I have $7000 to spend, put together a tube amp and preamp for me

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brucemarnold

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Howdy,

You know, I posted a somewhat similar question on here a bit ago, but I think I might have a different way to get the information I crave. If I have $7k to spend on an amp-preamp/linestage setup, what should I get?

I listed to a lot of "reverb" type of music that isn't too detailed: Smooth Jazz, Deep House, a lot of "floaty" electronica/downtempo, Chillwave, and singers like Lisa Shaw and Samantha James. I know. I'm a terrible person that isn't taking advantage of my system, but if you could help me given my musical naivete, I'd really appreciate it.

As such, I'd like to put together a system that is a "tad" tube-y/lush, but I'm feeling like I'd want to have a lot of the tube-y-ness in the preamp. The only other thing I require is that the preamp/linestage has to have a remote-controlled volume. I know I can roll tubes, but let's limit this to off-the-shelf OR you tell me what components to get AND the tubes I should get to replace the stock ones with. Just assume I'll find a good pair of speakers to match, so I don't want to get into that right now..

And... go... :)

FullRangeMan

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What is your speaker? Its permanet?
How much watts you need? Room size?

You could order to made a tube amp in a builder with the best parts, if you live in US.

Folsom

I would have Wavebourn build me the amplifier. I'll refer to others for a preamp that can pile on the lushness. The guy seriously charges hardly anything at all for them, and his tech talk is very convincing on top of comparing favorably with very expensive amps in subjective tests up to this point.


rlee8394

My choice would be:

PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium HP Power Amplifier    Regular price $3,899.00

PrimaLuna DiaLogue Premium Power Amplifier    Regular price $3,199.00

-Ron

Bob Stark

My recommendation would have dynamic, detailed, and very live sound, but would be used components.  TRL DUDE preamp with the remote option, and Nuforce Ref 9 V3 SE mono amps with TDSS Level 3 upgrades.  The combo on the used market, paying for TDSS to do the mods, would be right about $7000.  It would be VERY tough to beat the sound of this combo.  Bob Smith at TDSS says the 175 watt/ch amps are more like 250 watt/ch after he does the upgrades.  They sound better in all areas from the stock amps.  I've had them and heard the awesome upgraded versions.  The tough thing would be to find a used DUDE to buy.  They are getting very scarce on the used market.  Besides, you have to love a 75 lb. preamp and mono amps you can stick under one arm to carry.

Will2

I'm not clear if you're wanting a tube amp and a tube pre, but if you're open to an amp and pre with tubes somewhere in the chain, for your budget I'd recommend a Vinnie Rossi LIO.  You could look in the used market - may be able to get one with the DHT - or call him directly and see what he would recommend.  I (and others) have tried this in comparison to a tube amp : tube pre combination and prefer it.  There is something about the synergy he achieves in an integrated yet modular unit.  Vinnie also provides outstanding service.

mick wolfe

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Don Sachs SP14 loaded with upgrades and a 64 step remote. Combine with his custom KT 88 amp ....  a shade over $6K total
If you consider an integrated......Line Magnetic 508ia.....$5K
Either would leave you a decent financial jump start towards your speakers.

Tubeburner

Choosing an amp and preamp without knowing your speaker choice makes no sense, IMO.

Decware and Tortuga are two quality companies. 

mick wolfe

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Choosing an amp and preamp without knowing your speaker choice makes no sense, IMO.

Decware and Tortuga are two quality companies.

Yep, I was thinking the same thing in regard to making a speaker selection first. That's why I offered two choices that could drive about anything with a tube frendly impedance curve. Fortunately, there's a plethora of tube friendly speakers out there. Agreed however....still more practical to start with the speaker first.

WGH

My recommendation would have dynamic, detailed, and very live sound, but would be used components.  TRL DUDE preamp with the remote option...

