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Muzishare X7 - an affordable hand-wired KT88 integrated made at the Line Magnetic factory

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by action pact, Dec 10, 2020.

  1. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    My Muzishare X7 just arrived yesterday after a long journey... Hong Kong -> Alaska -> Kentucky -> New Hampshire -> Massachusetts.

    There's not a whole lot of info about this amp out there, Muzishare appears to be a brand intended for the Chinese market only, but those who have ordered them seem to love them, and have favorably compared them to Primaluna, Cayin, etc. It's kind of an open secret that these are made in the same factory as Line Magnetic. (LM amps can be seen in the background in photos on the web of people building Muzishare amps, and they share the same parent company.)

    KT88s with a tube rectifier, 45 wpc Ultra Linear/25 wpc Triode, Nichicon caps, hand-wired, remote milled from a solid block of aluminum, and with a built-in headphone amp and phono stage. This is my first experience with "ChiFi" and my first experience with a modern tube amp.

    I decided to take a chance and ordered it from a vendor on AliExpress direct from China, saving about $150 vs. Amazon, for a total of $1228 including 6.5% MA state sales tax (yes, it is taxable). The price savings comes with a different type of cost; the seller was good about responding to messages, but some of the business practices over there can be, uh, sketchy. Apparently AliExpress' rules state that sellers have to input a tracking number within a certain timeframe, so sellers get around this requirement by inputting a fake tracking number, and then "correcting" it with the actual number when the airbill is generated. There was a period of a few days where the UPS tracking number would not work on UPS' site, and it caused me some anxiety. Finally the real number was input, and UPS' tracking page confirmed that the destination was Lexington, MA, so I was then able to relax.

    The order was placed on 11/27, so the wait time (12 days) wasn't that bad. (It was actually scheduled to deliver on the 7th instead of the 9th, but UPS was delayed.)

    Keep in mind that it's only got about 9 hours logged so far, and the owner's manual suggests that it will take 100 hours to burn in. I had it fired up from about 12:30PM to 9:30PM, so at least it was nice and warmed up for much of the day.

    As a point of reference, the two amps I have been using for the past several years have been a recapped 1959 Fisher X-100 (EL84, approx. 12-14 wpc) and the aforementioned Rega Brio-R.

    My initial impression is the Muzishare feels a bit more forward than the Brio-R, which admittedly has a warm, thick voicing (at least, it does with my Spendors). The midrange and top-end on the Muzishare is quite clear. Bass performance is impressive - tighter, deeper, and more impactful than what the Fisher and Brio-R were able to provide. I certainly didn't expect that from a tube amp. It also runs extremely quietly. I fully cranked up the volume on one of the unused line inputs and it was as quiet as a mouse.

    As one would imagine, the imaging is quite extraordinary... wide, deep, holographic. This is what we desire tube amps for, right?

    Another area where it really excels is in pacing. Despite being rated 5 watts less powerful than the Brio-R (in UL mode), it drives the Spendors much more efficiently, which is another thing I wouldn't have expected from a tube amp. The rhythmic thrust - the PRaT, if you will - is light-footed and snappy, without being pounding.

    I haven't yet tried the phono stage, but I would be surprised if it outperforms or even matches my Rega Fono MM MKIII. I will probably get to that later today.

    Another pleasant surprise is the headphone output on the Muzishare. I'm listening to it now through my Sennheiser/Massdrop HD6xx (= HD650), and I am delighted by how nice it sounds. The Muzishare is having no trouble driving the Senns, and I'm hearing basically the same presentation as through the speakers. At any rate, it sounds quite a bit better than the modest Schiit Magni 3 that I had been using.

    I'm looking forward to seeing what if any transformation occurs as I approach the 100-hour burn-in mark. As funds become available, I will likely do some tube rolling, but at this early stage, I am quite pleased with this purchase.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident

    Location:
    Des Moines
    That's a nice looking amp!
     
    jonwoody, trd and action pact like this.
  3. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    I agree! A lot of modern tube amps look frankly cheesy to me, and it's a real turn off. The outward appearance is important to me.

    I like the simpleness of the X7's industrial design... plus it has meters. :love:

    :laugh:
     
    Jimi Floyd, bever70, SirMarc and 3 others like this.
  4. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Congrats on the new amp! I’ve never heard one but I’ve read several good reviews. Chinese built amps provide value for money which is pretty hard to beat. It’s a good idea to just enjoy it first and tube roll later on. And if you really want to max out the performance later down the road, change the capacitors. In the meantime, enjoy!
     
  5. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Are the tubes Chinese? My PrimaLuna has Chinese tubes and I was very surprised at how nice they sounded. I have rolled a few tubes staying with mostly stock for what I think is good sound.
     
  6. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    That's good to know!

    The tubes are all Muzishare-branded and presumably Chinese-made, with the exception of the rectifier, which is a Sovtek. Some of the other X7's out there were shipped with a JJ 12AX7.

    I'm waiting to see what if any changes happen during the first month or so before I go crazy buying tubes.
     
    bluesaddict and Rick58 like this.
  7. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    Thanks! I'm not sure that upgrading the caps is necessary. They put Nichicons in this.

