$500 Amp advice

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Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #20 on: 19 Apr 2009, 02:06 pm »
The Tec-On Audio stuff looks interesting as well, but I haven't heard these.  At 4 & 8 wpc for their two offerings they may be too low power.


Jim C

doug s.

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Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #21 on: 19 Apr 2009, 03:02 pm »
there is yust no way you will better the performance of this amp for $500, imo, unless you go wintage:

30w triode, 60w ul, adjustable tube bias, true dual mono, and gorgeous in either color scheme.  use as an integrated, or bypass the inputs and use as an amp.

you can buy direct from china for $500 delivered, or if that makes you nervous, spend a hundred or so more, and make an offer from this canada seller, recommended earlier for the el34 amp:


personally, i would yust buy the amp direct from china, cuzz if you have any issues, you are still gonna be better off paying to have it repaired locally than sending it to either place - unless you happen to live in toronto...  and even then, it will still be a good deal, imo.

doug s.


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Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #22 on: 19 Apr 2009, 03:48 pm »
I wouldn't pick a KingRex if you have speakers with a difficult to drive impedance load.  A friend of mine blew two KingRex amps this way, they just went up in smoke despite everything sounding ok.  If you have reasonably efficient speakers, the KingRex is clean and transparent, on the ever so slightly warm side of neutral.  The RWA 30.2 is warmer, throws a bigger sound stage, tonally more dense and more dynamic too.  But the RWA is also 10x the money.

For $500, why not consider Niteshade audio?  He has a couple of integrateds in that ballpark and can build to your specs.

Ericus Rex

Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #23 on: 19 Apr 2009, 04:23 pm »
For $500, why not consider Niteshade audio?  He has a couple of integrateds in that ballpark and can build to your specs.

Great idea!


Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #24 on: 19 Apr 2009, 05:28 pm »
i owned a onix sp3, and i modded it. i ended up with a kingrex, and stock tubes sp3 to stock kingrex they sound almost identicle. there are differences but they are too subtle to really harp on for an amp of this price range.

i sold my sp3 (when there was about 300 worth of tubes in it, it did outperform the kingrex) and i am now happy using the kingrex in my second system.

:)  dont discount the sound of a t-amp so quickly, even if you do enjoy tubey mids


Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #25 on: 20 Apr 2009, 12:28 am »
That is really odd the Niteshade is mentioned. I just stumbled upon it prior to opening this thread again. I think the Niteshade gets disqualified on two fronts: size and wattage.

I have three parameters that are going to limit my choices, footprint, wattage and style. I never gave those parameteres because I planned on doing the filtering, rather than asking others to do everything for me. I feel bad enough just asking others for ideas. But  there really is a lot that can be impossible to find.

Normally I am not a big believer in wattage. But I am getting nervous. I am building an open baffle setup with 88dB drivers.... and I don't want to add a potential problem into the mix by choosing an amp with limited wattage.

Johnzm, I hear you. I just bought the Virtue Audio 2. I can try it and sell it if I don't like it.

I was trying to find an American made option, but pickings are slim especially on a budget.


Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #26 on: 20 Apr 2009, 02:44 am »


Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #27 on: 20 Apr 2009, 03:01 am »

looks like this little amp got a very nice review and might be worth a look.


Les Lammers

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Re: $500 Amp advice
« Reply #28 on: 25 Apr 2009, 09:14 pm »
Thanks for the help guys. I'm still looking.

Not sold on the Sophia types. If I was going to go that direction... I think I would grab the Glow Amp. But it seems they jumped their prices up in the middle of a recession. Actually it seems just about everybody is doing that.

I am really surprised there aren't more affordable hybrid options out there. I found the AMC and Bada.... and not much else.

Your speakers are going to be an issue with a low power amp. The Sophia amps are well regarded and offer bang for the buck. Check the classifieds here and at Agon. You can find a decent amp within your budget. The foreign stuff is going up because we have been printing a lot of money.  :duh:

Edit: This is a good deal: http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=66873.0