I have owned a pair of these years ago and have encourage many others to buy these amps and finally bought another pair for myself and these have got to be the finest deal in the history of AUDIO........What a pair of amps....What you can do with these fine looking built like a tank amps is amazing with a variety of tubes. You can make them perform however you want them to perform they are that flexable. I have also done a couple of systems for some friends using these amps and years later not one issue...just pefect in every way. These should cost 3000.00 but instead they cost 1198.00 ARE YOU KIDDING and all made in the USA not some Chinese JUNK
These have been my primary amplifiers for the past four years and are the best sounding power amplifiers I have ever owned. Better than most of the ultra high priced electronics that I heard at the Home Entertainment Show in Newport Beach last June. I bought these from Soundscape in Santa Rosa, CA which along with Shelley's in Woodland Hills, CA are stores that still provide great customer service and vast product knowledge. The owner of Soundscape Marc Silver carries a wide selection of products including Nola (the new Alon) and Quicksilver which gives him the knowledge to know the compatibility of these products. I experimented with both the 4 ohm and 8 ohm taps and using the 4 ohm taps provided the more natural sound. Bass is a little light because I am using 87db speakers however, there seems to be enough power to handle the orchestral and big band music at reasonable volumes. I replaced the original el34 tubes with a set of kt77 tubes and this seemed to provide a little more bass. The midrange is the strength of these amplifiers and gives a certain bloom that makes me understand after all of these years why tubed electronics are so popular. The Mini Mites are also auto bias which make these amplifiers as easy to use.
I did have problems with the amplifiers about eight months into my first year of ownership which turned out to be a malfunctioning tube. I started ordering tubes from a company called Tube Depot and once I replaced the tubes the problems went away. A couple of weeks ago I ordered some other tubes from Tube Depot which gave me the opportunity to tube roll. This is also great about Quicksilver products, Mike Sanders the owner/designer answered the telephone at 8am and gave me advice on what to order. I was initially going to try the much more expensive kt88 or kt90 tubes, however he said even though they would work, the Mini Mites were designed around the el34 tubes so those would work the best although the kt77 and 6l6 tubes would also work extremely well. Based on my limited experimenting the kt77's provides the best bass while the el34's provides the most magical midrange.
Quicksilver carries a number of products all reasonably priced by high end standards. Quicksilver also seems to cater to the consumer rather than the high end publications so they do not advertise or provide review samples. This is actually great for the consumer because the owner Mike Sanders answers the telephone, (no voicemail) gives you outstanding customer service. The price of high end gear gets more and more expensive so it is nice to see a company giving you honest value and a lifetime of customer service.
If you need additional information their website is http://www.quicksilveraudio.com.
I've recently gotten back into audio after a nearly decade's long hiatus.
Like many others long-term audio enthusiasts I decided that this time around
I would glean all that I have learned over the years (in my case 25 of them) in
owning a myriad of equipment.
My first purchase was a Linn Classk CD/receiver along with a pair of Linn Kan V speakers. The Classik would turn out to be the centerpiece of my latest system, offering excellent sound as well as a number of very worthwhile features.
In my travels I also purchased an old Systemdek IIX turntable which came with a very nice Grado Reference Platinum MM cartridge, and a short time later found a lightly used Sumiko Blue Point Special MC cartridge to use when I was not listening to the Grado.
I have long enjoyed tube audio gear and wanted to purchase a pair of low powered tube monoblocks to incorporate into my system. Since my last pair of tube mono's were the Quicksilver 8417's I decided to give QS a call and settled on a new pair of their mini mite monoblocks.
During my search I also learned of another pair of low powered (25wpc) tube monoblocks from Antique Sound Lab, which I also decided to purchase -- since I listen to this system for several hours a day -- and wanted to give the amp's a rest every now and then. Given the affordable price of these amplifiers I was able to afford to pairs of monoblocks for considerably less than many stereo tube amplfiers would have cost. And the fact that they are beautifully built is an another added bonus.
As it turns out both the Quickies and the ASL Wave 25's are superb sounding amplifiers which faithfully honor the music, while mating up quite well to the preamplifier section of my Linn Classik CD/receiver (or as I like to call it the Swiss Army Knife of High End Audio).
I've owned enough systems over the years to know that this one's a keeper.
I enjoy every moment of listening pleasure and no longer agonize as I used to
in considering all of the money that I once had tied up in hi-fi gear.
If the reader is considering a low power tube amplfier and has a pair of fairly efficient speakers (88db@1watt or higher), the QS Mini Mite and ASL Wave 25 quite literally no brainers.
If you read Sam Tellig's review in the March 2001 Stereophile, you probably won't be suprised by my way-positive review of the great tube amps. I'll just add a few commentos of my own anyway, thank you, thank you verrry much.
I recently moved into a much smaller listening room which I am able to customize a bit more than previously by adding some room treatment, dedicated AC, etc. When a pair of the Mini-mites came up for sale locally in Arizona, I jumped at the chance to check them out, and bought them after a (very) brief listening session - I didn't need a ton o' time to decide, that's for sure! They had EL-34s in them, and since I didn't have anything else around, that's how I've listened so far.
After settling them in my rack, I powered them up for 45 minutes, and put on Loreena McKennitt's "the mask and mirror" CD. Well, I've read the Quicksilver reviews, had some other good tube stuff in here, but let me tell you, I was pleasantly suprised!
