Dared MP-5: Review and modification

Also known as the Fatman iTube.

After listening to the Dared MP-5 tubed integrated pre-amp, I decided that I want to make a "pre-amp out". This is useful if I want to connect to a different amplifier, while wanting to use the tube section.

So I needed to tap the DAC + Tubed preamp stage of the Dared MP-5 as it does not have RCA out. Flipped the amp upside down and removed 4 screws to get access to the board, I noticed that the Dared MP-5 is using STI TDA7265 chip power amp.

Reading the datasheet from I found out that pin # 7 and #11 are the inputs, so this is where I want to tap the signal. Looking at the PCB they are clearly marked as L, R, and GND. Thanks to the PCB designer!

Update 25/5/09:
After living with the amp for quite a long time I have come to the conclusion that it is a very good amplifier which requires no modification/addition. I am using it now to power a pair of fullrange TangBand speakers.

Update 25/4/2015
The potentiometer used in Dared MP-5 is rather cheap one. After a few years it developed oxidation and audibly noisy. It can be easily accessed and changed using better ones like Alps etc. Smaller pots can be soldered from underneath the PCB patch.



Gus said...

Hey, have almost bought the MP5, and thinking about driving the BW 685 with it, do you think it s gonna work ? or do i need more sensitive speakers ? thanks !

ariel & andrew said...

My room is 3x4 and it is good enough to drive a pair of 93dB speakers which I modified and became 88-ish dB.

Anonymous said...

Hey I know this is a really old post but I have a Dared MP5 myself and need some information if you'd be so kind. I bought a matched pair of Svetlana tubes for the amp (12AX7) and they don't work. I had read online the amp will use 12AX7 tubes. I unscrewed the bottom and checked the units insides comparing them to yours and they are identical. Could you help me out so I can use 12AX7 tubes? Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Can the pre out be connected to more power Amps - Say Rotel 981 B?


gainphile said...

Yes, check out the pre-amp out modification above

gainphile said...

The tubes on them are "6N1"

Anonymous said...

Reference your 25/4/2015 update on replacing the potentiometer:

Can you recommend the Alps (or equivalent replacement) part number for the potentiometer? My Dared is making noise when changing the volume and appears to suffer from a noisy pot. I'm pretty sure I can replace mine, just need a part number.


Eric Eng said...

What are the specs on the pot you used? I am new to electronics modding.

Unknown said...

I replaced mine with Alps RK16 100 kOhm dual pot. This is not a step pot but is much better in setting the desired volume. However, it's shaft is longer at 25mm, the original one I believe is only 15mm. I've changed to a bigger volume knob that cost just a few bucks and it fits nicely too.