$1500 Tube Amp

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elmalloc

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$1500 Tube Amp
« on: 18 Oct 2015, 06:18 am »
Hi,

I miss my tube music setup, I used to own an Onix H34 tube amp, Onix SP3 tube amp, strata mini, Jolida JD100A CDP, and a DAC.

I want a tubey sound, I have no speakers, amp, or DAC right now.

So starting with the amp in a very small room (10x12), what is the preference for $1500 or less?

Thanks,
ELmO

FullRangeMan

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #1 on: 18 Oct 2015, 10:15 am »
I dont like 'Stereo' tube amps, but if you dont mind there are few better than these and under your budget:
http://www.decware.com/newsite/SE34I.htm

http://www.decware.com/newsite/SE84CKC.html
« Last Edit: 18 Oct 2015, 12:35 pm by FullRangeMan »

elmalloc

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #2 on: 18 Oct 2015, 01:20 pm »
Hi,

I started to read reviews about it. I also didn't know what a SET Amp was before that, so I will add it to my research list.

The room is small, and the critical listening position is even smaller - it's my office, so I plan to have a corner dedicated to listening to Vinyl or FLAC --> Tube DAC --> Tube Amp.

The listening area is probably going to only be 4 ft away from the speakers. Which mind you, will come up as another question later - have no idea what speakers to use. Looking at the SET lower powered amps, I'm better off with high efficiency like a Zu monitor - the speaker purchase as it usually goes will be a blind buy.

Thanks!
ELmO

opnly bafld

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #3 on: 18 Oct 2015, 02:17 pm »
For nearfield listening in a small room with a low power tube amp.......
Omega      http://www.omegaloudspeakers.com/omegaspeakerstor.html
Omega on AC      http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=31.0

johzel

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #4 on: 18 Oct 2015, 02:52 pm »
With its recent price drop the Van Alstine tube amp might be a contender.

RDavidson

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #5 on: 18 Oct 2015, 03:49 pm »
For nearfield listening in a small room with a low power tube amp.......
Omega      http://www.omegaloudspeakers.com/omegaspeakerstor.html
Omega on AC      http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=31.0

+1. For a desktop setup, many have had fantastic success with the Omega 3i and a small amp like the Decware SE84UFO. Depending on speaker finish and amp options, you could have a complete high-end setup for roughly $1500 sans cables and source. Also, get a pair of Iso Acoustics stands for the speakers. :thumb:

morganc

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #6 on: 18 Oct 2015, 05:41 pm »
I love the Decware combo with Tekton Lore's
--the Mini Torii with the Lore is a fantastic combo.

I prefer the Coincident Dynamo with the Tekton Lore Reference (my current bedroom rig in a room about the size of yours).

If you want to go budget, you could get the Tekton M-Lore with a decware amp and be very happy for around $2k all in. 

I have owned Zu Essence, Definitions, and prefer the Tekton Tweeter and the ease of placement of the Tektons Vs the hyper-sensitive Zu's. Having said that, the new Druid mkV is pretty special but much more costly. 

Disclaimer:  I am selling my Decware Mini Tori as I prefer the Dynamo with my Lore reference and I sold my Lores.  However, this is the third Mini Torii I have owned. 


roscoeiii

Re: $1500 Tube Ampi
« Reply #7 on: 18 Oct 2015, 05:56 pm »
I'd get your speakers figured out first. Some of these recs here are for pretty low powered stuff. Which is great for the right speakers,  but will limit the number of speakers that will work well. Another option is a higher power tube amp like  a Rogue (I have a Stereo 90 Super Magnum for  sale here,  which would allow you to use a number of tube types to dial in the sound you want,  and can be run in two modes)  that will drive most speakers. 

RPM123

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #8 on: 18 Oct 2015, 06:30 pm »
I have the Van Alstine Ultravalve and it is outstanding, however, I would not characterize its sound as being "tubey", if you mean sounding flabby in the bass region and a colored mid-range. Also an outstanding value at the new price! It comes with a 30 day trial, so you have nothing to lose except shipping costs. You could also experiment with various preamps and or tubes if you want a tubey sound. Good luck.

RDavidson

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Re: $1500 Tube Ampi
« Reply #9 on: 18 Oct 2015, 07:00 pm »
I'd get your speakers figured out first. Some of these recs here are for pretty low powered stuff. Which is great for the right speakers,  but will limit the number of speakers that will work well. Another option is a higher power tube amp like  a Rogue (I have a Stereo 90 Super Magnum for  sale here,  which would allow you to use a number of tube types to dial in the sound you want,  and can be run in two modes)  that will drive most speakers.