I demoed a TRL Dude in my system with the Salk HT2-TL speakers (RAAL tweeter) and found the sound too smoooooth for my taste. The pre-amps owner ended up selling the Dude to try out something with more energy. An excellent pre-amp but definitely system dependent so without knowing your speakers the pre-amp and amp recommendations will be all over the map.

morganc

Without knowing the specs of your speakers this is little more than everyone listing their favorite amp and pre.......

dB Cooper

Last several replies sum it up pretty well. A litlle more info (mainly speakers, but approx room size/ music prefs & volume requirements) would help us help you. We love spending other people's money  :icon_twisted:

maty

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Quote
I listed to a lot of "reverb" type of music that isn't too detailed: Smooth Jazz, Deep House, a lot of "floaty" electronica/downtempo, Chillwave, and singers like Lisa Shaw and Samantha James. I know. I'm a terrible person that isn't taking advantage of my system, but if you could help me given my musical naivete, I'd really appreciate it.

Bad idea a FULL tube system with this type of music I think.

You can combine a preamp with SE topology (H2 predominant) with SS poweramp / hybrid poweramp.

Sensitivity, minimum impedance... of speakers? How big is the room? Distance from speakers?

FullRangeMan

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When I see this kind of money being spend I always ask myself why these people dont use a simpler Integrated amp, less connections, less interconnect, less power cable, less losses by transfers, less price.

I could love a Odyssey Cyclops, no price increase about 10 years so far:
http://www.odysseyaudio.com/products-cyclops.html

maty

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Maybe, because most people buy with their eyes and they spend hours contemplating their system and do not really enjoy the music, getting excited when listening to certain topics.

But, in my recommendation, an electronics with SE topology is better to be far from the power electronics. With a very clean power too, and protected from transformers RF/EMI emissions.

An integrated with SE topology must be designed bery carefully.

FullRangeMan

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I sure Klaus at Odyssey can made an integrated Cyclops in SE form to a nice Class A operation.

Bob Stark

What WGH said about the DUDE is strange, but possible.  The DUDE I have has Dueland caps, Audio Magic Pulse Gen ZX inside, Marconi Black base tubes, and Star Sound's .2AP.7 3-pt. trans mods on the 2 trans.  I also have a Core Power Technology 150 running power from it to the Maestro outlet.  The sound is very live, dynamic, with grunt in the bass that is very clear, and tremendous soundstage information.  I also have pasted all contacts in my system with Perfect Path Total Contact enhancer that is at the 6 week point since application.  Each of these things made a nice to significant difference in improving the sound.  Together with the Nuforce Ref 9 V3 SE amps with the level 3 upgrades, the sound is just plain awesome in all ways.

Tubeburner

Quote
What WGH said about the DUDE is strange, but possible.

I have a good friend who has had at least 25 preamps in his system over the last 30 years.  Gear is often chosen for the sound the individual likes or if you are like me, I try to find a piece of gear that is true to the music. Some issues are impedance mismatch, dry analytical caps, poor designs, lack of dynamics, ect. What I like may not be what my friend likes or the type of music he likes.

brucemarnold, please chime in............ :)

I.Greyhound Fan

Agree with others about the rest of your system.  But, I would highly consider this PSA BHK hybrid tube-ss amp if you need high power.  It is a demo and a steal at this price on audiogon.  Pair it with a great tube preamp like a Don Sach's, BAT, ARC or Conrad Johnson.

Review- http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/ps-audio-bhk-250-hybrid-power-amplifier/

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis90028-ps-audio-bhk-stereo-amplifier-black-solid-state

Escott1377

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Hard to answer w/o knowing the speakers - esp. the sensitivity. 

If you want to take a risk (and 1 that I am happy that I did), look at Transcendent Sound OTL amps.

Basically the tube is directly coupled w/ the output.

I would get a pair of these - https://www.transcendentsound.com/300B_OTL.html for your amps.

You could also look at a pair of these - https://www.transcendentsound.com/Transcendent_Sound_BEAST_OTL_Tube_Amp.html for more power.

The pre that I use is the Masterpiece - https://www.transcendentsound.com/Masterpiece.html

I had mine built for about $400 extra so figure that into your budget.

That would put you around $5k and Bruce will ship direct to the builder.  I will vouch for him as well.

You can also discuss upgrades w/ Sonic Craft for capacitors. wiring, etc. but the design and tube choice are the most important IMO.

Then, you have some cash to put into the 300B's.  I use EML 300B mesh in my pre and they are superb.

But, you are stepping out on a limb.  Do some research on his site and you will see he has a good following.