Customer Reviews

36
4.1 out of 5 stars
Qinpu Q-2 Hybrid Integrated Amplifier
Price:$99.00 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2009
Verified Purchase
First impressions:
1) it's well built mechanically. All aluminum chassis, tight fitting knobs etc.
2) the output noise (with the input shorted) is on the loud side
3) the vacuum tube is used only as a pre-amp to the monolithic power stage (which looks like a cheap TDA integrated amp). The online info is very vague in this area (what is a hybrid amp?), so I'm a little disappointed in that regard. Nevertheless, the tube injects the pleasant sound coloring one expects from a vacuum valve amp.
4) the tube is barely warm (no hard driving), which means that it will last forever (a typical vacuum lamp loses its parameters after several hundred/thousand hours of operation).

In the end, the Q2 thingie is an inexpensive tabletop amp with a tube to color its sound.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2009
Verified Purchase
I bought the Qinpu Q2 after reading some reviews on headwize and other sources while looking for a small tube amp for my iPod in my office. This got pretty good reviews so I thought I'd give it a shot, especially for the money.

I have not been disappointed--it's been excellent, easily driving my old Sennheisers (HD410SL) and also some altec lansing speakers that I had lying around.

The stock tube is Chinese, and while perfectly listenable, I happened to have a Russian NOS 6n3. The Russian tube makes this little amp so musical, I find myself thinking about it when I'm at home with my Ming-Da 7R! I can't wait to try it with one of my Western Electric NOS 396A tubes to see if it can be even better (doubt it, though--I prefer Russian tubes on my Ming-Da over the WEs).

In short a great deal and amazingly great sound for a hybrid tube amp. Now if only I can find an amp this cheap that uses 6n6 Russian tubes!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2012
Verified Purchase
Let me preface this review by stating that I am not an audiophile. So that means a lot of what I will be talking about here will not have any fancy buzzwords because that's not what I think about when listening to music. I will just be thinking about what sounds good or bad from a laymen's point of view.

The Qinpu Q-2 was brought to my attention after searching for "entry-level" amplifiers. A user at Head-Fi writing a review recommended the product since it delivered good sound at a good price.

The set-up I am temporarily running at the moment is the stock audio on a Gigabyte P55-USB3 motherboard with the volume out set to 75% and inputted into the Qinpu Q-2's line-in jack. The headphones I am driving are Sony MDR-XB1000s. But I also tried out my Sony Marqii, Sony MDR-V-6, Sony MDR XB700s, and SkullCandy Aviators.

What I noticed straight away while using this amp is how much more alive my music sounds when driven through this amplifier. The left and right channels seem to separate much more clean, and differing frequencies are able to find a place in the left and right earcups of all the headphones I've tried.

My musical taste, while spanning many East Asian countries (Japan, Philippines, South Korea, China, etc.) including the U.S., mainly settles around R&B and rap. I feel like having this amp really made the bass thumps, snare snaps, and vocals shine very well. I also have a few several alternative rock tracks that I've run through the amplifier and think that they equally sound exquisite. For the music that I want to run through the amp and how it drives my headphones, I am totally satisfied with what I have bought in terms of audio quality.

However, there are a couple of things about this amp that I am none too pleased about.

Firstly, I wasn't pleased with the packaging of the amp. It's not so much Amazon (or whoever I bought it from), but whoever actually handles packing the unit into its box. A foam shroud covered the amp with two cell-foams flanking it. That's fine, but after I removed the shroud, I saw that the tube was out of its socket and leaning left considerably. I imagine this could have been damaged with a really negligent service carrier. But it ended up working in the end, and maybe my experience was a fluke.

Secondly, I have gripes with the build quality. When you look at the amp superficially with a passing glance, it looks fine. But if you take the time to look at it a bit, there are little things that can be bothersome. The most egregious problem is the audio jacks (in and out). They can be moved around a bit and actually causes sound distortion and audio cutting in my line-in. Another one is the tube socket; it's leaning a little to the left so the pre-amp tube is not perfectly centered. Maybe this was caused by the tube coming loose during shipping.

Obviously, the problems I have with the build quality may not be representative of all units. But, I think presentation is a big part of buying a product, even for nutjobs who want to take the time to examine it real close. I will say (just to not be a total downer on build quality) that the volume knob feels quite nice and the look of the amp itself is better than average.

So overall, I think I can give this amp a cautionary recommendation to someone who wants to take a little step towards better audio quality. At its attractive pricing, I feel this amp allows someone to get their feet wet in the sea of higher end audio and see if they want to go into the ocean. Possibly, units on average don't have the couple of build quality issues that I have. And, I think the sound I get out of these, the most important part of course of an amp, is very good for my non-audiophile ears.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2010
I have been wanting to add a tube amp to my PC for some time, but most cost about $400-$600.00, or more. This little amp goes perfectly with my Sennheiser HD600 headphones. At only a little over $100.00, it is a great value!!! The music sounds beautiful, warm, and lovely, just what I expected from a tube amp. Great product!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
Verified Purchase
I wanted a nice desktop amp for my new ATH headphones, and this seemed like a nice cheap option, and cool looking as well. I ordered it from Head-Direct, and after about 14 days of waiting for the damn thing to deliver from Hong Kong, it finally arrived completely shattered, bent up, and wet (it hadn't even rained in 2 days!). Of course I returned it, and Head-Direct was prompt in giving me a refund. I instead ordered it from Kraft Audio and they sent it quickly and safely.