I agree, but the OP's listening seat is only going to be about 4 feet from the speakers. I wouldn't recommend anything but high efficiency / high sensitivity speakers in this case, which means he doesn't really "need" a big amp heating up his small room and burning up a bunch of tubes. Speakers of average sensitivity and low impedance swings (which A LOT of speaker choices are these days) just don't open up unless fed a good dose of power. At 4 feet, something like that might not be the best route....unless the OP wants to rock out all the time. The nice thing about high efficiency / high sensitivity speakers is that they tend to sound great even when fed 1/2 a watt or less. I think that's ideal. But if the OP intends on possibly moving this system to a larger area later, then yeah, definitely further considerations are needed.

elmalloc

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #10 on: 18 Oct 2015, 08:00 pm »
Hi,

I don't intend to move this to a new area later; I will build a different system for that purpose. I do have a large room (20x20xvaulted and open) that I'll get into after we figure this area out!

The purpose for this system is to get back into the tube arena - and listen to some vinyl and FLAC/DAC stuff in the office.

I don't intend to rock out at high SPL levels, just missing that tube noise at reasonable volume.

I do realize I will need high efficiency speakers, but my main goal right now is to get the analog/tube sound - so I'd rather start with the amp and pair the rest of the hardware to it, if possible.

Thanks for the feedback so far!
ELmO

parbaked

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #11 on: 18 Oct 2015, 08:10 pm »
Decware has a special offer on the new Mini Torri MKIII with the new output transformers.
This is a fun amp if you want to play with tubes and it has a few functions that allow you to adjust the tone.
http://www.decware.com/newsite/minitoriise.htm
$1795 - $300 coupon = $1495...nice!

elmalloc

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #12 on: 18 Oct 2015, 09:42 pm »
So far I've heard a couple Decware nominations. I've read some user reviews and they say it's some of the lowest/blackest noise floor they've ever heard. I WANT THAT! That'd be killer.

But can someone give me a quick understanding of the different Decware offerings? I see SET vs. SEP, etc.

roscoeiii

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #13 on: 18 Oct 2015, 11:57 pm »
So far I've heard a couple Decware nominations. I've read some user reviews and they say it's some of the lowest/blackest noise floor they've ever heard. I WANT THAT! That'd be killer.

But can someone give me a quick understanding of the different Decware offerings? I see SET vs. SEP, etc.

IIRC, Decware has their own forum. You could look there. Or give them a ring on Monday...

RDavidson

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #14 on: 19 Oct 2015, 12:34 am »
I do realize I will need high efficiency speakers, but my main goal right now is to get the analog/tube sound - so I'd rather start with the amp and pair the rest of the hardware to it, if possible.

Well, that's the thing...If you want the best possible result, don't consider the amp without considering the speakers simultaneously. It's like considering a motor for a vehicle without defining what you want the vehicle to be and what you want it to do. Know what I mean?

DaveC113

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #15 on: 19 Oct 2015, 12:51 am »
An Omega with the 4.5" RS5 driver and a SET amp like the Decware recommended is going to be impossible to beat for your use without spending huge amounts of money. +1 for iso acoustics stands too. Also, add an 8" Omega sub...

Early B.

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #16 on: 19 Oct 2015, 01:45 am »
From 4 feet away, go with active studio monitors. They're designed for nearfield listening. Saves money. And since it's your office, you'll save space, too, because you won't need to make room for an amp.  I'd go with the Emotiva Stealth active studio monitors for $1,500/pair.   https://emotiva.com/products/powered-monitors/stealth-8


RDavidson

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #17 on: 19 Oct 2015, 01:51 am »
From 4 feet away, go with active studio monitors. They're designed for nearfield listening. Saves money. And since it's your office, you'll save space, too, because you won't need to make room for an amp.  I'd go with the Emotiva Stealth active studio monitors for $1,500/pair.   https://emotiva.com/products/powered-monitors/stealth-8

Not a bad suggestion, but doesn't fit what the OP wants.

Early B.

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #18 on: 19 Oct 2015, 02:16 am »
Not a bad suggestion, but doesn't fit what the OP wants.

The OP can get the "tubey sound" he wants from a tube preamp.

RDavidson

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #19 on: 19 Oct 2015, 02:56 am »
The OP can get the "tubey sound" he wants from a tube preamp.

That's true, but only to a certain (usually lesser) extent than a tube amp or tube integrated, generally speaking.