the Wonderful Wacky World of taobao

Now this kit amp is actually meant for another tube (6N1 and 6P14), but looking at its schematic, I have no interest in building it. I was more interested in using its irons for my Gina – SV83 SE amp.

Out of all the kit amps, I chose this as it has everything needed for Gina – 3x 9-pin sockets, 1 octal socket, power transformer of right voltage, output transformers of right impedance/size and even a choke too.

So retaining only the stainless steel chassis (which is obviously very strong) and all the parts that I want, I set about to work on it.

Note : There are some cost cutting efforts. The speaker binding posts are terrible. I managed to break a few when installing them. I know I’m strong but not this strong. The wooden side panel doesn’t have guiding holes so could be a pain to align with the chassis. The stainless steel chassis could give you some cuts if you are not careful… you have been warned…

Anyway, mounted heavy stuffs, wiring of filaments and Power transformer secondaries.


95% done. Slight deviation from my Gina circuit – the usage of a small capacitor to boost up B+ a wee bit, 1 choke instead of 2, electrolytic 100+100uF capacitor since I can’t fit in 2 big plastic caps here plus judicious usage of 0.01uF oil caps to compensate for this.




There you have it! An all-Chinese production.


Horn speaker kit made in China, assembled in Malaysia by a Malaysian Chinese, finished by another Malaysian Chinese.
Tube amp kit made in China, assembled in Malaysia by a Malaysian Chinese with own circuit.

Actually, that’s not true. The full range driver Merrill DCA4 was designed by the late Dave Merrill from the USA but its rights now owned by yours truly here.


Sonic wise, what can I tell you?

First the horns. Together with the Merrill DCA4, it’s like it’s made for each other! I have never heard the DCA4 sing so well! My apprehension when I first bought this horn kit is “how much bass can we coax out of the DCA4?” Don’t forget, we are talking about a 4 incher here…

Gabriel told me there is nothing to worry about. True enough, I have never heard a finer sound coming from the DCA4! This is so true, many a full range drivers had been described as having sonic flaws, but put in a proper horn and she will give you a hard on! [An indescribable pain hits me each time I see a full range driver installed in a bass reflex. Nurse! More morphine!]

If you close your eyes, you will think you are listening to a much larger pair of speakers. The horns truly liberate the drivers and make a mockery of its 4 inch size. And if you want more bass, you know it’s time to get a BIGGER horn.

Dimension of this horn. Horn length of 129cm.


Considering most horn speakers score low on WAF and most guys meekly settling for small bookshelves… well, what’s your excuse now?!


Now on to the amp.

2W is plenty here
The amp kits’ irons are really up to par. I have said before elsewhere on this site and I’ll say it here again. It’s so much easier to wind small output transformers, so all things being equal, small output transformers give tremendous value.

This kit is no exception. Sonics wise I really can’t find anything to fault. Yeah, yeah, Gina’s circuit is solid or you could say the irons here are really good, or you could say Gina’s circuit and yours truly’s ears are full of shit. Your choice.

Anyway, the amp kit plus other components I put in… cost less than a pair of decent output transformers out there. What does this say about off the roof bang-for-your-buck value?


So there you have it! A little intro to what could be found on the Wonderful Wacky World of taobao…

Bookshelf horn kit

6P14 tube amp kit


  1. Andrew January 28, 2017
    • yeo January 30, 2017
  2. Fauzi Saad March 3, 2017
    • yeo March 4, 2017
      • Fauzi March 6, 2017
        • yeo March 6, 2017
          • Fauzi Saad March 29, 2017
          • yeo March 29, 2017
  3. Phil April 5, 2017
    • yeo April 5, 2017

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