This thing is really nice. It cleanly puts my audio up to my threshold of pain, not that I leave it there, but it proves that it has a lot of power. It rounds out the sound, increases soundstage, and looks way cool. Everybody asks about it, and I love showing it because the results in sound are very audible. If you are considering stepping into the realm of tube amplifiers, this is a nice start. It is not a true tube amp in that the vacuum tube itself only powers the pre-amp, but it doesn't make a difference to me at my level. Also if you're going to get this, the Chinese tube it comes with functions just fine, but other tubes such as GE-5670 will improve the sound even more. Buy this, but avoid Head-Direct if you can.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2011
Verified Purchase
I bought the Q-2 specifically to use as a headphone amp, so I can't really say how it works with speakers. That said, with a decent pair of low impedance headphones, I think it sounds amazing. The first unit I received had some serious problems; it sounded like something was loose inside, and it made a horrible buzzing noise. That nearly did it in for me, but I swapped it out for a replacement unit, and I am glad I did. It sounds tons better than when I hook my headphones up to my receiver, and I have a pretty nice receiver. The only change I made was replacing the stock Chinese tube with a JAN GE 5670. Does it make a difference? Heck, I don't know. Saw it recommended in a review, and I am impressionable, so I did it. Currently I am running my old Onkyo iPod dock into it, as well as a Denon DVD-2910 for SACDs. Both sound really good, but the iPod really shines on this little baby. This is the first tube amp I have ever owned, and while I am a neophyte to the technology, and I am sure that there are much better-sounding options, for $99 this can't be beat. Go ahead and get one; I think you'll be glad you did.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2011
Verified Purchase
Right now I'm listening to the Dianne Reeves " I Remember " cd and I'm amazed. I mean totally blown away by the Qinpu Q-2. I'm so impressed with this little amp that I'm thinking about getting the Q-3. It's that good. First let me say that I purchased the Q-2 as a headphone amp for my Sennheiser headphones. This combination has given so much more detail to the music it's unbeliveable. I'm hearing things I've never heard from familiar music. And then, I said just for kicks, let's see if it can push my maggies. The Q-2 is rated at 2.5 watts a channel into 8ohms. Thats 5 watts to my 4ohm maggies so lets see. And all I can say is wow. No it doesn't compare to the hybrid tube amp that normally powers the mmg's, however, what this little amp dose right it really gets right. I have the Q-2 connected to a Sony discman, and my mmg's, for a bedroom, or office with a nice pair of bookshelf speakers this is a great buy. They might even get me to buy a pair of those Qinpu speakers. I'm that intrigued...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2011
Verified Purchase
I'm using this to power my Creative T10 PC Speakers on my computer.

I always thought my speakers were crappy and I was prepared to spend $200 or more to upgrade them.

Then I bumped into this guy on Amazon and decided to give it a try.

Welp! now I know that it wasn't the speakers that sucked.

The result is amazing!

I'm also using it for my Grado sr60 headphones and the the sound is incredible!

Consider upgrading your amp, before spending money on speakers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
Verified Purchase
I've had these driving my spare Tannoys for a few days playing music and movie/games out of it. It is nice and beefy and has plenty of power.

But I mainly bought these initially as a headphone amp and there are several issues. From what I can tell, the speaker stays on when you plug the headphones in. Huh? This is kind of a /fail. I have to disconnect the speaker cables if I want to only hear out of the headphones. There should be a auto switch to shut off the speakers if you have headphones connected.

Headphone amp is okay... It strains to drive my more higher end headphones. I own several including a Denon AH-5000 and AKG 702s as well as a few others. But driving my AKG 240's and a fairly high end "gaming" headphones by Razor, it was fine.

If you're not looking to drive expensive, power hungry headphones, these sound natural and fine for the price I paid. It really shines more as a stereo amp which it excels!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2012
Verified Purchase
Even though I've known for years analog equipment sounds superior (have tube powered guitar amps, pure analog synthesizers) this is my first foray into tube hifi. Bought this amp the same time I bought some good Audio Technica cans and oh my god. Why did I wait this long? What an improvement in sound detail and warmth!
Don't waste your money on anything sold at BestBuy or the CrApple store. It's all disposable garbage.

Being a Chinese made amp I was a bit concerned if this little guy would have a nice finish. It's gorgeous. Perfectly painted red transformer, perfectly brushed satin deck, and very nice volume pot. I know this isn't pure vacuum powered, but even with just a tube powered preamp section it will still put a smile on any music lover's face.

A warning though. This is merely a gateway purchase for the pure tube powered Chinese amps. Next for me will be something from Ming Da. Most of their amps are pure tube powered and get this, hand wired!

No regrets with this purchase. I'm still mad I didn't get one sooner. 99 bucks? You won't be disappointed.
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