First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P

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dB Cooper

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #20 on: 11 Dec 2020, 12:32 am »
That's a lot of cubic feet to fill with a 35 watt amp unless you just happen to have Klipsch Cornwall's or similar hidden away somewhere. With the speaker in question, (whatever it is?) it would be safer to move up to a 100 watt tube amp. This based on room + adjoining room total volume.....if I'm reading correctly.

Yeah, probably, but 100 tube WPC might be a budget buster except for aftermarket, which is often the way to go (take advantage of somebody else's upgraditis)

jhr1986

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #21 on: 11 Dec 2020, 01:59 am »
That's a lot of cubic feet to fill with a 35 watt amp unless you just happen to have Klipsch Cornwall's or similar hidden away somewhere. With the speaker in question, (whatever it is?) it would be safer to move up to a 100 watt tube amp. This based on room + adjoining room total volume.....if I'm reading correctly.

Klipsch RP-8000fs.  Total room volume (including adjoining room) is ~4000 cu ft.

With my current SS setup I don’t play super loud.  Again, I don’t have a proper SPL meter, just an iphone app so I don’t know how accurate it or the microphone is but the peak 1m from the speakers is right around 91-92db.  That’s why I figured 35w would be plenty, but perhaps I am wrong.

dB Cooper

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #22 on: 11 Dec 2020, 02:19 am »
AVA will know, call them if they don't respond to the thread. They are probably busy soldering.

rotarius

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #23 on: 11 Dec 2020, 02:25 am »
AVA has a lot of fans and great reputation but I would not get a Dynaco ST70 based amp for your setup.  Think kt88, kt120 based used amp.  I think Jolida or Rogue would be best.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #24 on: 11 Dec 2020, 02:27 am »
Your Klipsch have a sensitivity of 98db.  The AVA amp will play to ear bleeding levels without breaking a sweat.  AVA offers a 30 return, so there is no risk and there is plenty of time to break it in.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #25 on: 11 Dec 2020, 02:29 am »
AVA has a lot of fans and great reputation but I would not get a Dynaco ST70 based amp for your setup.  Think kt88, kt120 based used amp.  I think Jolida or Rogue would be best.

Why is that?  Have you heard the AVA amp?  Just curious. :)

rotarius

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #26 on: 11 Dec 2020, 02:45 am »
I have heard plenty of El34 based amps and had an ST70 at one point.  Glorious midrange but lacking elsewhere. 

FullRangeMan

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #27 on: 11 Dec 2020, 02:51 am »
I have heard plenty of El34 based amps and had an ST70 at one point.  Glorious midrange but lacking elsewhere.
Just like the 300B but at $40 each.

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #28 on: 11 Dec 2020, 02:59 am »
I have heard plenty of El34 based amps and had an ST70 at one point.  Glorious midrange but lacking elsewhere.

The ultavalve is not an st70 though.  But I understand your preference for tubes.

mick wolfe

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #29 on: 11 Dec 2020, 04:17 am »
I have heard plenty of El34 based amps and had an ST70 at one point.  Glorious midrange but lacking elsewhere.

Totally disagree. Modern spin offs of the ST 70 are a totally different animal. Both the UltraValve and the Bob Latino offerings are excellent examples  that excel throughout the entire frequency range. This provided one chooses the proper speaker.

mick wolfe

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #30 on: 11 Dec 2020, 04:32 am »
Your Klipsch have a sensitivity of 98db.  The AVA amp will play to ear bleeding levels without breaking a sweat.  AVA offers a 30 return, so there is no risk and there is plenty of time to break it in.

In light of fact we now know the speaker in question, maybe the Ultravalve would have a shot. The only way to truly find out though is to take advantage of the 30 day audition period you mention.

Mark Korda

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #31 on: 11 Dec 2020, 01:05 pm »
JHR, I don't know if anyone else mentioned it but the Ultravalve won a special amp award from Absolute Sound...Mark.

dB Cooper

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #32 on: 11 Dec 2020, 03:04 pm »
I have heard plenty of El34 based amps and had an ST70 at one point.  Glorious midrange but lacking elsewhere.

The AVA version is a very different animal and addresses the issues with the stock circuit at the high and low end (especially the low end). You should hear one sometime if you get the chance.

dB Cooper

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #33 on: 11 Dec 2020, 03:09 pm »
In light of fact we now know the speaker in question, maybe the Ultravalve would have a shot. The only way to truly find out though is to take advantage of the 30 day audition period you mention.

Yeah, the volume is large but the sensitivity is high and your volume requirements are not extreme... I'll say it again: Call Frank. He won't try to sell you something he doesn't think will be a good fit. AVA is funny that way.

jhr1986

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #34 on: 21 Dec 2020, 07:59 pm »
Revisiting this thread - first of all thanks to everyone for contributing their knowledge and opinions, much appreciated.

I still haven't purchased a new amplifier and have been continuing to look at the used market and researching through various forums.  I've looked at some used Prima Luna Prologues, Luxman, Audio Research etc.  The conclusion I've come to is that I don't a piece of vintage gear with unknown service history and a lot of the newer stuff is not built to a level that I'll be happy with long term (tube sockets on PCBs for instance).  The Ultravalve seems to be the only exception here being new and well built so it is still on the table should I run across a good deal on a used one.

My question today is, after running into a few used McIntosh MC275s on the used market in the sub $5000 range, should I bother with lower priced gear?  McIntosh has a nostalgia factor for me - my father had an all McIntosh stereo when I was growing up - so it has always been aspirational gear for me.  Is the price difference worth it compared to the other stuff I've been looking at?

I.Greyhound Fan

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #35 on: 21 Dec 2020, 08:19 pm »
The ultravalve would sell for $3K-5K if sold in stores.

pehare

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #36 on: 21 Dec 2020, 08:41 pm »
I've heard the MC275 a couple times at my local brick & mortar....wasn't the perfect setup to do critical listening so I can't make a judgment.  However there is a youtube video of the MC275 being built in the factory which to me was really disappointing to see.  The hokey colored led's on the input tubes puts the icing on the cake for me.  A close friend has a Jolida integrated w/6550's he rotates in and out that's nice sounding.  Ultravalve would be my pick - I'd like to have one myself someday to play with.

rotarius

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #37 on: 21 Dec 2020, 09:45 pm »
If you are going to spend more money, you need to upgrade speakers first before thinking along McIntosh lines. 

jhr1986

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Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #38 on: 21 Dec 2020, 10:10 pm »
If you are going to spend more money, you need to upgrade speakers first before thinking along McIntosh lines.

I know you are right, and I'm looking into that as well.

For whatever reason though it seems easier to decide on an amplifier (despite what this thread may suggest) than a pair of speakers.  In the case of the McIntosh - I know I'll own a McIntosh amp at some point - even if I end up not liking it.  I also know I'll own a tube amp at some point - my audio journey simply will not be complete without these things, so it seems like a McIntosh tube amp is an "easy" choice.  When it comes to speakers though I expect I'll have to audition dozens before making an informed decision on which to keep.

Tyson

Re: First tube amp - AVA Ultravalve or Jolida/Black Ice 3502P
« Reply #39 on: 21 Dec 2020, 11:15 pm »
I'd get the McIntosh now and scratch that particular itch sooner rather than later.  If you love it, great, you can enjoy it for a long time.  If you don't love it, you can sell it for what you paid for it so no big loss.