TubeCube | 7 Stereo Vacuum Tube Amplifier | TubeDepot.com

TubeCube | 7 Stereo Vacuum Tube Amplifier

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DIY-TC7

The TubeCube | 7 Stereo Vacuum Tube Amplifier is a great sounding, sleek looking amp at an affordable price. This envy-inducing machine boasts a power output of 3.5W+3.5W at 8 ohms which is perfect for a desktop audio amplifier with bookshelf speakers. The TubeCube | 7 comes fully assembled and ready to play your favorite tunes with a matched pair of Sino EL84s and one Sino 12AX7B. Tube upgrades are available.


This tube amplifier not only sounds great, but takes up very little space on your desk. Here is a soda can next to the TubeCube | 7 for reference.

 

TubeCube | 7 Stereo Vacuum Tube Amplifier


You can connect your CD player, computer, or even your mobile device to the TubeCube | 7, all you need is an RCA cable and you are ready to listen to great tube audio. For phono use, you'll also need a phono preamplifier.

 

TubeCube | 7 Stereo Vacuum Tube Amplifier

 

The TubeCube | 7 is powered with a standard IEC cable. This amplifier can be used in any country as it runs on 100V - 240V AC. You will need to purchase the IEC cable appropriate for your country. Banana plugs and power cable sold separately.

 

Check out the Ken Rockwell review of this product.

How to Hook Up Your TubeCube | 7 In 30 Seconds:

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    I usually don't write reviews but this amp has brought a lot of musical joy for me and my family, deserves a mention. I originally bought one 3 years ago, it drives a pair of KEF Q100 fed by a yamaha wxc-50 streamer (Tidal and hi-res from my NAS). I liked it so much got a second one for my desk setup- old pair of Eltax Monitor IIIs, source=computer through Aune X1S DAC/headphone amp. FYI, this is a hybrid amp which is quiet but retains tube harmonics from preamp stage. Highly recommend it!



    reviewed by: HJ

    Here's my recipe for beyond-great sound. First, replace the OEM preamp tube with a high-current JJ long-plate 12AU7. Second, replace the OEM output tubes with Sovtek EL84Ms. Finally, use multiple TubeCube 7 amps to power an array of matched speakers (in my case, Paradigm Atom 5s (with a small, carefully-adjusted Dayton powered subwoofer)). I run a Behringer UCA-202 DAC into two monaural Behringer MIC100 preamps (also sporting JJ 12AU7 long-plate valves so there's plenty of current).



    reviewed by: Karl

    I had intended to use this amp to power stereo effects for guitar but it sounds so good in my studio, I may keep it for monitors.



    reviewed by: Wade

    Bought this amp for my daughter because she loves the look of my much larger and more expensive tube amp. I hooked it up to my larger speakers and was very surprised at how well it drove them, but then hooked up to some smaller, more efficient bookshelf speakers and it sounded great. I will probably buy another one for my bedroom. Great little amp and great value!



    reviewed by: Mike

    Hi! I don't know if I am a proper person to leave a review?
    I wanted a small amplifoer for my iPhone and a google search took me here. I thought the idea of a tube amp was interesting, retro and the glowing tubes look beautiful. So I researched and found several positive reviews. So I took a chance and ordered this amplifier...I am glad I did. It is perfect for what I use it for...usually background music (blues mostly and classic R&B). And it sound very nice.
    Thanks,



    reviewed by: Christine

    This is a nice sounding little amp, and it will get louder than you think. I have tube rolled 12AX7 and EL84 tubes. I always thought it sounded forward regardless of the 12AX7 I used. I ordered a Sovtek 5751 and it made a huge difference. The amp was much clearer and the soundstage widened. If you want to try tube rolling, try a 5751. It may be a great change to your RCA 6BQ5 and the Soviet 6p14pev also sound great.



    reviewed by: Thomas

    One of the best value tube amps out there!!

    Wow, this little guy rocks! I've thrown rock, hip-hop, and some hardcore at this thing and it just sings! A really warm and meaningful sound.
    The tubes that it comes with are pretty dang good, but gonna up grade to some Sovtech EL84M's.
    Overall, one of the best!



    reviewed by: Allen Gonzalez

    THIS LITTLE TUBE AMP IS AWESOME!!

