Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    233

    Default Wanting A New Tube Amp!

    New used one anyway.

    My experience with tube equipment is pretty limited though, so therefore the request for help. I really like this one here:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    But the price seems like a bit much?? But then again, I just don't know if it is or not. Any help would be much appreciated. What I have for speakers is a set of NHT Classic 3's, and I would like to use a Yamaha 12" passive sub running through a Dahlquist passive xover. Or, with this amp I guess I could just hook the sub up to the center channel output. I also have a set of RTiA3's I could use instead of the NHT's.

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Descending toward the moon in the CLEM (Chinese Lunar Excursion Module), looking for Chang'e
    Posts
    11,454

    Default

    We'll have to wait for the old-time TUBE boys to weigh in on this because I'm just beginning to hear various tube amps. Most of them Chinese..since that's where I've been for the last 12 months!

    But this guy sounds 'interesting' to say the least and he's not that far from my neck of the woods....may give his 'stores' a visit when I return.

    Good luck with your decision...actually a good 35 w/channel tube amp can supply some decent power to the speakers you list above. You'd be surprised.

    cnh

  3. #3

    Member Sales Rating: (35)

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis Indiana
    Posts
    1,509

    Default

    As a PREVIOUS EICO ST-70 owner of THREE of these integrateds I can tell you a bit about them.
    OF ALL the tube amps I've owned they're my least favorite. Though nice sounding they leaned more to the SS side than tube in sound quality.
    They're weak in the pre section, loudness switch mods are a must, and they're constantly wanting new solder connection touch ups. JMHO.
    They wouldn't be my first choice IF I were wanting to get my feet wet into tubes.

  4. #4
    Stronzo
    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Over Yonder
    Posts
    7,883

    Default

    Hello AudioFilet,

    Careful, once you stumble across a real good tube amp, returning back to a conventional solid state amp may be difficult. :D As a first tube-timer, I'd suggest keeping things as simple as possible for now. Here are a few things that I'd suggest considering while in search for a new tube amp.

    - Because you intend on powering conventional loudspeakers of average impedence and efficiency, you will likely want to step into a tube amp that boasts a solid 30wpc or more.

    -Try to choose a tube amp that uses a more common set of power tubes, such as KT88 or EL34 based tubes. These tubes are easy to find and can be relatively affordable. Starting off with a super exotic piece may seem cool, but that coolness factor will quickly end when you have to search/flip the bill for replacement tubes.

    - Although the China Fi stuff on ebay can be real tempting, there is a lot to be said for product support. Since this is your first time, I'd suggest keeping to the more established brands that have a good infrastructure in place just in case you require help and/or service on your tube amp. Here are a few brands that meet the above criteria: Rogue, Prima Luna, Joilda, Antique Sound Labs, Eastern Electric, Vista Audio, Pathos, Cayin, - to name a few. All of the aforementioned brands offer relatively affordable tube amps that carry a great reputation in sound quality, service, and reliability.

    Other Suggestions:

    If I were in your position, I'd narrow down my search to Prima Luna and Vista Audio. Although this is largely based off of personal bias, here's why I'd lead you towards those two brands..

    Prima Luna Prologue 1: Just one look at this piece, and you'll know that it's solid. Hefting it in the air will only confirm what your eyes tell ya. This is a great all around piece that embodies the whole 'tube warmth' that so many ears get wet for. It is more than powerful enough to drive your speakers so power should not be much of a concern. More importantly, their products are very well made, is backed by a strong deal/distribution network, and features an auto biasing circuit that really takes out part of the hasstle of tube ownership. In case you aren't familiar with what auto-biasing is.. it is a circuit in the Prologue 1 that automatically adjusts its bias whenever a new tube is put in place. This means that you wont have to go in and manually adjust the bias every time you need to replace a set of tubes.

    Vista Audio i34: It's not nearly as pretty as the Prima Luna piece, and the brand is fairly obscure. The amps are made in Serbia and then given the ole' quality control check in NYC. I like this piece because its well made and sounds great. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that as of this moment, its the only budget piece south of $2000 that I could see myself living with... tube or solid state. It's got a top to bottom balance/linearity that every tube amp should have (IMHO), without sacrificing that little bit of blossom and bloom that make tube amps so fun to listen to. Fantastic piece. Great support, and for $980, I've yet to stumble across anything better. (ps, if you do go with this piece, be sure to get the low-gain version).

    Alright, it feels like I typed up a book, so I will draw this post to a close. I haven't proof read anything so if this reads like ****, I apologize in advance. :) Good luck!

