$1500 Tube Amp

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Early B.

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #20 on: 19 Oct 2015, 04:16 am »
That's true, but only to a certain (usually lesser) extent than a tube amp or tube integrated, generally speaking.

Really?

A bit off topic, but I used to own a pair of modded Rogue M-120 tube monoblocks. I replaced them with a solid state amp and got a more "tubey" sound. Some will argue that you can get a tube sound without tube gear. In fact, the so-called "tube sound" may be what the majority of audiophiles are seeking. To me, tube sound is defined as a relatively smoother presentation, a lush mid range (as measured by my emotional connection to the vocalist), and a cleaner form of distortion at higher volumes. I'm sure others may have quite a different definition.

To bring this back on topic, I would encourage the OP to ponder more on what he really wants to hear from a "tubey" system. He may discover that he need not limit himself to tube amps. However, if dead set on a tube amp, get this one:

https://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-triode-corporation-japanese-tube-amp-45watt-with-headphone-jack-excellent-condition-2015-09-25-amplifiers-98004-6591-bellevue-wa



 

4Play

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #21 on: 19 Oct 2015, 02:39 pm »
You have had a Jolida in the past. If you liked what you had, then I would recommend a Jolida JD-202BRC and a pair of Focal 806V speakers. I have this combo in my 11Ft wide x 14Ft long room. This combo will give you a holographic 3D image unlike anything else you will ever hear. The JD-202 puts out 40 watts of clear unfatiguing sound.

Hope this helps.

undertow

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #22 on: 19 Oct 2015, 03:08 pm »
Do a tube headphone amp in a tiny room like that... Tons of good headphones for 400 to 800 bucks with high efficiency an equally as many good tube headphone amps around the same price getting your whole amp, and speaker combo done for $1500.00 with very high end results.

Otherwise I would stay away from "Full Range" drivers such as ZU, they just won't integrate well, or give you the smooth response in that small a space without sounding like you can't get away from them trapped next to those walls especially with that listening distance, go with small Klipsch bookshelves using a 6" or 8" driver with between 95 db - 100 db efficiency using a good 10 to 40 watt tube amp with some very affordable EL34 based tubes, and I guarantee it will be a sweet little rocking setup.

Maybe if you want to step it up for a future bigger setup that may or may not happen look at some used Klipsch Heresy speakers, they don't produce a ton of low bass which will sound tight, and punchy in a room like that, but also have an efficiency in the heritage line that won't shout at you in closed quarters. Plus they always hold about the same value on the used market so you can't lose much money trying them. They are rather large for speakers in general, but they will work pretty well in this case while allowing you to still look at, and purchase much higher quality low power tube amps with excellent results.

[and by the way if bass is a concern especially in a smaller room like this I suggest looking at a small sub outside of your main tube amplified / full range speakers anyway. Get some small efficient monitors that don't need to produce a lot of bass on demand, this helps the tubes, your room, and your speakers perform much better... and you can then tailor a small sub to fill in at whatever volume level, and frequency you need gaining a lot more control. In your budget for speakers you can easily pull off a good small sub, and main monitors with much better results]
« Last Edit: 19 Oct 2015, 04:13 pm by undertow »

RDavidson

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #23 on: 19 Oct 2015, 03:11 pm »
Really?

A bit off topic, but I used to own a pair of modded Rogue M-120 tube monoblocks. I replaced them with a solid state amp and got a more "tubey" sound. Some will argue that you can get a tube sound without tube gear. In fact, the so-called "tube sound" may be what the majority of audiophiles are seeking. To me, tube sound is defined as a relatively smoother presentation, a lush mid range (as measured by my emotional connection to the vocalist), and a cleaner form of distortion at higher volumes. I'm sure others may have quite a different definition.

To bring this back on topic, I would encourage the OP to ponder more on what he really wants to hear from a "tubey" system. He may discover that he need not limit himself to tube amps. However, if dead set on a tube amp, get this one:

https://app.audiogon.com/listings/tube-triode-corporation-japanese-tube-amp-45watt-with-headphone-jack-excellent-condition-2015-09-25-amplifiers-98004-6591-bellevue-wa

Yes, I understand. That's why I said "generally speaking." I didn't want to delve too far into a tubes vs SS discussion as it may become more complicated than need be. The OP says he wants "tubey sound" and he has owned a tube integrated or two in the past, which he enjoyed. I figure, let's keep things simple and stay on that track. I think you see that too. :thumb:

Mike Nomad

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #24 on: 19 Oct 2015, 06:31 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.