    Note the box on the floor, in the lower left:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. chipcalzada

    chipcalzada Forum Resident

    Yes to Nichicon for the electrolytic capacitors which are very good quality, but the coupling capacitors could be probably be improved on. I'm not saying the stock Muzishare cap is bad, but these things are built to a price point so if you really want to max out the performance you could change the coupling caps down the road.

    [​IMG]
     
    bluemooze, trd and action pact like this.
  9. Nicode70

    Nicode70 Overspending completist

    Location:
    France
    I bought an X7 and received it last week or so. My feelings are the same as the OP.
    It’s built like a tank. It’s beautiful. I love it.
    And those meters...
    What speakers are you using with it?
    I’m considering option to change my current ones. Atohm Sirocco 1.0.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2020
    trd and action pact like this.
  10. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    I’m not familiar with your speakers, but mine are Spendor SP3/1R2.

    it’s nice the way the voltage on the X7 is switchable, so it can be used anywhere in the world.
     
  11. Nicode70

    Nicode70 Overspending completist

    Location:
    France
    Wahoo that is some nice speakers. Can the X7 drive this without any problem?
    I can’t afford that. Neither can I force this to my wife in the living room.
    I was thinking about the Focal Chora 806
     
  12. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    I got a great deal on the speakers from a dealer in England, Analogue Seduction. They were demos in like-new condition. Even with the expense of shipping them across the ocean, they didn’t cost much more than the Muzishare.

    Of course, if you buy Focals, you’ll be contributing to your country’s economy. Vive la France!
     
  13. Nicode70

    Nicode70 Overspending completist

    Location:
    France
    I think I will get the Focal. Next month. I have to heal a little bit. This month between the X7 and the Rega planar 6, I’ve been very unreasonable.
    One of the things I love about the X7 esthetics is the color of the body. That shade of blue is a thing of beauty.
     
    DougRuss and action pact like this.
  14. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    I feel your pain about the season's expenses! On top of the holidays and buying the Muzishare, I've also treated myself to a new phono preamp, and now I have eyes on upgrading my DAC. I gotta stop!

    I agree with you, the finish on the X7 is very luxurious. It has a sort of automotive blue-black metal flake paint that is very elegant. I haven't found anything about the amp that looks or feels "cheap."
     
    jonwoody, Seafinch and DougRuss like this.
  15. Joe Spivey

    Joe Spivey Your friendly neighborhood Spivey-Man

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Does Muzishare share the same circuit design and parts with Line Magnetic? I understand they share the same factory. So is it just rebranding?

    The automotive paint looks nice but easy to chip and scratch. I had a Raven Audio amp with the same automotive finish. They eventually moved to powder coat because it’s more durable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  16. Nicode70

    Nicode70 Overspending completist

    Location:
    France
    Too soon to tell, but it's definitly a dust magnet
     
  17. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Congrats ! And yes, it looks very good !
    How's the sensitivity rating of your spendors ?
     
  18. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    Not a re-branding per se... more like the parent company has created a different brand, probably for a different market.

    I cannot find a Line Magnetic product that is exactly like the Muzishare X7, but the two brands share the exact same remote control, tube cage and VU meters.

    Thanks! The rating of the SP3/1R2 is 88db.
     
    Strat-Mangler and Joe Spivey like this.
  19. bever70

    bever70 It's all about the soundstage

    Location:
    Belgium
    Thanks, just saw it mentioned in your other post as well. Looks like they don't do preamps ?
     
  20. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    Not that I am aware of, however the X7 can be used as a power amp, thanks to a switch on the face and dedicated inputs on back.
     
    bever70 likes this.
  21. 5-String

    5-String μηδὲν ἄγαν

    Location:
    Sunshine State
    I was wondering what is the exact relationship between Line Magnetic and Muzishare maybe @GoldprintAudio can share some info if there is any.
    @action pact, congrats, this looks like a nice amp!
     
    action pact likes this.
  22. Mark broadhead

    Mark broadhead Forum Resident

    Location:
    Newcastle England
    I had a LM 218 and the construction and layout is very similar. Puts a lot of amps to shame in this regard. Worth messing around coupling caps. Can make a surprising difference.
     
  23. GoldprintAudio

    GoldprintAudio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lexington, NC
    Hey guys....sorry, but I do not know anything about the Muzishare units. Line Magnetic is the OEM for a quite a few different companies now.
     
    Strat-Mangler, 5-String and trd like this.
  24. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore Thread Starter

    Here's a photo of some Muzishare amps on a pallet in the factory. If you look off to the side, you can see some Line Magnetic amps.

    [​IMG]

    From what I've been able to gather, Zhuhai Meishi Audio Equipment Co., Ltd. of Guangdong, China manufactures Line Magnetic, Muzishare, Willsenton, Boyuu, Reisong, and possibly Cayin as well.

    It's hard to tell what their relationship is exactly, but note that the company is listed as "Zhuhai Line Magnetic" on this Muzishare certification document.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2020
  25. Nicode70

    Nicode70 Overspending completist

    Location:
    France
    I'm going to listen to the focal chora 806 tomorrow in a showroom. I will have a definitive opinion based on my own ears and taste.
    I find it very very very difficult to fully trust and relly on other persons reviews and opinions for a purchase such as speakers.
     
    action pact likes this.

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