Muzishare R100 in details

Continuing from where we left off, subsequent detailing of this post is on a R100 amp with 845 tube version. 845 was chosen for our audition model because it is the highest retail value of the tubes among the three (despite 805 version of the amp costing a higher price) and it sits in the middle ground of 211 and 805 in terms of power output. Presumably, it should give quite an accurate sense of the two.

Here is a quick video walk-through follow by the detailed write up that comes after.

The build

First off, R100 is a beast – a monstrous amp that could actually prevent you from excitedly unboxing to try it out, solely because it is that heavy. Weighing in at around 42kg, one needs to be mentally prepared and do some rhythmic breathing in preparation of lifting it out of the thick and rugger double-boxed boxes. Please take note of correct posture in lifting it up, as it does has a serious consequence of hurting your back if not careful. To be safe, get a partner to help. I cannot stress enough, the weight plus the bulk really make it damn heavy to be carried/lifted.

Due to its weight, it is highly not recommended to place it on top of any normal TV console or media rack without proper thickness or approved weight-holding strength. Sometimes prolong sitting it on console or rack may warp them even if they may not break. Placing the R100 on the floor is the best and safest option. If you intend to move it around or plug in and out cables at the back of the amp often, I would recommend to sit it on a heavy duty platform trolley, trolley without handles, so it can look pretty as well as having ease of manoeuvre. You will thank me later.

Done with the heavy lifting, one will instantly be drawn to the thick chassis and gigantic transformers, sources of the majority of the weight. It is definitely impressive to see how well-machined the exterior is being out together. There is no one sharp edges at all, with all corners taken into consideration to be rounded off. That at least gives one a peace of mind knowing carrying it will not dig into the hands and got hurt as a result because of been weighed down.

Above: the cage is constructed from layers of plastics which admirably, shows no signs of warping despite being so near to the intense heat of the 845s.

It is hard not to notice the bulb-like tubes sticking out of the amp. Yet the brawny amp body compliments the pair of 845 perfectly. They will never be hidden because even with a cage on, the R100 will still present the beauty of big triode tubes to be admired. The cage is semi-open, guarding just the side of all the tubes, but covering the top of the preamp tubes of 6SN7s and 12AX7s.

The cage design may split preferences, as some may hope for a fully covered cage to prevent accidental scalding upon touching the giant tubes during operation. In all honesty, a full cage may not save fingers from hurt on prolong touch nevertheless, because the heat from big triode tubes will likely heat the cage hot enough to still cause unpleasant sensation. A full cage also takes away the aesthetic of the glowing tubes (which rightfully deserved to be seen), an ethos Muzishare seems to always uphold in the design of their amps.

The semi-open cage reflects a very modern approach that lends value to the design of the amp. For safe and easy removal, the cage is removed in halves, a symmetrical approach that can be seen right immediately after the entire removal of the cage. Looked metallic but they are not – the cages are fabricated from layers of supposed acrylics finished with excellent metallic and glossy spray.

Amazingly, the cages did not warp or soften despite the close proximity with the hot 845 tubes, a trait acrylic would definitely be susceptible of. It could be a more durable type of plastic I do not know, but is surely a very safe option to leave the cages on for a prolonged period without worrying them warping. Revealing the preamp tubes, a cageless R100 shows the prestigious lineup of the tubes in an orderly and imposing arrangement.

Above: ooze of class from the formidable arrangement of tubes once the cage is removed.

The tubes

Not the biggest, but the 5U4G rectified tube seats right in the centre, leading the eyes to the rest of the tubes impressively. This visual function is almost akin to its electrical function, providing the best of direct currents to the rest of the tubes. And while we are on this rectifier tube, do understand this is a very significant implementation by Muzishare at this price point not implemented elsewhere in other brands like Line Magnetic or Cayin (except the Pro version).

A rectifier tube provides excellent efficiencies in current distributing and stabilising, allowing the tubes to be fed with cleaner and stable current for cleaner signal output. And this provides another channel of sound improvement when rolling rectifier tubes with even better vintage tubes. The presence of this rectifier tube is often overlooked but it holds a great deal to the quality of R100.

Above: the role of a rectifier tube cannot be understated. It allows the rest of the tubes to flourish, and provides an additional channel of sound improvement from tube-rolling.

