TONEaudio sur les blocs mono MANLEY Mahi (Mahi)

Fifteen years and price increases later, the MANLEY Mahis are still one of the most enjoyable pairs of tube amps going. I think I need a pair.

If you have never experienced an amplifier using EL-84 tubes, you are definitely in for a treat. Though the 6550 and KT-88 tubes are more common because of their higher power capacity, this configuration is very interesting. Conventional wisdom states that the EL-34 tubes have a more romantic sound, while the 6550s have more extension and punch.

However, the EL-84 in many ways is the best of both worlds, having great bass, top end extension, yet a liquid midrange. The only drawback is that these little tubes are only good for about 40 watts per channel, so to take advantage of the magic these amplifiers have to offer, you need a small room, efficient speakers, or both.

The more time I spent listening to the Mahis, the clearer picture I got of their character. The Mahis are very nimble tube amplifiers that have a lot of control in the lower registers. I tried several of my favorite bass-heavy discs from Kruder & Dorfmeister, Mickey Hart, and even dusted off my oldest Run DMC LP’s. The bass response of the Mahis is satisfying on all occasions. There are a few tube amplifiers in this price range that have more power, but the Mahis have more finesse, so if that’s your hot button, you will dig these amplifiers.

Again, the key is system matching. Get a pair of 92-96 dB speakers and you may never need a bigger amplifier, because the Mahis are so enjoyable.Hook ‘em up to a pair of 86 db speakers and you might not get the same picture I got unless you are in a small room. Thanks to the great tonality of these amplifiers, you female vocal fans will worship the Mahi sound.

It’s all about detail with the Mahis. You can’t beat the laws of physics with any pair of 40-watt amplifiers, but the Mahis do such a great job with detail, you may not find yourself wanting to turn it up quite so loud. One final detail: the Mahis are very sensitive only requiring about 300 mv to produce full power. If you take a pair for a test drive, turn your preamp way down before starting to listen.

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