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  1. #1

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    Default Recommendations on Tube Monoblocks

    Hi Guys,

    I am interested in getting a pair of Tube Monoblocks and would like to get some advise on them. Many to chose from and they all say "theirs are the best!". Lots of choices in tubes in them as well.

    I am looking for something in the 100 to 150 watt range to drive a set of Maggie 1.6's.

    Some that I have looked at to list a few:

    Manley
    Cary
    Dodd
    Prima Luna
    Audio Research

    So far I have read enough to make me more confused than a kid in a candy store with only a dollar to spend!

    Any help and advise you guys can offer will be greatly appreciated. Any brands to stay away from as well.

    Thanks in advance,
    David

  2. #2

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    All the brands you've listed have produced some excellent tube amps. I would also add Balanced Audio Technology (BAT) to your list. The older VK-60s in monoblock configuration or the newer VK-75 would give you the power you're looking for. Their site is http://www.balanced.com
    [ My Rigs ] Balanced Audio Technology | Revel | Dodd | Monarchy | PS Audio | MIT | Polk | Etc.

  3. #3

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    ASL Hurricanes can handle stats I would put them on the list. The big boy VTL mono-blocks can be used.

    RT1
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    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  4. #4

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    TNRabbit
    NO Polk Audio Equipment
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  5. #5

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    Default

    Guys,

    I appreciate the quick responses!

    I have considered the BAT amps as well.

    Have not checked out the ASL Hurricanes and will take a good look at them.

    The Carvers are fantastic and may be out of my price range! Even if I could find a good set of them.

    A good friend of mine pointed me to a set of the Dodd 120's (2nd gen) this morning on Audiogon that are going for $1,775 for the pair. One plus on these is that he lives 2 miles from me and I am going over Saturday to have a listen to his products. It would make it easy if I need any repairs.

    Any thoughts you may have on the Dodd's would really help. I have been leaning towards them for the last few weeks I have read alot of good reviews on them and so far he seems like a guy who really knows his stuff.

    Thanks again for all your help and responses!

  6. #6

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    I've had a few Manley amps, very good. My current ones are 200W monoblocks. Right now I am using them improperly and it has shown me their quality. I am using them on 104 db efficient horns which means only the first few watts are used. Normally you go with something between 1 and 8 watts. Amps this powerful should sound extremely noisey in this situation (as power levels go up so does the quiescent noise). Not the case with the Manleys.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  7. #7

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    I have heard the big VTL's on a set of ML's (eclipse I think) and it left a lot to be desired. Perhaps they were too much power but by the time they were glowing the panels were giving up and the image collapsed. Never got around to trying a smaller set of mono's. I am loving the AR stuff right now. That is to say I am dreaming of it. I can't say I own any, but I have been listening and I am sold. Now if I just had the money to buy. :(

    I really don't like panels, so I am never really happy with the way they sound but the AR stuff has me drooling.

    /.02

  8. #8

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    I'm an ARC fan myself, but the Dodds certainly are a fine choice.
    Being able to see/hear them and avoid shipping hassles +1 +1 +1!!!
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9

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    Another vote for ASL. They give you serious performance for the price. Of couse, I'm not saying the ASL will be best, but something to keep on your list.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  10. #10

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    Guys,

    I wanted to thank everyone for their responses! I think I have made up my mind on which one's I am going to buy. Now I just have to save a small fortune for them.

    RT1,

    I looked at the ASL Hurricane's and talked to them this morning. I am going to get the Hurricanes. They look like awesome amp's and I can buy them direct with a 10% discount and free shipping. Since they are 84 pounds each that will save me a few bucks. Also I can evaluate them for 3 weeks and send them back if I don't like them.

    If anyone is interested they have a couple of demo models that he offered for $3,500.

    Now comes the hard part, waiting until I get enough money saved up to buy them!

    Thanks again for all the advise and suggestions guy's! I will let you know when I get them installed.

  11. #11

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    Cool. Let us know how it goes and show some pics when it arrives. The Hurricane is a man amp!

    Where are you located? I had no idea you could buy direct from ASL. I buy my ASL stuff through my dealer.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  12. #12

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    I am located in Garland Texas (a burb north of Dallas). They don't have a dealer in this area which I was surprised to hear. I would have liked to go listen to them first, but I am also glad considering the deal.

    I will take some pictures but it may be another month before I can swing getting them. Still have to save up a few more bucks. The wait is going to kill me!

