Tube integrated amps -- new Value Leaders?

Has anyone compared either the Raven Nighthawk or the most affordable version of Primaluna, Quicksilver, or Rogue Audio integrated amps against the new value leaders from China -- Wilsenton, Cayin, Doge, Muzishare, BoyuuRange, etc.?

Especially Wilsenton and Cayin have been the rage lately thanks primarily to YouTubers like Jay (that young guy, not the slightly out of shape body builder), Thomas & Stereo, Steve Guttenberg and a few more. If you listen to these guys, you start wondering why you should pay twice as much for the Ravens and Primalunas of the world. I wonder how much of it is typical Youtube sensationalism/shilling vs. objective comparisons without ulterior motives. I have never heard any of these brands, nor do I have any affiliation with them. Just curious.

Secondly, there is another brand called Rogers that seems to fly under the radar. It’s also made in the USA, build quality looks fine, and is competitively priced with Raven, Quicksilver, etc. I would love to try one of their amps some day. But they don’t seem to get much love on these forums. I wonder why.

I would like to hear from someone who has compared the new value leaders with the established ones in the tube integrated amp segment.


I just bought a Rogue Sphinx. Hybrid class D with 100 wpc. I think it may be a price leader and it sounds surprisingly good.

@arafiq I was in the market for an integrated a year ago and started looking at the forums. I agree there is so much chatter about the Ravens and PL's I almost took the bait. I  wasn't totally convinced about PL's and almost got the Raven Osprey but I wasn't crazy about their return policy without actually hearing it in my system. After doing some research and some listening I decided if this were to be my supposed "end game" purchase what do I really want from my amp? Happened upon Rogers and Octave at a local audio shop. I was able to bring them home to demo in my system with my Spatial M3' Sapphires. The Rogers was very nice but thin sounding on the bottom. I think very system dependent. The Octave was just stunning. In terms of value leaders? Octave is pricey but I have always believed you get what you pay for.

I have heard only one Cayin, my A88T (bought used on eBay with return option). 

had never heard of Cayin, tried it based on this review.

I highly recommend them. Newer versions/models have easy bias and meters, mine difficult internal adjusters, but I needed it's 16 ohm taps for my vintage speaker drivers.

Sounded darn good with 6550's it came with, very much like my 1958 Fisher 80z mono blocks (but with modern/remote features). Tried and prefer KT88's.


It's not a "new" value leader but from my personal experience Line Magnetic amps offer much more value lb-for-lb, dollar-for-dollar compared to Raven, PL and the others you list.  In fact my $4K LM805ia outperforms Luxman, Leben, Sugden, Cary, and Pass amps in my system and is a screaming value.  There's a good US dealer network through Tone Imports.

@yogiboy  I've owned the SLI-80HS and my Line Magnetic is substantially better sounding....not even close. At the same price.

The Icons are nice and well built.

Bought one for one of my sons a few years back and it is still rocking.

Built in China designed in the UK.

Agree about Line Magnetic. I've heard that it punches substantially above its price point. However, I'm referring to the new (well sort of) value leaders that are garnering a lot of attention on YouTube. For example, I see that Wilsenton is selling their R8 model for only $1449 delivered to your doorstep on Amazon. Hand-made, point-to-point wiring, Japanese EI power transformers, almost 60 lbs., and getting great reviews. I know SQ is subjective, but I just don't see how anyone can beat this offering.

@jerryg123 Since you also own Raven products (I'm assuming Blackhawk?), how would you compare it to Icon Audio (not sure which model you have).

@arafiq That is very attractive at that price point and it is not a bad looking unit from what I see.

@arafiq I own to much stuff…Qualiton x200, Blackhawk, Bel Canto gear…. The Icon is with my son and honestly can say they are very very close in sound quality, staging, transparency. The PP 20 is less than $1500.00 with EL34 and is 15w. Gives the Blackhawk a run for the money. He has it connected to a pair of Klipsch RM600’s I think and it sounds really good for under $2000.00



@jerryg123 Thanks. It's amazing how much the SQ from these cheaper brands is getting close to the more expensive ones. I looked at PP20, sounds like a really good deal. Between this and Wilsenton and other similar brands, it's the first time people can enjoy affordable tube amps without sacrificing too much in terms of quality, build, and features. Good times for tube aficionados!

@arafiq Thank you for this discussion!

I went down this path as well this past summer, and had similar questions and thoughts. I lusted for a Raven, Prima Luna, etc. but couldn’t afford them.  This led me to consider some of the “value” ones you mentioned. 

I almost went with a Wilsenton R8 but I believe they were backordered at the time, and I was also a bit concerned about support if needed. 

Then I came across the Black Ice Fusion series integrated.  After reading a couple of reviews, talking with Wally, and the dudes at Black Ice (Jerred and Mike) I ended up choosing their Fusion F22 with EL34. 

So far, very happy with it.

Have a great weekend.

Your prime driver seems to be just getting a perceived bargain, so you can say to yourself this sounds good and it only cost me X. I don't see how you can dispel Line Magnetic just because it is 'slightly older' brand they make fantastic amps at a very reasonable price.