    I bought this more or less as a novelty. I realty didn’t expect too much from it with only 3.5wpc. Man was I wrong! I did some sound pressure calculations to get san understanding how much volume I would get in my livingroom. Here is my system. I’m using a Marantz CD6006 cd deck straight into tubecube7 via RCA cables. Then I run 8ohm tap out through 16 gauge wire to Klipsch RP-160m bookshelf speakers. These speakers are quite efficient: 96dB/watt @ 1m. I sit about 3 meters from the speakers.

    With that, I can calculate sound pressure (dB) at my ears.

    When power to speakers is doubled from 1 watt, the dB are increased from 96dB by +3.
    When distance from speakers is doubled beyond 1 meter, the dB drop by 3. I am going to simplify because sadly I forgot how to work with exponents. Duh. Since the tube cube is 3.5 wpc, that’s two doublings beyond 1 watt. So that brings 96 +6 = 102dB, I am siting 2 meters from the speakers. So that’s -3 dB. So the sound pressure at my ears is roughly 99 dB. Final answer. Is that loud enough?? BY FAR. It’s way too loud at 2pm on the volume Dial. I have to shout st my wife hear me from 5 feet away. Oh yeah, my livingroom is ~14’x15’10’

    Now to describe the sound. It really is sweet, mellow, warm good sound separation. Really full low end, no shrill highs. Tames the “bright” Klipsch’s perfectly. I hear no noise, no hum from power supply. The stock tubes work great. I can’t leave well enough alone so I bought two matched Millard el84s & popped a JJ in the preamp. I’ll try to leave an update when I receive & listen to the new power tubes.

    BUY THIS AWESOME GEM.



    reviewed by: Timothy C Matthews

    While I have some serious audiophile equipment in my living room for listening to LPs and CD's, a lot of listening happens throughout my home via Sonos Amps, with some quality bookshelf speakers, but I have never been happy with the sonos sound quality. I had a iTube Fatman from my iPod days in my office, which improved the sound, but they are out of business. So I decided to given of these a try in my kitchen. I did not expect to hear a difference for a day or so while it warmed up - I was wrong. I noticed the difference the moment I turned everything on. Love it love love it. I will experiment with upgrading the tubes in the future, but now I am just enjoying the improvement. Wow! Will have to get one for my guest room next.



    reviewed by: Rich G

    Just getting into small tube amps, kits etc. and found this one on sale while poking around Tube Depots website. Figured for the price can't be too bad and would give me something to compare the DIY kit with. As the other reviewers have found this small in stature tube amp is huge in the quality and volume of sound it produces. Totally and pleasantly surprised, the only question now is where can I find a spot for a second one ??? As I have a few extra 12AX7's, next comes a little tube rolling.



    reviewed by: Brian O

    Since 1991, have owned several amplifiers — Pioneer, Sony, NAD, and now TubeDepot’s TubeCube 7 (TC7). Each has its pros and cons, but the TC7 reigns supreme!

    As background, am listening to ALAC files ripped from CD, run through an AudioQuest Dragonfly Red DAC, and then fed into the TC7, which is powering a pair of Klipsch RB-61ii Reference Series speakers. The TC7 is a 2.0 system, so no subwoofer is involved. With the cables included, and taxes excluded, all of these audio elements sum up to $900. Frankly, I love this modest system just as much as my old $8000 system!

    Having said this, and for approximately six months, listened to the TC7 with the two stock Shuguang EL84s and one stock Shuguang 12AX7B. At about the four month point, started to think that the amp wasn’t performing as strongly as other tube amps that I’ve heard before. So, did some research into tube rolling and decided to upgrade to Sovtech EL84Ms and stick with the stock 12AX7B. Also, added three pre-amp tube rings (at a cost of just fifty cents each) around the 12AX7B to reduce noise and microphonics. Now, the TC7 has ascended to the next level and become a truly stunning amp!