  13. #13

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    Dagoods,

    Give them a really good run during the trial and make sure they do what you want, you have made a big investment in going with new ones so they need to do the job. One great thing about the Hurricanes is they can handle hard to drive speakers with wild impendance curves, BTW, those Dodd mono-blocks you mentioned above on the Gon are excellent. BAT will always be one of my favorite's outstanding sound and technology from Victor Khomenko and is gang, and one of the absoulute best after sale service companies I have ever had the pleasure to deal with.

    I can also let you guys know that for stats the Wolcott's I have are excellent but rare and OOP, Henry Wolcott was a genius in audio circuitry, unfortunately his health is failing, fortunately his chief design engineer is covering repair when needed. Another unusual set of tubed amps are the Atmasphere OTL, if you are in the market do some research and see if they will fit your needs.

    All of the tube gear mentioned by the members is excellent, which just goes to show

    POLK dudes KNOW

    Tubes RULE

    RT1
    Last edited by reeltrouble1; 09-21-2009 at 09:54 AM.
    REEL TIME THEATRE
    Onkyo-TX-NR5007
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    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


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

  14. #14

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    RT1,

    I plan to raise the roof when I get them! I hope I can take a few days off to enjoy them. I may have to get a friend or 2 over to help me lift them. The Maggie's will finally wake up. I am ordering me a couple of pieces of granite in the next week or so to set them on. Spikes for the granite are on the way as well.

    I got to listen to Gary Dodd's battery powered tube amp over the week end and I was very impressed with the sound. I took a friend with me that has been doubting tube amps and I think he is now a believer. Says he may buy one of them.

    You are right Polk Dudes Know and are a great source for information!!

    Thanks again to all you guys for your opinion's!

    David

  15. #15

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    Default belles 350-A or reference

    I sold BAT and AR, my demo BAT system was a pair of VK-150se monoblocks and Meadowlark Nightingale and Blue Heron 2's.<br>
    <br>
    Believe it or not the only thing I used the 150se's for was to compare side by side to Belles 350-Monoblocks, they offer tubelike smoothness with a sense of bass detail, accuracy, and power that tube amps can't touch. The secret to solid state is also making sure you have one of the few totally neutral cables on the market.<br>
    <br>
    I just sold the original prototype monoblock that can be used as a stand alone two channel for $1850, there isn't an amp made way beyond that that will compare. You could hunt for a pair of 150 Reference monoblocks as well, they were made to handle a difficult speaker, I used them with ML CLS2's.<br>
    <br>
    A common mistake made by tube lovers (which I considered myself one) is that there is a tendency to head into interconnects and speaker cable that throws an artificial emphasis on highs and mid range frequency that colors the tube sound and punches it up. Using a cable that works like that with solid state is a surefire way to cringe at the edgy and harsh result. It is not the electronics it is the wire. Neutral cable eliminates this problem.

  16. #16

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    Bang for buck (big bang): QUICKSILVER AUDIO. I have always wanted to try their SET monos but the Mini-Mites and Mid-Monos are excellent!

    DC
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  17. #17

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    Guys,

    An update for you. I found an excellent deal on a pair of Manley Snapper's about a week ago and decided to buy them. I contacted Manley and they were built in 2008. I was able to transfer the warranty without any trouble. I got them for less than 1/2 original price and have 4 years warranty on them.

    They had mis-matched tubes so I bought a quad of EL34EH's for each. Installed them last week end and now have about 40 hours on them. They are very warm and nice sounding amps and drive the Maggie's very well. I am already looking at a octet of the fat bottle EH 6CA7's for them.

    The Carver TFM 25's moved to the home theater and I now have 2 Yamaha MX 600's I am thinking of getting rid of.

    Just want to say thanks for all the information and advise from the group. I have picked up a wealth of information here. I may still but the Hurricane's next year but for now I am very happy with the Snapper's.

    Thanks again to all,
    David

  18. #18

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    Look elsewhere for EL34/6CA7's, those EH's are terrible sounding tubes. IMO.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  19. #19

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    Excellent choice of amplifier, I agree with the great pontificator, the EH I have experience with were not my favorite, Manley plays nice with Ei, but hard to come by as there gone now, sorry but the Ei 84's are the only tube I ever used with my Manley Stingray, the Face man has it now, dont know if Madmax has used the smaller Manley gear, check with him though.

