How many times have you read about a new product introduction only to think "who needs another one of those?" Today's kit is different. I let Mr. Joe P. Zhou, US importer for Dared tube amplifiers from China, describe it in his own words: "The 2006 new Dared MP-5 is a USB DAC tube headphone and hybrid integrated amplifier - a revolutionary companion for your MP3/MP4 and iPod player but also a killer of MP3/MP4 and the iPod. Who needs this amp?

The answer is, music lovers and audiophiles who want warm, detailed, true analog-like sound from highly compressed digital source such as MP3/MP4, iPods, computers or RedBook CD players. Take this MP5 amp to your office, bedroom, dorm room, library, study room, cafe etc. and simply plug into your computer with the USB cable (forget about your MP3/MP4 player or iPod with their crappy inbuilt DACs.) You will now enjoy audiophile quality music like you've never experienced it before. It is phenomenal.

Why does the MP-5 sound so good (very good transient response, precise details, incredible soundstage and very high resolution)? Because the US-only version includes

  • high-quality E-core power transformer
  • 24K pure gold PCB. Dared had tried silver and copper PCBs and point-to-point wiring. The pure 24K gold PCB performs best.
  • NOS key resistors by Allen Bradley (US made)
  • Japanese Rubycon coupling capacitors
  • Japanese Nippon/Nichico filter and bypass capacitors
  • Taiwanese HT audiophile volume pot and pure 100% shielded silver wires from the inputs to the volume pot with lead-free copper/silver solder
  • Japanese Fuji diodes
  • US-made BurrBrown PCM2702E DAC and Philips TDA7265 chip
  • rear-mounted gold-plated analog inputs
  • front-mounted USB input and headphone output
  • ceramic gold-contact tube sockets
  • 15wpc direct-coupled IC speakers outputs without output coupling capacitor and extremely flat frequency response with THD < 0.2 at full power
  • ShuGuang preamp and buffer 12AX7s
  • ShuGuang cat's eye tube meter for power output
  • soft start with 30 second relay protection
  • chromed steel chassis, wooden piano gloss cheeks and decorative tube rail
  • one USB cable, one pair of RCA interconnects, adapter/cables for iPod/MP3MP4 input and one power cord included
  • 1-year warranty (3 months on tubes)
  • $559
  • availability January 2006

End of commercial. But talk about convergence. Anyone with an iPod, laptop, desktop or CD/DVD player will be able to relate to this 'un. What better way to introduce the ongoing existence of tubes to the younger generation? Leave it to our Chinese friends to pave the way. If I had a kid, this is what would be in his or her gift wrapper from me...