After you know how much power you require to drive your speakers what your budget is, therefore you need to pick from amps that fit the bill, surely it then boils one factor only and that is the sound quality that floats your boat.

Great question posted.  Inquiring minds want to know..  Cayin seems to be VERY WELL BUILT.  The Canada based audio folks on youtube (Jay, Audio Excellence Canada etc) are very high on Cayin.  I ended up with Rogers High Fidelity integrated amp and I am super thrilled with it.  It's owner, Roger Gibboni, is very customer focused and you get complimentary lifetime warranty and upgrades. There are so many of these Chinese made amps (e.g. Muzishare, Reisong, Wilsenton etc....) that seems so well built but I am concerned with support after the sale / warranty and auditioning them is a challenge.

Wilsenton, Cayin, Doge, Muzishare ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yes you did forget ^^^^^^^^^^Line magnetic^^^^^^^^^^^ I have no issues with any of these impecable manufacturers, All are about equal. I'm a big fan of Cayin, which tend to be a bit more asking price. But I look at whats offeed, Take the DHT designs. Is there a jack for pre in,, this will determine my purchase. Also what pre tubes are employed, Another consideration.

of these Chinese made amps (e.g. Muzishare, Reisong, Wilsenton etc....) that seems so well built but I am concerned with support after the sale / warranty and auditioning them is a challenge



Not sure I would place~~~~ Reisong or Oldchen~~~ in this illustrious group. Warrenty, as you say all units are built to last with minimal/no repairs.

Add Yaqin in this solid group of amp manufacturers, , They’ve come a longggg way and have now steped up their quality. My tech cked out the component build,, he was impressed, no complaints, It is not scaffold, thus I can not swap out caps to Mundorf. I prefer scaffold. Much easier to repair, and modify 400 hrs and is perfectly quiet, no hums, just nice music, swaped out the front tubes to Teles. These stock($30ish each) 2A3’s easily beat out RCA 2A3 NOS.

Does not have Pre-in, but does have my 2 fav pre tubes so I can use my Tele's. 



IMHO, I agree that Black Ice Audio is one of the new value leaders in tube integrated amps as @bogbeat pointed out.

My “Skunky Audio Designs” modified Reisong A50 Mk III displaced a $20K CJ Art 150 in my AG Duo Omega G2 main system. 😎

Is it “better “? Well, it’s different and to MY EARS a better complement to the AG’s. The midrange is to die for and the soundstage ENORMOUS. 

I had my interest in this Muzishare R100, just watched the video demo,, I had no idea they offered a Phono out as well PLUS the Pre IN jack.


You see here is where Muzishare went 1 up over their top competitors, Cayin, Line Magnetic, Doge.


has a pair of my fav pre tube, 12AX7;’s PLUS 6SN7’s if thats your fav pre tube

I’d rather have 2A3’s as driver tubes,,, vs 300B’s,,, but who is going to complain at this price.



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I agree with Line Magnetic. I sold my McIntosh amp and bought the 805iA. After power cable swap and tube rolling it is absolutely stunning. I think people just need to give it a listen. 

One I have been curious about is on Ebay literally 20 Line Magnetic 211ia amps for sale from different sellers in China - all new.  All in the $1100 - $1300 range for this fine little EL34 based integrated.  Seems like great amp for 2nd system or efficient speakers (like my Zu's) but just not sure a) how reliable the sellers are and b) what you would do if you had problems so hesitancy about making the plunge.

IMHO  Kevin's PL line of amps may have veey stiff competition with these new-er china hifi manufacturers comming into the spot light.

Now that I have heard a  DHT PP, I have no interest whatsoever in the KT series.  But you will need a  higher sens speaker to get bass.

The big DHT power tubes, 211, 805, 845 has bass  to driver mid sens speakers. 

But ideallly higher sens speakers are  the best match with all DHT amplifiers .

Looks like the Muzishare R100 has  a review here on audiogon.

Not sure why he mentions *lacks bass*.

I have pretty good bass from the Yaqin 7 watt amp.

at 65 SPL, near field, small room.



ne I have been curious about is on Ebay literally 20 Line Magnetic 211ia amps for sale from different sellers in China ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Reason for sooooo many sellers in the KT series amps, is due to lower demand/interest.

Folks are now starting to look toward the SET/DHT designs. The mids have more nuance with DHT type tubes vs KT series. I said **nuance** I did not say major noticable difference.

I bet once I get the Defy tubed w KT90’s, we could do a **guess what amp is behind the curtain** with a 845, 211, 805 , on some recordings, it might be nothing more than a lucky guess. But all in all, to do it all over again, I’d pass on a KT series amp and go straight for a DHT either the 300B (which my tech says avoid at all costs, yet look at how many designs out there WITH 300B tubes!!!!) , 2A3 (has alot of votes) , 45 tube(even more votes vs 2A3), or the bigger brothers, 211, 805, 845 and others. There will be a further price drop on the KT series this summer, you watch. DHT’s are the real deal and catching on like wild fire. 20 yrs ago, you could not find even a used SET under say $3k.