    Am endlessly amazed at how lively, airy, silky smooth, crystal clear, and invigorating this system sounds. Whether playing jazz, opera, techno, trance, rock, country, R&B, new age, classical, or any other genre of music (obviously, I appreciate a diverse range of music), am forever thrilled with how lush and real the musical instruments and voices sound! For better or for worse, this awesome little system also makes it easy to hear the restricted dynamic range of poor recordings, while enabling excellent recordings to sound so amazing that it will have you contentedly glowing.

    Midrange and treble are in perfect proportion to one another, with not even a hint of brightness. Was originally planning on introducing a sub into this setup, but am so satisfied with the deep and rich (but not boomy) bass that this system fluidly creates that a sub would add little value.

    Understood that the way an amp sounds is dependent on all of the audio elements involved, and your system will differ from mine, but I’m EXTREMELY pleased with the re-tubed TC7. Without spending thousands more, am not sure how you could own a more satisfying amp. The re-tubed TC7 is a true winner!



    reviewed by: Jerry H

    I am totally amazed by this little amp! I have it hooked up to my Klipsch Lascala's and the sound it nothing short of fantastic. I had always wanted to try a low powered tube amp. In my opinion, there is nothing quite like a truly efficient, dynamic speaker combined with the Tubecube. I'm experiencing much better transients, imaging, soundstage, clarity, etc., than ever before. I am hearing subtleties in the music not like before with higher power 6550 tubes. The EL84 are a much better match. Oh, and this amp is super quiet, which means I'm listening to the more music, period! I can live with this one for a while just listening to CD's, but I can't wait to get a good phono stage and get to my vinyl. I am sure that I will want to start doing some tube rolling too. Well done Tube Depot!



    reviewed by: Dave

    I just received mine last week and integrated it into my stereo system right away! This thing is like the Little Engine that COULD!!! Right out of the box with the Sino tubes, it sounds wonderful!!! So hard to believe it's only 3.5 watts per channel! I have a McIntosh system that I purchased back in 1986. My MC502 power amp has given me problems on and off throughout the years. I had it back to the Mac authorized service center two or three times only for them to tell me there's no problem with it. Anyway a couple of years ago it finally died altogether and I just never bothered to have it looked at again. Recently I did bring it to another repair shop and when the tech is done with it, I'm seriously considering selling it. So while it's back in the shop again, I was checking the Tube Cube 7 out on this website and I figured, for the money, what have I got to loose? I'll order one. Well, I'm completely blown away!!! The sound is just incredible! I'm running my McIntosh MX113 tuner/preamp through the Tube Cube and have my Mac XL10 loudspeakers connected. I'm going to say right here and now, I'll put the sound of the Tube Cube 7 up against my Mac MC502 amplifier ANY DAY!!! It's THAT good! I have the master volume on the Tube Cube set at about 1 o'clock and I adjust the volume, tone, and bass on the MX113 wherever I want it and I've got a winning combination here! My Mac XL10's have a sensitivity rating of 89dB and the volume is plenty loud enough to fill the room! Plus, there's absolutely NO hum, hiss, or buzz. The Tube Cube 7 is dead quiet. I'm listening to Craig Chaquico's Acoustic Planet as I'm typing this and I'm completely blown away at how good it sounds. Amazing soundstage for sure!!! As I mentioned, the Tube Cube sounds fantastic with the supplied Sino tubes, but I've got a pair of Pvsane EL84's on order and I can't wait to see how those will sound! For the price, even if I get a year out of the Tube Cube, I'll turn around and buy another one in a heartbeat!!!



    reviewed by: Art

    WOW! I am impressed. This is a great buy. Just be careful: WILL CAUSE AUDITORY HALLUCINATIONS. I am using EL34Ms and 12AX7 LPS(HIGH GAIN). Just loving the way it sounds with the speakers I built. Two ways with a 15 inch bass and compression drivers into a 10 inch horn. The only regret is that I do not have enough time to enjoy listening to my new set up.