First, and this is maybe too simple but it's true - they just sound right musically. They sound like music. No strain, no ooh-ahh highlighting of any one facet, just good music, flowing out with ease. Loreena's stellar vocal, backed by violin, cello, classical and Coral sitar guitars on the CD's 3rd cut "The Dark Night of the Soul" came in from out of nowhere, with incredible space and depth, revealing nuances I'd never heard before. Similarly, Nancy Griffith's "Southbound Train" from the CD FLYER gave up new vocal inflections and loads of gorgeous detail I had not heard before. The Mites replaced a very good Bedini 100/100 Class A amplifier that had been modified and rebuilt by Gary Bedini a year or so ago, and the 100 was no slouch at detail and air. But somehow, the Mites made everything come alive with (as Sam T calls it) that "lit from within" glow. And all this detail did not come with etch or stridency. In fact, I found I could listen longer without fatigue, even to recordings that I used to have to dole out in smaller portions. Make no mistake, there's no rounding off of highs, no roll-offs at all that I could detect. There's a magic happening here that just flat-out makes you want to listen more.
One of my guilty pleasures is progressive rock music - The Flower Kings from Sweden are my latest "find". Their music is awe-inspiring, but let me tell you, the recordings are awe-ful. Take "Stardust We Are", perhaps their masterpiece recording from a few years back. Compressed, smashed, thin, edgy - you get the picture. Through the Mites, all the detail was there, but presto - I could sudddenly listen to whole epics, and there was some actual SPACE around instruments! No audiophile experience, but plenty listenable.
You can roll lots of different tubes with these - they're self-biasing - and I'm looking forward to doing that shortly & will report back. I'm also driving them with a McCormack Passive pre - supposedly this is a no-no, but I can't hear any issues at all. Hmmmm...
No downside musically that I've found yet....OK, they are only 25 watts, so you can overdrive 'em, but they play suprisingly loud without strain, even on my not-so-efficient B&W CDM1SEs. But then I am in a smaller room. Compared to an SE amp - the Decware SE84C is the only one I've had personal experience with - these seem to me to be more....honest, musically. I know SE is all teh rage, and maybe I didn't spend enough, but the Decware got too syrupy for me - the midrange sound is cool at first, but over time became irritating to me.
I can't recommend these enough - look at the price, take a listen, and I think you'll feel the same way. How does Quicksilver/Mike Sanders do it? Who knows, who cares, but keep it going Mikey!
Seeing as how no one has taken the plunge and taken the time to write a review of these fine little monoblock amps, I'll go ahead and stick my neck out.
I bought these amps to save my aging and rare Lumley monoblock amps. Going from large 85 lbs.each 150 watt monoblocks to 20 lb.25 watt monoblocks was going to be pretty interesting. But hey, the Quicksilvers allow you to "tube roll" and they take EL34s, KT88s, 6550's and my newly found favorite, the 6L6. Anyway, let's get into the review...
These are great amps! I am not saying this to make myself look like a genius for buying them. These are the most under rated and under appreciated amps in the land of stereo. Now, there are certain caveats in these amps but if you correct these, you will be one happy listener!
I got these about 3 weeks ago. I know that that is not long enough for a review but I have been playing the snot out of these amps for that time. They have shown me nothing but the professional attitude of a true performer. The EL34s that came with the amps are a great tube for transparency in listening, but lack a little kick in the bass. I have used KT88s and wow, the bass was there (and this is no joke, these have some serious slam for a small 25w tube amp) but the transparency in the midrange was just a bit off, to me anyway. To the rescue comes The Tubestore with a matched quad of 6L6 tubes. Well, let me say the transparency is there in spades and the bass as well. Mike Sanders of Quicksilver is right too, about using silver for speaker wire. I am using silver and it really opened up the sound of the amps. The soundstaging is wide and deep.
The final caution is speakers. Hey, this is 25 watts! I am using Soliloquy 5.3s and they are loving these amps. Get some speakers that are fairly efficient and easy to drive and you will find that for a $1000 new you will have quite the amps.
Lastly, I would like to echo the statement made by Sam Tellig in Stereophile. Though I often disagree with high end magazines, I am in complete agreement on this and that is his statement about how much these amps sound like single ended triode amps, or SET. I recently tried some Cary 300B monoblocks and I was not as bowled over as I expected to be. Now here I am listening to amps that are a third of the price of the Cary and I am much happier with the music I am hearing. The highs are delicate and airy, the midrange is warm and "lusty", and Lord, there is bass! The music is some of the best I heard! It all can be summed up by a comment made by my wife tonight. She heard me playing an Eva Cassidy CD and she asked me why I put the Lumleys back into the system. I asked why she thought that. She pointed to the Quicksilvers and said, "You mean those little things are giving you that much music? With the 'size' here (she means a large and expansive soundstage) I thought the Lumleys (at 150 watts) were playing".
I think that helps sum it up.
Oops, one last downside to the amps but it is easy to deal with. The amps have a barrier strip as opposed to binding posts. Just use smaller spades, or do like I did and take the Dremel tool to the plastic "walls" on the strip. Carefully grind away the unnecessary plastic and large spades can fit right in. I also heard the Mike Sanders of Quicksilver might have some adapters for the barrier strips if you use large lugs so you might want to check there first.