    Anyway........Manley is Magnificent, BAT is Beautiful and VTL is Vivacious, just off top to name a few......tubes rule.

    Glad to hear these drive your Maggies so well, good info.

    RT1
    REEL TIME THEATRE
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    Subs-Twin Polk CSW200
    HTS5000


    RABBIT HOLE RIG
    BAT VK-31SE
    VTL MB-450 Signature monoblock
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    Everthing Matters...Tubes Rule...and It's Over until it's Not Over

  20. #20

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    The Ei EL84's in the Stingray work well, but I thought that the Ei 12AT7's were junk.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    I thought that the Ei 12AT7's were junk.
    Yeah, they didn't sound good in my amp either, which is a bit surprising considering that Ei's other offerings are very good.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  22. #22

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    VTL's
    engtaz

    I love how music can brighten up a bad day.

  23. #23

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    So guys,

    If the EH's are not a good choice can you give me some recommendations as to some that you consider better?

    I know I can use EL34's and 6CA7's but can I use any others models of tubes? Are their EL34's that I should be considering? Since I am new at this any information will help. I am not set on any tubes yet and I don't mind trying different one's.

    I did get a new quad of JJ EL34's from the guy I purchased the amps from but would need to buy another quad to do both amps. Would those be good one's to run or would they be about the same as the EH's?

    Thanks again for your opinions!

  24. #24

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    I have used JJ 6dj8, I thought it was a nice tube, never used their el34 though, I use Svetlana Winged C EL34, they are not exactly cheap though, the tube was recommended for my amps by Henry Wolcott, I figured he might just know what he was talking about.

    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

  25. #25

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    I agree, if you are upgrading EL34 the Winged C is the one to get. I tried many others including the new Tung Sol reissue and the new Gen. KT77 and keep returning to the Winged C

    Rick
    pre VAC Standard LE, power VAC PA100/100 phi upgrade, analog Origin Live Aurora Mk2, Origin Live Encounter Mk3c, Benz Ebony H, digital Lector 0.6t, speakers Thiel CS2.4, Rel Strata III, cables Audience AU24 e IC, Audience AU24 e SC, power Audience aR1p, Audience aR2p, Audience PowerCord e

  26. #26

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    Congrats on your purchase man! Glad you're enjoying the sound.

    Why no love for the EH? Am I the only one that really like them? lol
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  27. #27

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    I find EH a bit harsh...
    I am running them as buffers in my pre right now until I can get another air of Jan CHY 6sn7gt Hytrons (hard to get and very pricey)
    I have the "c" winged tubes in my Cary V12, and they do sound nice !!

    Congrats on the new tube amps !!

    TUBES RULE !!
    Last edited by beardog03; 10-16-2009 at 02:49 PM.
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  28. #28

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    I thought the EH6SN7 sounded great. I'm not a fan of their smaller 12**7 tubes. But it's their EL34 that I really like.
    If you really like the SED "C", you can add the Mullard re-issue on your list. Sounds almost identical as the "C" but with much better bass and high freq extension.

    Eff you people. With all this EL34 talk, you're making me want to bring my Dynaco in for a complete makeover sooner than I planned. I really want to use that amp with my RT1000p's.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dagoods View Post
    If the EH's are not a good choice can you give me some recommendations as to some that you consider better?
    The EH's are not so bad. The key to any particular tube is how well they mate to everything else in your system. Synergy. Try a different set here and there and you will find the winner. Remember, most tubes take at least 100 hours before they sound like they are supposed to.
    madmax
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

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    with all this tube talk, you are making me want to re-tube !!

    wadaya think of these ?
    6550 or KT-88 ?

    http://www.tubedepot.com/bsct.html

    sorry for the intrusion....if I offend i will start another thread...
    Cary SLP-98L F1 DC Pre Amp (Jag Blue)
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    Magnum Dynalab MD-102 Analog Tuna
    Jolida JD-100 CDP
    Polk Audio LSi9 Speaks (ebony)
    SVS PC-Ultra Sub
    AQ Bedrock Speaker Cables (Bi-Wired)
    MIT Shotgun S1 I/C`s
    AQ Black Thunder Sub Cables
    PS Audio Plus Power Cords
    Magnum Dynalab ST-2 FM Antenna
    Sanus Cherry wood Speak Stands
    Adona AV45CS3 / 3 Tier Rack (Black /Gold)



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