Customers should note that this is not a valve amplifier. It's a solid state IC amplifier with some valves attached. The lack of output transformers is an obvious giveaway - and less obviously these are not power valves. It's a little disappointing that WhatHiFi should not have spotted this. Do not buy this thinking you are getting valve amplification.
Now that I've corrected RHCD I thought I'd post a short review of the i-Tube Red-i.
As per What hi-fi's review the speakers are a massive dissapointment. In fact they're woeful if truth be told.
However given the price of the Red-i has dropped to around £230 then I think Fatman can be forgiven for this as the docking station itself is superb.
I've purchased the Red-i as a stop gap while I'm selling off my hi-fi and am considering my next move. As I love my Proac Studio 125's I have kept them so have been driving these with the docking station.
Although this combination is rather unbalanced (the 125's cost £1000) they really do show just how good the Fatman is. The sound is a little bass light but the tone control sorts this out reasonably well without too much mid bass intrusion. The mid band is really quite smooth for a budget amplifier and the treble sweet and open without any hint of harshness, which is something I was not expecting from such a cheap setup.
In terms of driving ability my Proacs are rated at 87db/W/m so are not the easiest to manage yet the little i-Tube has plenty enough in the bank to produce some very unstrained, room filling sound.
To conclude, if you're looking for a very cost effective setup with fantastic sound quality and massive potential then this is well worth considering providing you are willing to purchase some decent speakers to partner it with.
As far as I'm aware this is not sold as a 100% valve amp. It's a hybrid with a valve pre and transistor power amp. This is a common compromise to give the amp greater 'real world' driving ability as most 100% valve amps are woefully underpowered (think Copland and you will find more expensive versions of the same thing).
I would imagine that 99% of the target audience will not understand how difficult it is to extract anything more than a few watts from a vacuum tube and will also not understand anything about speaker sensitivity. Thus purchasing a Fatman product without speakers could turn into a dissapointing venture.
Realistically you should've done your homework instead of criticizing What Hi-Fi.
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