On the sides of the 5U4G rectifier are a pair of 12AX7 and 6SN7, both being very popular and wonderful-sounding preamp tubes. There are great choices of rolling them with vintage tubes, improving the smoothness and linearity of the sounds even further. Rolling 5U4G, 12AX7 and 6SN7 tubes are not particularly expensive (barring those super rare European variants) yet the sound improvement is a significant upgrade. Because behind them are tubes where their vintage counterparts will cost a huge sum to get hold on that they are better left with the stock tubes. Made no mistake, the stock tubes are from PSvane – already a highly regarded brand of tube for reissues.

Do take extra care in removing the bigger tubes of 300B and 845. There are only 4 pins in them, so the wiggly motion to remove 300B needs to be firm. 845 tubes are SCREWED ON. They are not removed the same way as the rest of the tubes by pulling them out! Remember! Hold 845 tube by the glass and firmly rotate anti-clockwise about a quarter turn. The bottom of the tube will align with the groove and then it can be removed easily.

Above: the glorious glow of the ethereal 845 sitting proudly at the back, with the elegant white-ceramic based 300B planted in front.

The functionalities

On each side of these big tubes are the Hum Balance and Bias adjustment. By selecting to the corresponding bias group on the front panel on the left switch, we can adjust the bias of the 845 tubes to the correct value of 85mA with a test pen, taking reference from the ornate and bright VU meter in the middle of the front panel. Bias adjustment should be done preferably after at least 5 minutes of being switched on so the tubes are hot enough to show a stabilised reading. This adjustment does not need to be done every so frequently unless the 845 tubes are changed.

The same cannot be said for the hum balance adjustment though. This needs adjusting when different speakers of different sensitivity are connected, in addition to the changes of tubes. To and fro fine adjustments will have to be made on both adjustors on each side until the least hum is heard from the speaker cones by placing your ears right up to them. Complete silence is seldom ever possible, so do not get too caught up on that. As long as you heard nothing from your listening position then it is good.

The selector switch is on the front of the panel, seated to the right of a sturdy push button for powering on and off the R100. While the size of the power button is great, having the same size for the bias/VU meter sensitivity and inputs selector is admittedly less than ideal as these selector modes need switching which can be helped with a bigger knob. Presumably, aesthetic reason is probably why Muzishare implemented that, which to be fair, they are seldom touched as well once adjustment is done.

The volume knob, however, is one huge, precise, machined aluminum piece that turns buttery smooth. It offsets the symmetrical look we see on the tubes layout but nonetheless still visually balanced with help from the emphasis of space around the Muzishare logo on the other side. The exquisite and beautiful rounded VU meter right in the middle of the front panel ‘rounds off’ all things circular in front, presenting a delightful sight of high end outlook.

The connections

With the wide selection of inputs available comes the huge plethora of connections at the rear. Particularly high value in performance is the present of both balanced and phono inputs! A truly balanced connection in the entire audio chain can be greatly appreciated by those who played digital files whose DACs may have the option of connecting. This allows for a higher dynamic range as well as an even lower noise floor for a quieter background.

Phono inputs provides vinyl lovers to skip an additional phono stage and cable to go directly from the turntable to the amp with just a single pair of cable! Using external phono stage is often recommended as it performs way better than any built-in preamp most of the time. The MM phono stage in R100 not only saves the cost from getting the extra component, the shorter and more direct signal path within the internal circuit prevent additional noise to be introduced to the sensitive phono signal. One less component means one less complexity for the signal path and also additional money saved for tube upgrades for R100.

Having a balanced and phono inputs greatly heightened the performance value R100. These two components have already been seen in the KT88 tube amp X7, hence it is really not a surprise to see them in the flagship R100. They are not specifications to be taken from granted, however. None of these could be seen built together even in higher-priced amps from other Chinese brands like Line Magnetic and Cayin. While balanced and phono connections may not be utilised by everyone, they are definitely component features that future-proofed your investment subsequently if upgrades down the months or years call the need for them.

A common feature for high-powered tube amp less commonly seen in lower-powered KT88/EL34 amps is the availability of 16ohm speaker taps. Amps like R100 has the flexibility, and voltage muscles, to drive speakers load of higher impedance rating without worry of damaging them with higher currents.

The sound

Finally, how R100 sounds. Knowing how subjective this can get, the following impression is best described in terms of comparison from EL34/5881/6L6GC and KT88/6550 tubes. Basically, one word, marriage. EL34 tubes are known for the delight vocals. KT88s are so superior in power and dynamics. The 845s in R100 driven by 300B are almost like a perfect marriage between EL34 and KT88 WITH even added improvements!