    reviewed by: Steve

    I've had this amp for about a year. It drives a pair of Wharfedale W 70's. Since it has a passive volume control, I turn it all the way up and use an Emotiva preamp. It beats every amp I have tried with these speakers and that is with the stock tubes I will think about upgrading these but with the sound I am getting with jazz and chamber music, I'm not in a big hurry.



    reviewed by: james

    Love this little amplifier. Came in great shape and shipping was very fast. I ordered some new production Mullard 12AX7 and EL84 tubes with the TubeCube and replaced the stock tubes. I have it paired with some Elac Debut B6 speakers, which are not the most efficient speakers in the world but they do sound great with this amplifier. Sound gets decently loud too. Only wish that there were two different RCA inputs on the back, but for the price this is a fantastic buy.



    reviewed by: Stephen

    QUICK REVIEW:

    For $180, just get it! This little tiny guy is very impressive. The stock tubes are good, but for an extra $20 each, a pair of matched Sovteks EL84M's will bring this amp to another level. Keep the stock preamp 12ax7 tube in place. Now go enjoy the music!

    LONGER REVIEW:

    This amp may not rock the house with bass-thumping shakes or be the last word in ultra-high detail, but for vocal, classical and acoustic jazz it presents a wonderful soundstage and imaging that is really amazing for this budget category. Vocals sound buttery smooth with the EL84M's and small jazz ensembles literally appear in your living room. Still blown away by the performance of this amp!

    I tried five types of EL84 power tubes (Electro-Harmonix, the Tesla JJ's, Sovtek EL84M's, Reflector 6P14P-ER 's, and the stock Sino EL84's) and three types of pre-amp 12ax7 tubes (Mullard/CV4004, Electro-Harmonix, stock Sino's). The Sovtek's EL84M's with the stock Sino 12ax7 came out the winning combination.

    Would put the EH, JJ's, and 6P14P's in a rather similar sonic category: a little grainy on vocals. The EL84M's just blew them away, however. My first notes were simply "buttery-smooth." The Mullard preamp tube is very good as well, but I wanted a more present top-end for spatial information in classical and stage recordings, so I stuck with the stock Sino's.

    Background: I have way too much invested in equipment, both solid state and analog, and own several tube amp and buffers to compare this unit with. Summarize it so say, that the TubeCube 7 remains as my current listening source of choice.

    I have this currently set up in an ultra-budget system, paired up with Elac B6's and an Onkyo C-7030 CD source. Go ahead and laugh, but this system is bringing me more musical enjoyment than my kilo-buck solid-state systems...



    reviewed by: Roldan

    This is a mini monster, I used the TubeCube I7 to drive my B&W 801 matrix 3, OMG , I am talking about Tchaikovsky 1812, I have 7 other tube amps, including 300Bs, but this inexpensive baby is amazing. I ended up buying 2 more TubeCube I 7s , one for modify, another for whatever.......



    reviewed by: Eddie Wan

    I had no idea how much I was going to like my TubeCube | 7. It's tiny, so it's a joy to move around and connect. It's so easy to use and sounds so good you'll want a few of them. It's stable and works great.



    reviewed by: Ken Rockwell

    Yes, this amplifier has the midrange magic that you expect from a single-ended design. Clean, natural and coherent sound that can make you think the singer is in the room with you. When coupled with good quality fullrange speakers and good quality recordings, you can experience spacious soundstage and good imaging rather than the thick and indistinct “Wall-of-Sound” that is common in mainstream equipment.



    reviewed by: Kent Smith

    I was gifted a TubeCube 7 and a variety of tubes for Christmas. This little amp drives a set of Klipsch RP150M bookshelf speakers loud enough to wake up children at night, make wives angry, and impresses friends who think 100W minimum per channel is the only way to go. Do not be scared off by the 3.5W rating of this amp!!!

Rolling, changing, swapping the 12AX7 preamp tube has a DRAMATIC IMPACT on sound! I am currently using the 1964 RCA 5751 (NOS) from TubeDepot instead of the Chinese 12AX7 preamp tube included. This is the best sounding NOS tube I’ve ever heard, and TubeDepot sent me an absolutely gorgeous specimen. I wish I had a 2nd as a backup; it’s just that good!!!

