Tube Amps for Pocket Change

Ever browse Amazon late at night? Like, really late at night? Maybe you’re bored. Maybe you need a new pair of socks, and you go down a rabbit hole. Maybe you’ve downed a fifth of Crown Royal Maple whisky because it’s Tuesday in the middle of February and you’ve broken your leg in two places and the Vicodin is finally kicking in, and OMG, I need a vacuum-tube headphone amp! Just an example. Whatever.

Some part of you realizes, OK, I don’t really need a tube headphone amp. So, what’s the cheapest one I can get that still looks cool— something I don’t mind sitting on my desk while I’m trapped inside for 8 to 12 weeks? (Again, just an example.)

OK, so no more than $50. Hey, there’s one for $50! And that one’s only $35! Hmm, that one’s $68, but look how cool it looks! No, no, no. I won’t spend more than $50.

So, maybe it’s two days later, and maybe you’re zonked out on your sofa three hours into a Real Housewives of Provo marathon because you can’t reach the remote (maybe, whatever), and Amazon delivers $212 worth of headphone amps to your house. Well, now what do you do? You absolutely do not e-mail Rob Sabin and pitch him on a cheap headphone amp roundup. [Oops.—RS]

pw's picture

As long as I have read S&V you have never mentioned Dared Audio or other Asian brands.. I wonder why?

slaytex's picture

Sorry - but I have this product and there is a lot of noise... lots of "electrical" interference. Not great.