Vocals are sweet and musical like EL34, BUT with added naturalism and organic touch to it. Bass and highs are ample like KT88, BUT with added tightness and more punch at the lower end and extended crisps of sparkles at the higher end where one will hope KT88 can squeeze these in further. Music just sounded much livelier with touch of realism. Power from 845 tubes does not mean the gain is high and volume is loud – in fact at 9 o’clock position is where the volume is good, anything past 10 o’clock the amp is pumping some serious juice (at Class A, this is fully expected). Every amps can drive any speakers to a loud level no problem. But power from 845 tubes come in extruding all the fine details of almost all the frequencies, regardless the volume level, in enabling the intricacies to be heard.

It is hard to find any further lacking of dullness of the music with R100 without going into the micro level of nit-picking of specific instruments or frequencies. At stock, the sound from R100 has little room for improvement. If any, I am sure we can go into these finer details with upgrades of the tubes, coupling caps, fuses and binding posts etc. But these can be reserved for the next discussion.


R100 845 tube amp is now available for order here at our product page.

R100 845 tube amp is also available for audition now . Please enquire for a time slot through the contact form here or WhatsApp me at +65 9423 9296. Give me a heads up preferably at least one day in advance.

No available stocks for immediate purchase just so to keep the upkeep and pricing low. Orders made will be delivered direct from factory to you within 2 weeks.

Available to ship worldwide, please enquire for shipping fees (I am sorry it may not be cheap due to the monstrous weight). FREE shipping in Singapore.

A little backstory of Muzishare R100

Our Muzishare X5 was the first full-fledge branded factory-made tube amp we brought in around 3-4 years ago in bid to increase its exposure to the general audiophile community in Singapore and the region. A tube amp so well-made and beautiful has no reason not to be considered for anyone seriously into getting his/her first, second or third tube amp.

Muzishare over these years has consistently improved on the quality further, both on the aesthetic front as well as the worksmanship and most importantly, audio quality. Their increasing popularity in China are slowly bringing much awareness outside the region and to the global scene. It is imperative such exposure could do a lot of good to have a focus here in Singapore. And as outlined in our previous post, QA’s effort has finally paid off to have secure the official distributorship of Muzishare tube amps in Singapore from November 2019 onwards.

In recent months, Muzishare has been building a flagship model in order to refresh their tube amp lineup, which has been consistently hovering in these respective tube series – EL84 of X3T, EL34 of X5, KT88 of X7 and 300B of X-300B. While KT88 tube amps are traditionally the onset of big boys, for those graduating from a EL34 tube amp, it is no longer a tube series of amp that holds the charm. Many other manufacturers have come out with various KT88 tube amps and begin saturating the market. The once-powerful and rather exclusive KT88 tube amp is now quite a dime a dozen. Not to undermine KT88 tubes at all for I am still a huge fan of the fat beam tetrode, but above this class is another league that just dwarfs the KT88s (as can be seen in the photo below), big triode tubes, 211/845/805.

From left to right: EL34, 5881, 6L6GC, KT66, KT88 & 845. The first four belongs to the same tube type and are interchangeable in most EL34 amps. Currently using the 5881 Brown base from RCA. But 6L6GC remains my all-time favourite which I could not even bear to use, similar to my reverend 6L6GC Blackplates from RCA that are preciously stowed away.

Line Magnetic is one brand of the Chinese-made amps that have enjoyed stellar reputation worldwide for its indisputable quality. They are one of the early adopters in Chinese tube amp manufacturing to use these giant triode tubes. Their 845 and 805 series of amps are parked at the higher end range of the tube amp chain in many rooms, providing a sound output of the higher echelon.

Muzishare’s flagship model of R100 is heading towards this direction – a hefty tube amp that branches into three different versions of 211/845/805 tubes respectively, allowing customer to choose one that they are most comfortable with. It may seem like a challenging feat for Muzishare in building the R100 as it is only a recent development and lack of previous big triode tube model to back as portfolio. Truth to be told, amps from both Muzishare and Line Magnetic come from the same factory estate in Zhuhai at Guandong, China. Connecting the dots, Muzishare does has a wealth of expertise in building a big triode tube amp, confidently and remarkably, as we are to find out in the next post, where I will dive in details on the Muzishare R100.