The Genalex Gold Lion EL84 reissues seem to pair perfectly, but the included Chinese EL84s sound just fine!

I should also mention that I have emailed two questions to TubeDepot and Dave responded promptly both times!

Thank you TubeDepot!



    reviewed by: Paul

    My TubeCube has arrived, in good condition, it sounds fantastic, with the Telefunken tubes, and the Telefunken ECC803s that i keep for this special project.....i have changed the caps, and the sound is getting better every day :).



    reviewed by: Jos

    I have been interested in SET amps for many many years... The high price per watt always scared me away... I have owned equipment from Crown, Krell, Mark Levinson, Marantz, Yamaha, Norman Labs, Infinity and many more... When I saw your site... I finally decided to pull the trigger and boy am I glad I did! I purchased my TubeCube 7 with some dreambox speakers... I tried the amp with these speakers at first and was somewhat impressed but I kept getting the itch to plug my Martin Logan Motion 20s into the amp....OMG it is the best amp I have ever had on these speakers... I am now using it as my primary amp along with a Marantz reference preamp, Project turntable and Martin Logan Dynamo subs... I believe I have finally found my audio Nirvana...

Thanks for a GREAT product with OUTSTANDING value!!!

I look forward to doing more business with you...

Also the shipping was AMAZINGLY FAST!!!



    reviewed by: Adam

    I have owned the TubeCube 7 for a few months now, and decided to write a review for those especially who are considering taking the plunge to experience tube amplified sound for the first time.

First let me say, at this price you aren't risking too much if you have understanding of system matching (amp to speakers), and on this alone I encourage anyone to go for it! I would simply recommend that you make sure your speakers are rated at 8 ohms or higher. There are 4 ohm taps, on the amp, however, I find the amp is happiest with speakers nominally rated as 8 ohm speakers.

I in fact got more drive and fullness from my 8 ohm speakers (Klipsch KB-15) using the 4 ohm taps. A simple explanation for this is that impedance swings exist in the majority of speakers, and many drop to 4 ohms at some point within their passband. I also tried my small Epos ELS-3 speakers which are rated at 4 ohms using the 4 ohm taps, and they just didn't come alive like I would have hoped. Now, keep in mind, not only are the Klipsch KB-15 rated as 8 ohms, but they also have a sensitivity of 94dB! The Epos are 87dB sensitive [that's 7 dB(!) quieter with 1 watt of power].

So then, this amplifier sounds plenty powerful when matched to an appropriate set of speakers. Since it is rated at 3.5 watts per channel, you have to temper your expectations regarding what it can drive. Think of this amplifier as the ideal computer room/bedroom stereo amp.

I was excited when the amp was delivered, and opening the box did not disappoint. The packaging was of very high quality polymer/foam (?) that was both sturdy and flexible to more than adequately protect your precious cargo. This little amp made me chuckle when I took it out of the box, in the way someone would upon seeing a cute puppy (sorry didn't know how else to describe it). It is in fact cute, yet solid and in that way no laughing matter. I felt like I got something for the money I spent.

I have heard other tube amplification previously, and fell in love with things that seem to be inherently reduced/missing through solid state gear such as: instrumental texture, a greater sense of instrumental timbre, sometimes a kind of juiciness that causes music to have more of a life-like ebb and flow, and sometimes warmth.

Since the TubeCube 7 is so affordable I wanted to know what it could do. It uses one 12ax7 preamp tube and two EL84 power amp tubes. The tubes are Sino brand, which I believe are manufactured by Shuguang, the well-known Chinese tube manufacturer.

Right out of the box the sound is quite good, if somewhat inhibited sounding. Once the amp warms up and gets to stretch it's legs a little, it opens up more.

The Sino tubes are inoffensive and you can pick up on subtleties in the music that solid-state doesn't typically deliver. You get a bit deeper peek into trailing sounds following a guitar pluck, cello and other stringed instruments. You also can pick up on echoes in a hall better, and there is a generally more organic characteristic to the sound. Electric guitar texture comes through better than via solid-state gear. This made Sweet Child Of Mine and Welcome to the Jungle by G'N'R very satisfying. Axel Rose's vocal raunchiness seemed very realistic, as well.