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (47)

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Sufficiently Breathless
    Posts
    11,095

    Default

    My first tube amp was an ASL ,,the small monoblocks,, thats where I started learning about biasing and tube rolling,,if it were me,,I'd look for an Anthem Amp 1,,maybe some older VTL gear,,or a Quicksilver GLA,,each has the "sound" that they are known for,and are well built,affordable,relatively simple,,and won't break you when tube rolling--good luck.
    here's a couple

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....b-Typhoon-DT-S

    http://www.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....let---Black-te (contact/talk with Mr Vincent,,if you need references,,pm jerryj12)
    Last edited by george daniel; 07-18-2010 at 08:18 AM.
    JC approves....he told me so. (F-1 nut)

  6. #6

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    7,977

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HB27 View Post
    As a PREVIOUS EICO ST-70 owner of THREE of these integrateds I can tell you a bit about them.
    OF ALL the tube amps I've owned they're my least favorite. Though nice sounding they leaned more to the SS side than tube in sound quality.
    They're weak in the pre section, loudness switch mods are a must, and they're constantly wanting new solder connection touch ups. JMHO.
    They wouldn't be my first choice IF I were wanting to get my feet wet into tubes.
    I would concur with the above. I actually have an ST-40 (an extremely similar but "detuned" compared to the ST-40) in the basement awaiting restoration... virtually all amps using 7591 outputs tend towards a more sterile presentation, I'd opine.
    all the best,
    mrh

  7. #7

    Member Sales Rating: (9)

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    2,073

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Hello AudioFilet,

    Careful, once you stumble across a real good tube amp, returning back to a conventional solid state amp may be difficult. :D As a first tube-timer, I'd suggest keeping things as simple as possible for now. Here are a few things that I'd suggest considering while in search for a new tube amp.

    - Because you intend on powering conventional loudspeakers of average impedence and efficiency, you will likely want to step into a tube amp that boasts a solid 30wpc or more.

    -Try to choose a tube amp that uses a more common set of power tubes, such as KT88 or EL34 based tubes. These tubes are easy to find and can be relatively affordable. Starting off with a super exotic piece may seem cool, but that coolness factor will quickly end when you have to search/flip the bill for replacement tubes.

    - Although the China Fi stuff on ebay can be real tempting, there is a lot to be said for product support. Since this is your first time, I'd suggest keeping to the more established brands that have a good infrastructure in place just in case you require help and/or service on your tube amp. Here are a few brands that meet the above criteria: Rogue, Prima Luna, Joilda, Antique Sound Labs, Eastern Electric, Vista Audio, Pathos, Cayin, - to name a few. All of the aforementioned brands offer relatively affordable tube amps that carry a great reputation in sound quality, service, and reliability.

    Other Suggestions:

    If I were in your position, I'd narrow down my search to Prima Luna and Vista Audio. Although this is largely based off of personal bias, here's why I'd lead you towards those two brands..

    Prima Luna Prologue 1: Just one look at this piece, and you'll know that it's solid. Hefting it in the air will only confirm what your eyes tell ya. This is a great all around piece that embodies the whole 'tube warmth' that so many ears get wet for. It is more than powerful enough to drive your speakers so power should not be much of a concern. More importantly, their products are very well made, is backed by a strong deal/distribution network, and features an auto biasing circuit that really takes out part of the hasstle of tube ownership. In case you aren't familiar with what auto-biasing is.. it is a circuit in the Prologue 1 that automatically adjusts its bias whenever a new tube is put in place. This means that you wont have to go in and manually adjust the bias every time you need to replace a set of tubes.

    Vista Audio i34: It's not nearly as pretty as the Prima Luna piece, and the brand is fairly obscure. The amps are made in Serbia and then given the ole' quality control check in NYC. I like this piece because its well made and sounds great. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that as of this moment, its the only budget piece south of $2000 that I could see myself living with... tube or solid state. It's got a top to bottom balance/linearity that every tube amp should have (IMHO), without sacrificing that little bit of blossom and bloom that make tube amps so fun to listen to. Fantastic piece. Great support, and for $980, I've yet to stumble across anything better. (ps, if you do go with this piece, be sure to get the low-gain version).

