 25w in triode 50w in ultralinear integrated for gosh sakes! And the preamp section in the Stingray is passive to boot! Oh My Lord! What was I thinking? Could I survive? Well, yes, I could, and have been quite nicely, thank you. This is a MARVELOUS piece of equipment, and it is totally beguiling (in the charming sense of the word). The transparency that the Stingray produces in second to none, and for a small amp with a 50w max output, I get a great sense of bass, soundstage, and dynamics. Yes, there is dynamics! Now, I read one review here where the owner was not too kind to the Stingray. There is no mention as to the speakers that he was using, and too, he did admit it was an early model. EveAnna states in the manual that speakers of relatively high sensitivity are a must, and she is spot on, I have 91db, 4 ohm speakers and I can easlity make my ears bleed, and I am in a room that is 13.5 ft. w by 21 ft. deep and I have 12 foot cathedral ceilings. There is a soundstage that fills this room with ease, and I have DEPTH of soundstage like never before. I have never cranked the volume knob past the 12 o'clock position, so there is plenty left to spare, and this comes from both the triode setting and the U/L as well.

Okay, a few caveats: poor recordings are going to sound poor on the Stingray. It makes no allowances for a cah-cah recording. Feed it a good CD or better yet, some well recorded piece of vinyl, and you, my friend, will be in hog-heaven! And I already mentioned the need for some pretty efficient speakers. But so far, that is the only real "negatives" , if you want to call them that, that I have found. Oh, and no remote so it might mean some additional exercise. But I have found that I rarely need to jump up and change volume.

Okay , let us summarize here...Relatively inexpensive, a switch for triode and U/L, no need to spend a fortune for retubing, a breeze to check and set the bias on the tubes, no need for a separate preamp and hence, more cables and all to mess with the signal, a cool look (IMHO and the spouse's as well), and just darn near the best music I have heard in 15 years! Oh, and let us add that tube rollers need not apply, as EveAnna seems to found the best tubes to use that are still available to the common man, and no need to drop $200 for a pair of exotic 12AT7s, though I guess you could if you wanted to. I never realized the "coloration" I was getting from my other gear, and I am a transparency junkie now. I love listening to all types of music with the Stingray as I can actually understand some lyrics now, I hear crystal like highs, and the bass I get is taught and deep ( it will depend on your speakers however). Add the subwoofer out to your model and there is the full meal deal!

I apologize for the long winded review here. I just wanted folks to know that I am a fan of this piece of equipment, and that I do have some perpective in that I tried, and used, the large power amps for my music reproduction for years, and I find this arrangement to be more refined, and frankly, more "musical". For what it is worth, it is also "cool" to look at the 12 tubes all lit up late at night, especially if you like to listen to msuic in the dark...
Give the Stingray a listen. With good cables, a decent set of efficient speakers (90db or better), this could be a new revelation to you as to how you listen to your music. I know, as it has been to me!

Thanks for your time...

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $1225.00

Purchased At:   Audiogon

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by sbh2t1 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 14, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Astounding amplifier, so good I can never go back to solid state.

Out of the box, the amp sounded great, with an amazing amount of punch, and a lot of beautiful midrange, but my Proac (Reference 8) mini-monitors revealed a slightly hazy image. To be fair, the Proacs have an amazingly detailed soundstage, and are naturally a bit bass lean, so they tend to like detail and warmth.

Things really got incredible when I did some tube switching. I tried a range of tubes, and I made some discoveries.

Trying different output tubes (el-84), I found JJ EL84 tubes to be very punchy and more detailed than stock tubes, but a slight overemphasis of both high and low notes left the midrange a bit recessed. I liked the JJ tubes better than stock, and they may be great with some speakers, but they weren't perfect with my system.

Things really came to life when I tried the Electro-Harmonix EL-84 tubes. Haze was lifted. The midrange came to life, with detail and accuracy that just astounded me. With these tubes, the Stingray started to sound like a very, very high end amplifier- it has the punch of a good solid state amp, and a level of detail and warmth that makes solid state seem unbearable. It becomes difficult to find any weakness.

Switching between different 12at7 input tubes allowed me to fine tune my system. I tried Amperex tubes (good), some RCA black plates (less detailed, less accurate for me) and some Mullard 12at7WA's. The Mullard tubes were the clear winner in my system, with an absolutely beautiful midrange and compelling accuracy. (They are a bit warm- your results may vary, depending on your tastes.) For me, the Mullards brought out warmth that perfectly balances the amps great punch.

I think I spent a whopping $100 on the tubes I'm now using, and the Stingray is a different animal. (Sorry) This amp is a bargain, would be a bargain at twice the price. Highly, highly recommended.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1900.00

Purchased At:   Music Lovers' Audio

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fingerpickerbob a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I bought this amp on ebay from the
person who runs the shipping at Manley.
It was one of two he was selling and
this one was the newer one with the
larger power supply the later ones received. I sold a Bryton power amp/
Coda Preamp combo because although
High powered solid state power amps
have "punch" a piece of solid state
gear no matter what price will have
what this amp has and that is "magic".
I have matched this amp up to a 12 year
old pair of Legacy Focus speakers with
a PD-65 Pioneer Elite transport going
thru a DA-10 Counterpoint D to A converter
with a HDCD card. I also have a Sony Sacd
player and a inexpensive DVD-Audio player
which hooks up nicely.
Let me tell you 50 watts per channel is
plenty unless you are looking to do some
serious headbanging and don't care about
your neighbors.
The "bloom of the notes on acoustic music
is great. If you are a guitar player who
is knowledgeable about tubes you will know
that the EL-84 is a very musical tube, it
is responsible for the sweet Vox tone as
well as many others.
On jazz this amp is extremely true. The
Stingray will make inexpensive SACD/DVD-A
players sound as if you have spent thousands on your gear.
I play mine along with a old Pioneer
intergrated hooked up to a pair of ADC
3 way bookshelf speakers and enjoy many
Cd's in 4 channel. The seperation on
Dark Side of The Moon and the Steely
Dan DVD-A's is enough to make any anal
2 channel purist change their mind.
Not only that it is really cool looking!
Mine has the mirror top finish with an
gold faceplate.
There is something magical about having
the amp and preamp in one body,eliminating
problems between power amp and preamp.
If you are looking for a final purchase
this is it.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   Direct from Manley

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by BOB HILLS a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: April 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
sound clear ,good for rock ,pop ,fusion jazz and blue. is it ennough for u?
my system is
manley stringray int amp
b&w cdm1 se(i gonna change it soon)
musical a3 cdplayer 24 bit
nordost blue heaven intercon..
mit2 speakers cable

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1450.00

Purchased At:   local

Reviews 1 - 5 (14 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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