The Chinese are turning out some scarily good amplifiers for peanuts these days. They are often made by the same factories that make some well known and expensive British and American amplifiers. Indeed the Music Angel mini valve amplifier is available for just over £100 and sells in the USA ( under a different name) for nearly 5 times this amount and gets great reviews to boot! So what is the catch? The main thing to watch out for are 220 volt versions. These are not suitable for use in the UK, although many of the dealers will tell you they are. Insist they sell you a proper 240 volt version, clearly marked by the manufacturer. The problem being that the components and particularly the valves and mains transformers will have a much reduced life when driven by too much voltage. Bear in mind as well that if a fire started from one of these 220 volt amps your house insurance would be void. Also ditch the mains plug provided as these are totally illegal and very dangerous.
I find the Yaqins excellent value for money and sound very good indeed. My favorite amps are the Audioromy. A little bit different, very well made and are a tweakers delight. Stick in some paper in oil caps and they are up there with the best. Don't forget that 20 watts of valve power is equal to 40 watts of transistor. Valve amps also sound much better as a rule then transistor! Chinese Cd players are a different game. Fantastic looks and build quality, but you would be much better off with something from Cambridge audio for sound quality.
Finally beware of using the cheap sea shipping service. By time your amp arrives neither pay pal or ebay will help you if something is amiss.
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