Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation

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monsterbill

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Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« on: 1 May 2011, 07:28 am »
I'm looking for a cheap (~<$500) integrated tube amp to use with my Omega 3Rs in a nearfield arrangement. 

I tried the Miniwatt N3, but unfortunately I got a flawed used one with a bad hum through the speakers.  Otherwise I generally liked what I was hearing, and I'm not sure how much of the amps other flaws were due to the fact I had a faulty unit.

What else is out there worth trying?  Jolida FX10 good with Omegas?  Used Jolida 102B?

Thanks!

Zero

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #1 on: 1 May 2011, 10:28 am »
It pains me like hell to do this, but I may have something that may interest you.  A Vista Audio i34 integrated, a nice Serbian piece that that delivers 35wpc of EL-84 love. After trying numerous sub 2k tube integrated's in my system throughout the years, I feel like this piece is the best 'all arounder' to my ears, whether it's powering affordable speakers from Totem Acoustic, or expensive rock solid behemoths from Wilson Audio.

Anyways, it's worth researchin'. If you find that it may tickle your fancy, give me a shout. I should be able to offer it for a bit under your proposed budget.

Cheers

eclein

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Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #2 on: 1 May 2011, 10:41 am »
These are like $260 and I have first version and this one is on its way, a nice quality, excellent sounding piece of gear.
 Musical Paradise MP-301MK2


 Here is a link if you want to check it out closer:
http://www.musicalparadise.ca/mp/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=75

JLM

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Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #3 on: 1 May 2011, 11:13 am »
If I were in the market for a cheap tube amp to run with efficient speakers, I'd run to this (a bit over your budget):

http://www.decware.com/newsite/SE84C.htm

Hand built in the U.S. since 1998 with lifetime warrantee, it images like you wouldn't believe, is NOT syrupy, great tonality and bass control, class A (zero feedback) design, no circuit boards, loves low impedance loads, tubes are cheap to replace, self-biasing, sound quality on par with $10,000 amps, can be bridged to act as a monoblock, and is actually a two input integrated.

I think if you look through the Omega postings, you'll find several Omega owners that happily use Decware amps.
« Last Edit: 1 May 2011, 10:02 pm by JLM »

Quiet Earth

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #4 on: 1 May 2011, 02:06 pm »
loves low impedance loads

Do you know if the Decware amplifiers prefer a 4 ohm load, or has the new "Zen" circuit eliminated that issue?

tabrink

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Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #5 on: 1 May 2011, 03:29 pm »
 :D
I would think that any of Seth Krinsky's Virtue offerings would be an awesome for this application. They do not have any load restrictions, optional tube buffer  and with the new matching DAC coming out they are certainly worth the time to take a look.  I use Virtue amps with Omega gear and love the combination.

monsterbill

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Musical Paradise vs. Miniwatt
« Reply #6 on: 1 May 2011, 03:55 pm »
Anyone heard both the Musical Paradise and the Miniwatt?

JLM

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Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #7 on: 1 May 2011, 04:02 pm »
Do you know if the Decware amplifiers prefer a 4 ohm load, or has the new "Zen" circuit eliminated that issue?

I've not kept up very well with Decware developments in the past few years, so I don't know what you mean by "the new 'Zen' circuit," but the Decware link above says: "Power output:  2.3 watts  RMS into 4 ohms, 5 watts RMS into 8 ohms bridged, Power increases as ohms decrease, Stable into 1 ohm speaker loads."  So for this model at least it looks like the classic Decware behavior.


For $2495 the Decware Torii Mk III has all the bells and whistles with more power for use with nearly any speakers.   :thumb:

http://www.decware.com/newsite/TORII.htm

eclein

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Hank Murrow

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #9 on: 1 May 2011, 05:50 pm »
Suggest looking into the Bottlehead SEX kit...... great soundstage, detail, and bass; with a LOT of support for builders and modifiers on their Forum.

Cheers, Hank

http://www.bottlehead.com/store.php?crn=44&rn=433&action=show_detail

morganc

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #10 on: 1 May 2011, 08:40 pm »
Miniwatt?   A great little tube amp....used very inexpensive!

almonduck

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #11 on: 1 May 2011, 10:46 pm »
I'm really happy with my Onix H34 integrated.  Nicer tubes make a big difference.  I've seen them used for $500, but they usually go for a bit more.  Maybe the less expensive Onix SP3 would fit the bill.

Poultrygeist

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #12 on: 2 May 2011, 01:58 am »
You will never hear anyone dis a 2a3 SET amp. The usual comment is "I've never heard a 2a3 I didn't like" or "there's no such thing as a bad 2a3". So here's an excellent example under your price point.

I drive my Zu's with a Dared 2a3 and it's a marriage made in heaven.

http://cgi.ebay.com/SV-2A3-Class-Valve-Tube-Integrated-Amplifiers-/260775279109?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb76afa05

srb

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #13 on: 2 May 2011, 04:04 am »
You will never hear anyone dis a 2a3 SET amp.So here's an excellent example under your price point.
http://cgi.ebay.com/SV-2A3-Class-Valve-Tube-Integrated-Amplifiers-/260775279109?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb76afa05

monsterbill, where are you located?  If you're in 120V country, just make sure that if you do order something like this from an overseas vendor, that it is 120V also.  This particular one says "Input Power: 220V"
 
Steve

Poultrygeist


rockadanny

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #15 on: 2 May 2011, 11:58 am »
I just happen to have a brand new, small, inexpensive hybrid tube integrated for sale, Napa Acoustic NA-208. 25wpc with a 6N1 tube per channel and inputs for CD, iPOD, and Aux. Stainless steel chassis with heavy aluminum face plate - very cool looking. Sounds terrific with the speakers that come with it as a package. Folks who heard this system at AXPONA felt the same - sounded great. All for UNDER $500 with shipping! See my ad:
http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=94143.msg939234#msg939234

monsterbill

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2A3
« Reply #16 on: 2 May 2011, 04:46 pm »
Thanks for all the input!

Re: 2A3 amps, aren't replacement tubes expensive? Also, I'd get another Chinese amp, but aren't you guys wary of buying from Chinese distributors? What do I do if I get another hummer like the last one? (Get your mind out of the gutter--the amp was humming.)

rockadanny

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #17 on: 2 May 2011, 05:01 pm »
What do you consider as bad hum? Can you hear it three feet away from the speakers?

Hank Murrow

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #18 on: 2 May 2011, 05:01 pm »
RE: 2A3 replacement costs. I got a nice pair of RCA blackplates for $70, so that seemed fine, and the tubes sound grand. I am thinking about EML meshies, but they ARE pricey!

Cheers, Hank


Poultrygeist

Re: Cheap Tube Integrated Recommendation
« Reply #19 on: 2 May 2011, 05:33 pm »
Over the past few years I've bought four tube amps from Chinese ebay merchants without any problems and absolutely no hummers in this group: Yaqin, Bada tube hybrid, APPJ ( MiniWatt ), and the Dared.

I sold the Yaqin and Bada but kept the APPJ/MiniWatt which I use to drive some BL horns. 

The 2a3 tubes are cheap compared to 300B's.