Harshness is completely missing, but not because of any veiling of the sound. On the contrary, this amp sounds very neutral, rather than leaning in a direction of hot or cold. It sounds well balanced across the audible spectrum, and is satisfying with all kinds of music. I can't comment on the perceived soundstage size due to the horn-loaded tweeter on my Klipsch speakers, which reduces room reflections. Happily, it never sounds slow-paced.

I later purchased Electro-Harmonix 12ax7 (1) and EL84 (2 matched) tubes to experiment with how the sound may change by tube swapping. I began just with the 12ax7 tube; right away there was an increase in gain and a general sense of "more of everything"! Whether this is better or worse will depend on listener preference. I actually wasn't instantly decided because I wanted to see if I could detect specific differences. Over time I concluded that I thought perhaps I lost a little bit of low-level information; being a fan of subtleties in music I didn't like that, but I did like the additional drive that music had, although there was a tinge of harshness (very small) introduced.

I kept the EH 12ax7 installed, because I wanted to see if it would synergize with the EH EL84's. It ultimately did match nicely with the EL84's but the first impressions remained sonically. Overall, despite the stated discrepancies, I still like these tubes and feel they are of high quality of manufacture. Since the general soundscape remained pretty much the same, I switched the preamp tube back to the Sino and left the EH EL84's as the power tubes.

Voila! Now we have a REALLY good synergy. Harshness disappeared, but additional drive and volume was retained, with all the positives of the original Sino tube combination intact.

FUN! That's what this amp is, and for anyone afraid to hand over serious dough to get their feet wet, this is the best way I know to get your tube fix on, with minimum financial risk.

Thanks TubeDepot!



    reviewed by: Justin

    I spent the last few weeks looking for a new tube amplifier (working with a small budget but hoping not having to give up a very good quality sound) and after reading all the great feedback here about the TubeCube 7 decided to give it a chance.

Now after almost two days of putting the TubeCube 7 through the ropes the first thing that comes to mind is wishing I still had my vinyl LP records and turntable from the 70's so I could really hear what this Miniature Marvel can do. Over the years my entire music library has become all digitally stored on my MacBook Pro and I've been trying to replace more and more of it with AIFF 16bit quality files especially now with using a tube amplifier for better and warmer listening. 

So far everything ranging from Joe Cocker, Melody Gardot, Joe Satriani to CC Coletti and more that has been flowing through the three pre-installed tubes that arrived with this tiny amplifier while connected to an inexpensive set of Polk Audio T15 Bookshelf Speakers (mounted on the wall and wired with Monster 16-gauge speaker wire) hasn't disappointed one bit because of it's surprising big sound.

I've already purchased a pair of Sovtek EL84's, Electro-Harmonix EL84 EH Power Vacuum Tubes and a Mullard CV4004 / 12AX7 Balanced Triode to see how they will sound compared to the matched pair of Sino EL84s and Sino 12AX7B that came with it, So after the new tubes arrive it may take some time to find just the right amount of warmth, bass and highs but in the meantime the flat digital world of music will slowly fade away to a better place inside my ears.

Thank You TubeDepot,



    reviewed by: David
  • Tube: Shuguang EL84 2pcs , 12AX7B 1pc
  • Power Output: 3.5W+3.5W @ 8 ohms
  • Frequency Response: 30-40Khz (+-1db)
  • Input Sensitivity: 500mV
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: -80dB / 3.5W
  • Residual Noise < 1mVac
  • Input AC Voltage: 100-250Vac
  • Power Consumption: 38W
  • Input Impedance: 50K ohms
  • Output Impedance: 8/6/4 ohms (Japan Z11-EI48*24 Output Transformers)
  • Dimensions: 130mm (w) x 130mm (d) x 130mm (h)
  • Weight: 2.6KG
  • Input: RCA Jacks
  • Output: Banana Jacks
  • AC: Standard IEC Jack with Fuse protection (2A Fuse)
  • Color: Black
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