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Miniwatt N3 Tube Amplifier - Silver

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • Miniwatt N3 A minimalist integrated amplifier with one pair of RCA inputs and a passive volume control to attenuate the output of its enhanced classical tube circuit comprised of a12AX7 (ECC83) twin triode feeding a single EL84 (6BQ5) per channel, and also with our advanced switching power supply to deliver a 3.5 watts output per channel.
  • Power Output: 3.5W+3.5W @ 8 ohms, Response: 30-40Khz (+-1db)
  • Input Sensitivity: 500mV, Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -80dB / 3.5W
  • Dimensions: 130mm (w) x 130mm (d) x 130mm (h)
  • Input: RCA Jacks, Output: Banana Jacks, Comes with 6 foot 7" power cable.

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Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Miniwatt
  • Model Number: N3 - Silver
  • Output Wattage: 3.5
  • Surround Sound Channel Configuration: 2

Product Description

A minimalist integrated amplifier with one pair of RCA inputs and a passive volume control to attenuate the output of its enhanced classical tube circuit comprised of a12AX7 (ECC83) twin triode feeding a single EL84 (6BQ5) per channel, and also with our advanced switching power supply to deliver a 3.5 watts output per channel. Both 12AX7 and EL84 are legendary tubes, and their warmth and sparkling 3-D sound has charmed audiophiles and musicians for over fifty years now. This classical tube combination keeps growing in popularity after four decades, and we combine this classical tube circuitry with our advanced switching power supply technology, and it boosts up the performance to another level. miniwatt N3 comes with a TungSol 12AX7 and a platinum matched pair of Sovtek EL84 as stock tubes. TungSol 12AX7 is the Ultimate 12AX7, it sounds big, warm, and musical, and electrically high Gain, ultra-low microphonics, and superb linearity with a dynamic 3-D sound. The Tung-Sol 12AX7 has the gain and drive of a Chinese 12AX7 and the pure tone of a Mullard or Brimar from the U.K. Additionally, the filaments construction of TungSol 12AX7 is specially designed that it's almost completely encased in the plate structure. They don't "light up" brightly when working properly. The Sovtek EL84's in platinum matched pair, and the platinum matching process consists of a 24-hour tube burn-in period followed by a bias (plate) current measurement in milliamps. It produces a smooth, warm and mellow sound. With our constant current drain topology, you can play tube rolling by simply replacing the power tubes - EL84 with a matched pair, and as long as the power tubes are matched you don't need to adjust the bias. On the tube rolling front, there are quite a few brands of new or new-old-stock (NOS) EL84s and 12AX7s on the market and at relatively reasonable prices. You can even get various NOS tubes (Telefunken, Mullard, Siemens...). Enjoy and have fun with miniwatt N3!

Product Information

Shipping Weight 8 pounds
Manufacturer Miniwatt
ASIN B004WX75HW
Item model number N3 - Silver
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #1,850 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater > Home Theater Systems > Receivers & Amplifiers > Amplifiers
#6,752 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater > Stereo System Components
Date first available at Amazon.com April 15, 2011

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OK, unlike some of the other reviewers, who seemed awed by the performance of this amp because it is the first tube experience for them, I should say that I am very familiar with tube amp sound. It is in most cases far superior to the "overprocessed" sound of a transistor amp, for all the reasons made abundantly clear to your ears when you audition. Yes I was a transistor guy since the 70s who drank the "more watts is better" koolaid, but became a tube amp convert once the inexpensive and good quality tube amps from China started to become available, like Consonance, GLOW, and Jolida. There is also the Norh SE-9 from Thailand that is far superior to the Miniwatt in every respect.

This Miniwatt amp is descent, and will embarrass a lot of the Onkyo, Harman, Yamaha, and Denon solid state/home theater behemoths out there. The reason the transistor amps have so many tone and loudness contours is because the tonal balance shifts when the volume is changed. You end up losing your bass at lower volumes. You have to constantly tinker withthe tone controls. Notice tube amps don't have tone controls. Tube amps retain the tonal balance much better than transistor amps. And with fewer gain stages, tube amps don't need near as much negative feedback to control distortion. Hook up a pair of efficient speakers with a low watt tube amp and you will be shocked at the subtle details it will reveal. Without all the transistor hash and

That said, this is a lot of bang for the buck. However, it runs hot, it has no tube cage to protect small fingers, the tubes are too close and the chassis is too small to dissipate heat. If you can afford the upgrade, go with the well regarded GLOW Audio Amp One. It also comes with a built-in DAC.
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I still love my Miniwatt N3 after 11 months of use. I have a Miniwatt N3 paired to a set of 3 way fluance speakers of all things. The audio is currently driven from a mac book pro running fidelia, VLC and audacity. I listen to my audio DVDs, SACDs, Vinyl ripped to flac, APE, and several other HDTracks, and HDRadio, 1080 Youtubes, and sometimes other 256kbps streams. The amp is clean and pure. I can clearly hear and feel the difference between the various audio inputs. This little 3.5watt amp is able to establish a crisp and clear sound stage in my listening room which measures 20 ft x 15 ft and has a large leather sofa, a large leather sitting chair and hardwood floor. I remain totally surprised by the sound that comes from this little amplifier. It far surpasses the audio from circuit board amps of which I have heard many. The amp is powered from house mains at 120 VAC (varies between 121.8 VAC and 117.2 VAC) I do not have heavy equipment running so normal house wiring suffices, no need to run an isolated circuit. There is absolutely no hum and I am utilizing the standard three prong into a belkin power strip to watch for lightning strikes and the like. I've wired the amp with 8ohm, 6ohm and 4ohm. 4 ohm provides me with the warmest sound. I am running about 10 feet of 16 gage copper stranded wire speaker wire. I imagine the sound stage would improve if I went for high end speaker wire and reduced the wire length. But my next buy will be a tube preamp and debut iii turntable. This shows one doesn't need to spend more than $1,500 to have amazing sound. Yes, this provides amazing sound. I have compared to the wonderful peachtree, the marrantz running logan ESLs and paradigm. This setup is far more balanced across the strectrum and provides the room that astonishes all my guests.Read more ›
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I bought one of these from the manufacturing partner in China APPJ for $228 on ebay, thinking hmm, scam maybe, but roll the dice. I am knocked out by this thing. It may be as the other reviewers said, it's my first experience with tube amps, and that's true. This is my first step into any high end stereo equipment. I wasn't sure what I'd be able to get out of it, given that I don't have any real speakers - I ripped two out of a defunct RCA home theater system that I bought for $150 including 5 DVD changer and 5 speakers + a subwoofer. I would estimate I attached $8 of speakers and my old school ipod. It still sounds amazing! I've heard things in the music that I never have before. Over time, I'm going to upgrade the whole lot, but this is a perfectly fine place to start, well worth the money. It will get you excited about music again.
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