    Alright, it feels like I typed up a book, so I will draw this post to a close. I haven't proof read anything so if this reads like ****, I apologize in advance. :) Good luck!
    Zero beat me to it...The Vista Audio i34 fits right in with your price point. Unlike most budget int. tube units, the i34 isn't too tubey gooey sounding. I bought one to be my reference tube amp. Boris is a great guy and takes excellent care of his customers.
    Staff Member TONEAudio
    Founder/Publisher Affordable$$Audio
    2 Channel System
    SimAudio Moon i7 int. amp
    iBook w/PureMusic/iTunes,1.5 TB harddrive
    Sim Audio Moon 300D DAC,
    Harbeth Compact 7es-3 Speakers
    Magnepan 1.6 w/Skiing Ninja x-overs
    Rega RP1 w/Ortofon Super OM40
    SimAudio LP5.3 phono pre
    Additional Gear:
    ACI Emerald XL, Totem Rainmakers, Celestion Si Stands, AudioArt cabling, Shunyata Venom power cords, Modified PS Audio Trio C-100 int. amp, Vista Audio Int. Tube, iPod 160 gig

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (21)

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Deep Down the Rabbit Hole
    Posts
    9,610

    Default

    If you are going to be into tubes then skip over the entry and get something from vtl, manley, bat, cj, or the mentioned ASL, you will save in the long run and enjoy your sound for longer, if you just want to fool around with it a bit then there is plenty of entry stuff, entry is entry and nobody likes their baby called ugly, I had an origingal Manley Stingray without the i-pod thingy that was very sweet and can be had for a bit more than your talking price-point, its your choice so whatever you decide enjoy and oh

    Tubes Rule.

    RT1
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
    B&K 7270 amplifier
    Polk SWA-500 Subwoofer amplifier
    OppO BDP-83
    Pioneer Elite 50"
    Polk LCi-RTS-105;LCi-RTS-C;LCi-RTSFx;LCi80Fx
    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
    Wolcott Presence monoblock
    Musical Fidelity kW SACD
    Rega P25/RB600/Clearaudio Aurum Beta
    Acoustech Phono-Pre
    Sound Lab Millenium ELS
    BillyBags Rack
    MIT S1/3 cables
    Shunyata/PS Audio/Virtual Dynamics Power Cords


    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    San Antonio
    Posts
    233

    Default

    Wow, thanks for all the help. I am attracted to that Vista Audio i34 amp in particular. I downloaded the manual for it and it seems to fit the bill, and the price is right.

    I do have a tube amp now, a Chinese job called a Music Angel, using 4 KT88 tubes. I have upgraded the tubes in it from the original Chinese tubes, and it seems to sound better, but nowhere as sweet as the Fisher I once had.

    I have heard of people modifying these Chinese amps to greatly improve the sound. Anybody heard of this going on??

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (8)

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,306

    Default

    I had about a 2 weeks of tube amps. Had two McIntosh 275 mk4's to compare with the 501 SS at the same time. The 275's with the stock chinese tubes were heavenly!! I went with with 501 SS for one reason. I wouldn't be tempted to roll tubes.

    I went with a tube pre instead. Not saying I'm right, I just couldn't trust myself from spending an equal amount on tubes as I did on the amp. Tubes rule, no doubt. I like to think this way: I have short arms and deep pockets.:D

    Gordon
    2 Channel -
    Martin Logan Spire, 2 JL Audio F112 subs
    McIntosh C1000 Controller with Tube pre amp, 2 MC501 amplifiers, MD1K Transport & DAC, MR-88 Tuner
    WireWorld Eclipse 6.0 speaker wire and jumpers, Eclipse 5^2 Squared Balanced IC's. Silver Eclipse PCs (5)
    Symposium Rollerblocks 2+ (16)Black Diamond Racing Mk 3 pits (8)

  11. #11
    Stronzo
    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Over Yonder
    Posts
    7,883

    Default

    Audiofilet,

    Modifying gear like that can be a fun and educational experience, but as far as investments go, don't expect to get much of a return. If you're looking to have fun with your existing piece, by all means, break out the soldering iron and enjoy Frankenstenining the little tubey. However, if you are simply out to get the best bang for your buck, I'd disregard the modification route and invest into something thats solidly engineered/sounds good right from the get go.

    The Vista piece gets my recommendation because its the only cheap tube integrated I've heard that doesn't sound like a cheap tube integrated. The cool thing is that you get a 30 day trial period with the i34, so even if you don't like it, you can ship it back and all that you'll be out on is shipping. It's a win/win situation.