Quartz Acoustic is now the official distributor of Muzishare tube amps in Singapore

This news came way earlier but the festive period and orders have been preventing us from announcing!

We are pleased to announce that Quartz Acoustic is now the official distributor for Muzishare tube amps in Singapore!

As some of the customers know, we have always been huge admirers of Muzishare amps. They are just very well-built, fantastic quality in performance and are some of the more beautiful tube amps manufactured from China. Their specifications often edged out amps of the same tube types from competitors which gives their amps an excellent value for money.

Muzishare has a strong following in China, where it is considered relatively high-end for a tube amp brand with extensive features and solid workmanship. Manufactured in Zhu Hai, Guandong, China, the components and parts in Muzishare tube amps consisted of high quality, audiophile-grade of materials, build together with remarkable point-to-point exquisite soldering. External chassis are all well-machined and sand-blasted to a posh exterior, resulting in Muzishare tube amps to be heralded as one of the more beautiful and refined tube amp brands in China. A lesser-known fact is that Muzishare amps are manufactured in the same production factory as the remarkable Line Magnetic.

QA will provide all official queries, sales and support of Muzishare amps through all official channels of contact. 1-year official warranty, as with all our other products, will be provided. We will see to your issues and rectify them, if any, before extending the support to China factory if that need arises, even if your warranty has unfortunately expired. Terms and conditions of warranty and returns still applied. All warranties and supports are only applicable to customers of QA and units purchased from QA. Grey and/or imported sets will not be honoured.

Other than the modded and upgraded version of the X5, we also carry:

X3T – EL84 small-scale tube amp that works very well as a headphone amp as well at S$850

X7 – KT88 tube amp with balanced and phono inputs at S$1,850

R100 – 845 tube amp with plenty of power with balanced and phono inputs at S$3,050

Upgrading the Muzishare X5 EL34 Integrated Tube Amp

Bringing our modification upgrades to the next level, we have completed testing on upgrading this beautiful Muzishare X5 EL34 integrated tube amp. It was a resounding success.

Upgrading potential is very high on this Muzishare amp. In fact, for tube amps, coupling capacitors play a huge part in the extension and spaciousness of the sounds, as much as the tubes have the greatest say in the sound flavour. Replacing over a dozen of the capacitors in X5 bring up the performance value to another notch. Importantly, this goes to say Muzishare X5 itself is already a fantastic amp to begin with.

The quality of Muzishare X5 can be easily seen from the intricately-designed and CNC-machined chassis. Beneath it, the wirings and components are similarly hefty. The capacitors this amp should be using deserved a lot more better.

There was not even a brand.

We chosen Jantzen Audio, a high end brand from Denmark, to be the major branded capacitors in our modification upgrade. The Superior Z line of their caps have been lauded as one of audiophiles favourites for a long long time and reviews of these caps have never failed to impress. Their constructions are huge for similar capacitance of lesser grade caps, if you see the before and after photo of the upgrades. Luckily, their elongated shapes make the arrangement in the tight spaces possible and logical. Other top of the line caps include Nichicon KX series, ELNA Silmic II and Vishay BC. ELNA Silmic II is renown for using silk fibres in the cap itself that will “a superior acoustic characteristics.” Nichicon KX series of caps are audio-grade in itself that will normally only be seen in upper high end range of tube amps.

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The effects of these upgrades are almost immediate. X5 accepts EL34, 6L6, 6L6GC, 5881 tubes and all these tubes have great tonality of characters. But what the upgrades have aided is the ability to hear the additional smooth, silky vocals, and the spaciousness of the textured details. Leave much of the flavourings of sounds to the tubes, these upgrades presented such a clean and neutral slate akin to a clean plate for even the slightest subtlety of the food, or sound, can appreciated when being served. A few more hours of burnt-in and they open up; natural, extended and musical.

Before
After

As part of the bundle to at least have the amp powered up suitably in a high standard state of operation, we are adding in one of our customers’ favourite product, the Furukawa OEM 17mm thick Audiophile Superb Clarity Power Cord FREE. Cable is 2m long to suit most circumstances of connecting. Pairing this cable with the upgraded amp ensures the amp is well-fed with clean and quality current of juice for excellent output preparation.

Do head over to the product page and read more in detail of the specifications and see more photos and place your order. Order will be shipped out in 14-18 days with ALL the upgrades done, after which you only have one job, enjoy.