I’ve been using old Dynaco amps for years and learned how to listen and now have moved to SET amps and super efficient speakers. But before I would purchase a tube amp off of Amazon with a repair facility no where in the country I would look at the Tube4HIFI option. You can buy them assembled with volume control and an ultra linear switch. If you look at the offshore brands they are pretty much copies of the Dynaco design. Same tube compliment but with different more modern look.

To me what’s important are transformers and tube rectifiers. You do only get one input and no remote control if that’s important it’s not a good match but if you want an amplifier that has had a following for over 50 years it’s definitely worth a look.



Your prime driver seems to be just getting a perceived bargain, so you can say to yourself this sounds good and it only cost me X. I don't see how you can dispel Line Magnetic just because it is 'slightly older' brand they make fantastic amps at a very reasonable price.

I'm not sure how you can presume what my primary driver is. By the way, I've owned several amps that are up to $10K, so please keep your assumptions to yourself. The only reason I didn't include Line Magnetic is that it is a well-established, and well-known entity on these forums. I have heard LM amps on a few occasions and agree with everyone that these amps can hang with the big boys like ARC or VAC. I wanted to focus on the players in the lower price brackets that are not discussed on these forums as much. My intention was to understand if these are really a bargain, and how do they compare to other middle of the road models like Raven Blackhawk or Primulana amps.

@danager Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think TubeHifi offers an integrated amps. But you're right, they seem to be a very good deal compared to the other brands I mentioned in this thread.

I understand Prima Luna amps are made in the same Chinese factory as Cayin.

One point not in consideration- When China takes Taiwan this year after the

Olympics, will anyone want to own the Chinese gear? Yes I have a Chinese DAC

so the finger points both ways. 

+1 on Line Magnetic. Comparable to Audio Research in SQ.


With a volume control it will work as an Integrated with a single input.  You'd have to add a switch box to be true integrated without a  phono input.

I had previously had a Primaluna Prologue preamp and a Hegel H20 power amp and was looking to go with an integrated tube solution that gave the magic of tubes. I gave Raven an audition, but it fell short in driving my Dynaudio Contour 20i’s (86db; 4 ohms) to their full potential. It lacked a bit of oomph and didn’t play that loudly without saturating (~77 DB).

I was disappointed in the instruments value/quality for the price which isn’t any real value!

The first thing I noticed is how light it was compared to my old Primaluna preamp. Granted weight isn’t everything but it’s directly related to the size of the transformers which means a lot with tube designs. I noticed when inserting the AC power cord into the IEC connector that it was very flimsy, and the entire connector wobbled loosely in the chassis. So it appears to be a cheap press-in style fitting.

The AC power cord that they provide didn’t perform as well as a basic Pangea AC14 cord, it was dull and lifeless in comparison.

The high pass cross-over switch seems to be too high at 80hz, it didn’t seem to blend well with my system I felt it should have been made to go to about 50 hz which would allow it to blend with a larger variety of speakers. When I used it, it made it obvious that I was only using one subwoofer and that it was in the left side corner.

Overall, the amp sounded like a nice tube amp, probably best mated with more efficient speakers.

For the money there are a lot of better offerings IE: Primaluna, Line Magnetic, Doge 10 MKIII, Willsenton R8 & R800i that are of much better quality and out perform the Raven Black Hawk, and at a significantly lower price point!

Don’t let their 45 day Risk Free business model fool you! It will cost you over >$450.00! just to demo the amp, in which I was told it would drive my speakers just fine. Raven charges you 7% plus for the initial shipping plus you pay to ship it back to them, so that’s shipping both ways.

All I can say is to think twice before plopping down a huge sum of money for a Raven amp.

They're playing on your patriotism by saying Made in America, but that doesn’t always mean better quality....

@bob7296 why are you pasting the same message in every discussion?
While I agree with your assessment, it just gives the impression that you got a chip on your shoulder.

@jerryg123 Black Ice Audio is not owned by Underwood HiFi; Underwood is one of their many dealers.

Please stop posting disinformation.

@arafiq  - some random ideas (most built in North America or available via North American dealers, I think - a few others via UK, etc.). I’m not directly familiar with any of them - just came to mind & (I think) in the ballpark on price

Aric Audio Systems





@vinylvalet So what!!! If Wally is only a dealer? He is still a stand up guy.

Who the F are you!!!

So I got it wrong. As we say putz!

@vinylvalet misinformation not disinformation. You must be a Fox News fan to use that term.

You came across like a putz and I really do not care -

At just over $3K the Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III continues to be a high value audiophile tube integrated solution.  

KT120, 100 WPC power that allows more speaker and room flexibility and an out of the box sound that is open, transparent and highly refined with an atmospheric sound stage.  

I bet the Black Ice stuff sounds great. Everything Jolida I’ve ever had sounded really great although the preamp was a bit noisy. Their tube dac is a real cracker for the price. My current 302CRC EL84 integrated sounds wonderful pushing my 145lb Pioneers to about 85-90db then kinda runs out of gas depending on the music. it’s silly good for the $600 I paid for it. It does have about $500 in NOS tubes however that came with it.