Antique Sound Labs has been making some truly affordable tube gears over the years. And they can do because almost everything is built in-house, from transformers to the casing to the boards. The Monsoon monoblocks you see here is a design built around the premise of offering affordable KT-120 based sound that won’t break your bank. They may not have the over the top built and finish of other more expensive KT-88 based tube amps but measured in terms of musicality, they are worthy challenges. Each individual KT-120 tube are biased by switching the switch and matching the reading on the digital display. All simple and easy to do. And listening to them is just as easy. Just sit back, let the tubes warm up and enjoy their luscious sound. Input tubes are two 6SN7 and one 6SL7. We had them paired to the Focal Mini Utopia and Zu Audio’s Essence speakers and they were magical. Vocals especially had this wonderful 3D image and rich soulful sound to it. Bass was impressive and deep without sounding bloated. We had the amps carefully overhauled – tube sockets replaced, degraded resistors and other worn out parts swapped out for new ones and a general cleanup internally. And this is after the previous owner sent the amps to Response Audio where it underwent upgrades on many crucial parts like V-Cap Teflon Caps, vibration treatment, better wires in the wiring etc. XLR input was disconnected by the previous owner so we left it as that. Response Audio sells the re-badge ASL Monsoon as the Bella Extreme 100 for $8,000!
Cosmetically, the unit is in fair shape. Some scuff marks here and there and a few tiny dings on the transformer casings but nothing major. We don’t have the original box but will securely pack this for safe shipping. The amps will be shipped in two boxes and tubes will be marked for quick and easy install.