Decware Owner here. Single Ended Triode (SET) vs. Single Ended Pentode (SEP)...

/ SEP will allow you to go, comfortably, into the double-digits regrading Watts per Channel (WPC). This will allow you a pretty wide range of speaker options. If I remember correctly, the critical component with an SEP is the power supply. To the point that better SEP amps are a two box solution.

/ SET is going to give you better definition and detail. WPC is going to top out in the mid-single digits. This will significantly narrow your range of speaker options. You will want high efficiency speakers: At least 94 dB sensitivity at 8 Ohms / 1 Watt.

/ My specifics: Decware SE84CKC @ 2.3 WPC (The current catalog equivalent is the SE84UFO2). Speakers are mid-70s Klipsch Cornwalls (98.5 dB efficient). Room size is 14' wide, 21' long, with a 16' vaulted ceiling. Sound quality and playback level is wonderful. When I lower the vaulted ceiling back to its original 11', wonderful should move up to somewhere around jaw-dropping fantastic.

JLM

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #25 on: 19 Oct 2015, 07:50 pm »
Careful, excess tubbiness can get old.

If possible always pick speaker first, then the matching amp.

For near-field listening I'd go with single or concentric driver (to avoid drivers not blending) monitors (that you can adjust the height).

At moderate listening levels I'd aim for higher efficiency speakers to maintain good dynamics.

Omega RS5 based speakers (typical of smaller extended range drivers) tend to lack meat on the bone and may not show off tubbiness very well.  And smaller drivers can lack mid/bass "body".

TubeNirvana

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #26 on: 19 Oct 2015, 11:46 pm »
if I may plug my own gear, have a look at my model Ray, 8W SE 6L6G stereo amp, go to www.tubenirvana.net and click on Ray.
Don't be fooled by 4W per channel, this thing drives my Klipsch book shelves really well! Then there is of course my model Big O, KT88 PP 25W/CH.

elmalloc

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #27 on: 20 Oct 2015, 12:14 pm »
Hi everyone,

Thanks for the great help. I've done enough research and taken everyone's opinion into account, and I will be going with the Decware 84UFO or the Decware Rachel. Thank you for the feedback.

I would like to keep this thread open for further discussion around a Tube DAC or Tube Preamp and Speakers to pair with it. It sounds like I should go with Single driver with this setup.

Budget for the DAC/Preamp and Speakers would be $2000 total and will be purchased within the next 20 days.

As much as I enjoy flipping equipment, at some point in my life I found what I was looking for - and let the combination go. Seems to happen to us all! Can't really tell what you like until you see if the grass is greener.

Thanks,
Reuben

FullRangeMan

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #28 on: 20 Oct 2015, 12:22 pm »
You can use 6N1P or 6N2P(more gain) with these amps.
As you know EL84 delivery 2W, the Rachel EL34 6W in Stereo.
The real deal is run the EL84 in mono to 6W IMO.

Guy 13

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #29 on: 20 Oct 2015, 12:56 pm »
You can use 6N1P or 6N2P(more gain) with these amps.
As you know EL84 delivery 2W, the Rachel EL34 6W in Stereo.
The real deal is run the EL84 in mono to 6W IMO.
Hi FullRangeMan,
a few years back, I wrote to Steve at Decware and ask him about his opinion
on bridging the SE84C+ that I own to get more power and he told me,
(Not using the exact words) that the sound would degrade a little.
It's better to go for the EL34 instead of the EL84 with it's little 2wpc.

Guy 13

FullRangeMan

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #30 on: 20 Oct 2015, 01:02 pm »
Hi FullRangeMan,
a few years back, I wrote to Steve at Decware and ask him about his opinion
on bridging the SE84C+ that I own to get more power and he told me,
(Not using the exact words) that the sound would degrade a little.
It's better to go for the EL34 instead of the EL84 with it's little 2wpc.

Guy 13
Wow as I always say: first hand information is very important.
Thanks for inform us, I appreciated it.

Syrah

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #31 on: 20 Oct 2015, 02:05 pm »
I'm thinking about a Rachael myself, but this thread put me on the Zen Mini Torii.  Funny how they don't market that as an integrated, but in the fine print suggest that you don't need a preamp as it has volume controls etc.

