Quicksilver MS190 power amplifier Specifications

Sidebar 2: Specifications

Description: Tubed stereo power amplifier. Rated output: 95Wpc into 8 or 4 ohms (MX190). Frequency response: +0/–3dB, 16Hz–70kHz, full output power. Outputs: 4 and 8 ohms. Power consumption: 300 watts.
Weight: 95 lb.
Price: $2495 (1984); no longer available (2022).
Manufacturer: Quicksilver Audio: Van Nuys, CA (1981–1985); Stockton, CA (1985–1992); Reno, NV (1992–2005) Denver, CO (2005–2008) 7475 Murray Drive, Suite 17, Stockton, CA 95210 (2008–present). Tel:(209) 957-6640. Fax:(209) 957-6641. Web: quicksilveraudio.com

Quicksilver Audio
7475 Murray Drive, Suite 17
Stockton, CA 95210
(209) 957-6640

tonykaz's picture

I hadn't realised how few were made, now I realize that not many more than 85, hmm.

It's ultra rare, I wonder what closets are hiding them and how many survive.

It'd be nice to have Mr.JA do his standard testing on one of these.

Back in it's day it was the darling of the reviewing press and one of my local Acoustat Dealers that had an exclusive on the brand : Audio Threshold & Tom Houghton .

Mr.Holt reports this amp should do well with the Thiel CS3 ! I don't think so , I was a dealer for Thiel and can report that no Tube Amp could handle the impressively low impedance and Currant demands of the Big Thiels.

Tony in sunny Florida

Ortofan's picture

... instead you could choose a Class A rated amp from either Conrad-Johnson or Audio Research?

tonykaz's picture

I hardly ever agree on Reviewer Rating Classes

I've been a Full-Line Conrad-Johnson Dealer and have owned numerous Audio Research Amplifiers & Pre's.

Quicksilver was exciting to me because of it's Peer reputation !, but I was never tempted enough to pay Full Retail for any of their products.

I was also Tim de Paravicini's EAR importer for a short time in the 1980s.


Tube gear has lost most of it's excitement for me ( except for a few Schiit, Bottlehead, Audible Illusion and Woo pieces.) Even then, only if I can source a generous supply of outstanding Russian Tubes.

Still, I'm confident that a person can perk-up any Tube piece ( the older the better ) with carefully selected capacitors, silver re-wiring and superb Russian Glass.

I'd purchase an old Quicksilver for Re-Sale in Japan, not for personal use.

Tony in Florida ( my birth name is Anton but I'm not the Anton that is ranting about me lately )

Jack L's picture


YES, rather than "great minds think alike", I would put it as "great ears hear alike" !

I am addicted to triode sound since day sooo many years back. So much more detail, more transient fast & more soothingly delicate vs tetrode/pentode which sound too 'tuby' to me.

Why? As I said in many Stereophile forums before, triode is the only active device with true linear signal transfer curves. No kinks or 'knees' along the transfer curves to limit the music swing like tetrodes/pentrodes,& all bipolar junction devices, ie. transistors, FETs & op-amps. So triode sounds better. This is physics.

That's why ALL my power amps are built/upgraded with triode-ended power stage.

I was crazy enough to have the output power tubes of my 2 antique AM radios converted to triode by strapping their screen grids to their plates. So detailled clean sound instead of typical old radio muddy tube sound. They provide me background music while I am working on my DIY audios behind my workbench.

Listening is believing

Jack L

JRT's picture

This two channel stereo amplifier uses a quad of EL34 in the push pull output stage on each channel (eight EL34 in total). With the amplifier rated at 95W per channel, those EL34 ouput tubes are certainly not strapped for triode operation. The modular replaceable board that was discussed in the article was a driver stage, and was not the output stage. JGH stated a preference for the triode variant of that modular replaceable driver stage. Your comment was focused on your own personal preference for triode output stages and made no mention on the driver stage, which seems incongruous to the subject line of your comment about JGH's preference in driver boards, "the sound with the triode boards (which I preferred)". Again, the triode boards were driver stage, not output stage, and my point here is only to bring that to your attention, and not to criticize your personal preferences.

JRT's picture

Mesa Engineering (maybe better known for Mesa Boogie guitar amplifiers) used to offer a Baron power amplifier and Tigris integrated amplifier, which had reconfigurable output stages (triode, pentode, etc.).

Here are links to Stereophile's reviews:

Mesa Tigris:

Mesa Baron:

Jack L's picture


Thanks for pointing it out.

But the principle is the same, driver stage or power stage irrespective. Triode, being truly linear, always sounds better than tetrode or pentode.

Of course, sound improvement of triode output stage over pentode stage, e.g EL34, is even much more obvious than driver stages.

FYI, All my design/built phonostages & linestages are always ALL triodes. Never ever pentodes which got too much gain & are more noisy than triodes, period. JGH got golden ears indeed.

Listening is believing

Jack L