A Smooth EL34 Tube Amp for both your Speakers and Headphones

Muzishare is a brand that enjoys quite a bit of popularity worldwide. It is hard not to, when it has the design appeal and construction of a fine tube amp, and performing just as well as it looks. X5 from Muzishare possesses all that great quality and carrying the EL34s as its power tubes, we do need further decision to bring that in as the first Muzishare tube amp on sale at QA.

EL34 tube is a very versatile tube type in terms of the varieties it has for replacement and rolling. Main sound signature for EL34 is the smooth and sweet midrange it extends to the upper region of the frequency spectrums. Vocal lovers, this tube type is your best companion! Be mesmerised by your favourite artistes singing with a true presentation in front of you, probably even catching the breathing done!

Getting more details of this amp is entirely possible if better quality of EL34s are inserted in or with rolling of 6L6G/6L6GC tubes. Your listening experience may be transformed with a livelier soundstage and added crisp. If you find yourself having 5881s instead, no problem too. These military tube variants are acceptable into this Muzishare X5 tube amp as well. That is what we called flexibility.

Pre-amp section of the tube amp is driven by 2x 12AU7 and 2x 12AX7 tubes. Easily available with different brands and vintage types too, rolling these tubes will add on to the fun of creating a sound flavour to your liking!

With so many tubes available for rolling, biasing of the tubes is important to ensure the tubes put in are always operating at their best settings. X5 brings tube biasing to a great level of ease, with just a flat-head screwdriver needed. The front panel of the amp is a VU-meter lookalike that negates the requirement of a multimeter. That is the bias meter used for gauging the correct amount of current going to the tubes. There is a knob on the top of the amp on the right-hand side indicating which tube to select to while doing the bias, and that is also indicative of the reading with respect to the tube it measures off. Biasing is simply adjusting the adjustment screws on the side of the top panel respective to the tubes labelled until the needle in the bias meter points to the accepted range.

To the right of the bias meter are two fantastically-made aluminium knobs from CNC machining. Controlling the volume is a smooth act, while changing between the input settings is a solid affair. With 4 inputs selection to plug in and choose from, you can plug in a wide range of sources to play your favourite music from!

Two wonderful features of this X5 are found to the left of the bias meter. A 6.35mm headphone out ensures this amp not only powers speakers, but it can also drive headphones of any sizes and demands without difficulties at all! Dedicated tube-powered headphone amps can cost close to what this X5 is offering. At the same time, they may use tubes less commonly found for replacement or rolling. This restricts the headphone amp from performing to a variety of sound flavours.  An amp like X5 almost brings the best of all worlds in giving you one package with exceeding performance, cost and versatility.

The switch beside the headphone out is to toggle between Ultralinear and Triode mode of the amp. These two modes are common connections within the circuit of tube amps that provides different power outputs and also different flavours of sounds. Ultralinear has a high power output, i.e higher gain. It boots a higher dynamism to the sounds, like a SS amp in some sense. This mode is great for orchestra, ensemble and classical genre of music.

Triode mode on the hand has a lower power output. Volume control tends to need to be higher for similar sound level appreciation. However, this mode has an emphasis to midrange of the music. Hence it is a very popular mode chosen for vocal genres like pop and opera. Either mode can be toggled on the fly even with the music being played. A-B auditioning can be done to see which mode is preferred.

At the back panel are high-quality binding posts and RCA jacks that are bound to secure all connections hooked to them. RCA caps are provided to cover whichever ports not used to prevent oxidisation of the contacts. A voltage switch at the back allows the X5 to be usable anywhere in the wold regardless of 110v or 220v AC.

Weighing close to 18kg, the entire amp was constructed out of solid materials like steel and aluminium. The front panel is already one 10mm thick aluminium. The rest of the chassis is an enclosure well-glazed with sand-blasted glittering gloss that does not leave fingerprints. Quality of the construction extended to the cage. No tools are needed to fix it over the tubes. With a banana-plug-like feature, the cage can be affixed securely to the amp. Removing it from the socket is just as easy and quick. Brilliant!

Finally, the other piece of well-machined hardware is the remote control. Crafted entirely out of aluminium, it matches excellent with aesthetics of X5. While it only offers volume adjustment and mute/unmute operation, having that remote on your hands is undoubtedly a convenient in controlling the volumes while seated comfortably on your listening spot.

Order your Muzishare X5 integrated tube amp now!!

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Peninsula Shopping Centre
#03-19, Singapore 179804

UEN: 201706979E

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