If I intend to use it without a preamp (fed with a DAC like a Chord Qute) how would the sound differ in the Rachael vs. Zen Mini Torii?  All things being equal I'm leaning towards the Rachael because my main amps at home use 16 * EL34 tubes, so I always have lots of EL34 lying around.

Thanks.

FullRangeMan

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #32 on: 20 Oct 2015, 02:10 pm »
Your amp are AudioValves?

Syrah

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #33 on: 20 Oct 2015, 02:15 pm »
The ones using 16 tubes?  No, they're 4 * Dodd Audio mono blocks.  And I live in the Caribbean.  You should see my electricity bill!

elmalloc

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #34 on: 20 Oct 2015, 02:16 pm »
I'm thinking about a Rachael myself, but this thread put me on the Zen Mini Torii.  Funny how they don't market that as an integrated, but in the fine print suggest that you don't need a preamp as it has volume controls etc.

If I intend to use it without a preamp (fed with a DAC like a Chord Qute) how would the sound differ in the Rachael vs. Zen Mini Torii?  All things being equal I'm leaning towards the Rachael because my main amps at home use 16 * EL34 tubes, so I always have lots of EL34 lying around.

Thanks.

Good question, I look forward to the answer. I did a little reading on SET and SEP, it seemed like the Decware SET was a sure shot winner, but I also wonder about the Torii at its current $1500 price.

parbaked

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #35 on: 20 Oct 2015, 03:05 pm »
Rachael is a little bit more powerful (6 wpc) so can be used with a wider range of speakers or a larger room.
It is basically a EL34 version of the little Zen amp.

Mini Torri has a little less power (4 wpc) but many more features to tune the sound and roll tubes.
The tone control and variable feedback are fun if one likes to tinker with the sound signature.

Both will benefit from using a pre-amp if more power (gain) is desired.


parbaked

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #36 on: 20 Oct 2015, 03:12 pm »

If I intend to use it without a preamp (fed with a DAC like a Chord Qute) how would the sound differ in the Rachael vs. Zen Mini Torii?  All things being equal I'm leaning towards the Rachael because my main amps at home use 16 * EL34 tubes, so I always have lots of EL34 lying around.


There are a number of DACs on the market that combine the pre-amp functionality so you can have multiple inputs and the benefit of pre-amp gain.
I use a Burson HA-160D to drive my SET/SEP amps. That way I have analog (3 x RCA) and digital (USB and SPDIF) inputs as well as 10bd gain and volume control.

Mike Nomad

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #37 on: 21 Oct 2015, 02:55 pm »
While the Rachel would be the easier move, Mini Torii is going to be _a lot_ more tuneable. And with the holiday discount, you can get the Mini Torii for the price of a Rachel.

I have not heard the Mini Torii, so, no further comparison is offered.


I'm thinking about a Rachael myself, but this thread put me on the Zen Mini Torii.  Funny how they don't market that as an integrated, but in the fine print suggest that you don't need a preamp as it has volume controls etc.

If I intend to use it without a preamp (fed with a DAC like a Chord Qute) how would the sound differ in the Rachael vs. Zen Mini Torii?  All things being equal I'm leaning towards the Rachael because my main amps at home use 16 * EL34 tubes, so I always have lots of EL34 lying around.

Thanks.

Mike Nomad

Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #38 on: 21 Oct 2015, 02:59 pm »
You are not necessarily limited to single-driver setups, just high efficiency.


Hi everyone,

Thanks for the great help. I've done enough research and taken everyone's opinion into account, and I will be going with the Decware 84UFO or the Decware Rachel. Thank you for the feedback.

I would like to keep this thread open for further discussion around a Tube DAC or Tube Preamp and Speakers to pair with it. It sounds like I should go with Single driver with this setup.

Budget for the DAC/Preamp and Speakers would be $2000 total and will be purchased within the next 20 days.

As much as I enjoy flipping equipment, at some point in my life I found what I was looking for - and let the combination go. Seems to happen to us all! Can't really tell what you like until you see if the grass is greener.

Thanks,
Reuben

parbaked

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Re: $1500 Tube Amp
« Reply #39 on: 21 Oct 2015, 04:56 pm »
While the Rachel would be the easier move,

What does "easier to move" mean?
Thanks!