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Descending toward the moon in the CLEM (Chinese Lunar Excursion Module), looking for Chang'e
    Posts
    11,454

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by reeltrouble1 View Post
    If you are going to be into tubes then skip over the entry and get something from vtl, manley, bat, cj, or the mentioned ASL, you will save in the long run and enjoy your sound for longer, if you just want to fool around with it a bit then there is plenty of entry stuff, entry is entry and nobody likes their baby called ugly, I had an origingal Manley Stingray without the i-pod thingy that was very sweet and can be had for a bit more than your talking price-point, its your choice so whatever you decide enjoy and oh

    Tubes Rule.

    RT1

    That's what we like to hear! Might want to consider a 'tube primer' for new tubies? Just a thought...but the above goes a long way in suggesting entry points.

    Thanks,

    cnh

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    7,977

    Default

    Gotcher tube primer right here...
    http://www.anthemav.com/discontinued...e_Of_Tubes.pdf
    all the best,
    mrh

  14. #14
    Audiophile
    Member Sales Rating: (30)

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,108

    Default

    My first tube amp was a DIY kit, and it sent me diving head first into the tube world. I'm really glad now that my first tubes I had to build myself as it provided me with an understanding that I would not have received otherwise. Just some words for thought... :)

  15. #15

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    7,977

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by zingo View Post
    My first tube amp was a DIY kit, and it sent me diving head first into the tube world. I'm really glad now that my first tubes I had to build myself as it provided me with an understanding that I would not have received otherwise. Just some words for thought... :)
    Lots of options at all price points. Personal faves, if cost is a primary consideration and the safety and well-being of pets or small children isn't :-)

    http://www.s5electronics.com/thome.html

    In all seriousness, we built one of their early 11BM8 push-pull stereo amp kits, and its sonic performance is quite respectable. Placed in a proper enclosure (with a see-through smoked plastic front to see the tubes glow), it did college dorm-room stints with both of our kids and was much liked for its sound and style.
    all the best,
    mrh

  16. #16
    Audiophile
    Member Sales Rating: (30)

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,108

    Default

    I have to politely disagree. :) Building one of the S5 kits was a lot of fun and a good learning opportunity, but the time and money spent upgrading it there after was not worth it sound quality wise. I learned a lot, but ended up having to sell it because I just could not get the sound quality to where I wanted it, and the tubes aren't anything special either; 5670 triode and 6005 pentode tubes.

    The best DIY option I've seen so far is the Suppo Audio EL34 Commander. It does come from China, but customer support is good, and the kit comes with everything including tubes and case for $220 + $155 shipping. I have one hooked up now, and at 35wpc PP EL34, it will drive almost anything, and sounds great also.


  17. #17

    Member Sales Rating: (2)

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    7,977

    Default

    Point taken, but we probably don't really disagree; my data point is the earlier amp using the 11BM8 - which is essentially a 6BM8 with an 11V heater for series-string applications. Teh 6BM8 has a well-established hifi pedigree, especially in Japan. The amp I built is perfectly good sounding, and dead quiet as well, for the $140 price of the bare-bones kit at the time.

    The Amp using the 5670 and 6005 has not been heard by me.

    The EL34pp stereo amp looks quite nice - although the price with shipping is getting into the realm of a restored vintage integrated.
    all the best,
    mrh

  18. #18
    Audiophile
    Member Sales Rating: (30)

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,108

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    The Amp using the 5670 and 6005 has not been heard by me.
    It was a very good learning experience, and they do offer quality parts for cheap, but I just couldn't get the sound quality good enough or noise low enough to keep me happy.

    Quote Originally Posted by mhardy6647 View Post
    The EL34pp stereo amp looks quite nice - although the price with shipping is getting into the realm of a restored vintage integrated.
    It is a very nice kit with quality parts, but I would take it any day over a vintage integrated. I just don't have many feelings for nostalgia, and a new amp with quality parts is my cup of tea.

    I've attached my article on Suppo Audio EL34 amp for the read if anyone has free time. It's a neat little amp with big sound.
    Attached Images

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Similar Threads

  1. WANTING SDA or SRS
    By rolling18 in forum Wanted (WTB) Classifieds
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 05-01-2010, 07:01 PM
  2. Need Help Wanting something better
    By Rodeo0530 in forum Speakers
    Replies: 63
    Last Post: 04-25-2009, 01:31 PM
  3. Wanting A Tube System
    By phuz in forum Wanted (WTB) Classifieds
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 06-18-2007, 02:46 PM
  4. Wanting to buy
    By Codey J in forum Flea Market
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-19-2005, 01:48 PM
  5. For anybody that's been wanting to get a new DAC
    By LuSh in forum 2 Channel Audio
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-14-2005, 03:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts