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post #1 of 20 Old 04-17-2009, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
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I ask others because there are so many options out there I may not be aware of.

I am looking for a 2 channel amp preferably under $500. It will be driving 88dB 4Ohm speakers. There will only be one source (which has no volume control).

Now my big issue is that I have owned tube amps for years and love the fat sound. I can't imagine going back now.

Simplicity is the key for me. I would rather avoid multiple components (tube buffer, preamp). Not to mention I don't want a huge amp.

So here's what I have looked at but doesn't seem to fit the bill exactly:


Winsome Labs Mouse (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Trends TA-10.1 (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Kingrex T-20 (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Nuforce Icon (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Roth Audio MC4 Music Cocoon (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not use it for it's purpose)
Fatman itube (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not using it for it's purpose)
Lars and Ivan Hybrid (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not using it for it's purpose)


Am I missing THE ONE? I am really interested in checking out these new T amps. But I fear I will be desperately missing the tube.... especially considering the source needs some tubelike refining.
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post #2 of 20 Old 04-17-2009, 09:45 AM
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Tube Audio Design makes a tube amp close to your price point that doesn't require a linestage/pre. It's very versatile in tube compliment. You can use EL34 to 6L6(KT66) tubes. I've been told it will handle the KT88/6550 but my friends seem to like 6L6. I liked the 6CA7's(EL 34's) the best. It is only 60 watts in ultra linear, 30 watts in triode. It's all point to point construction.

I have HT separate from my hifi and would not consider class D or T amps. I think they are the future but in infancy. Solid state was that till the MOSFET, JFET, Bipolar and NPN class A such as the Sugden now it some ways I prefer them to tube.

Try Audiogon and check what is available. May find a Jadis Orchestra used close to what you want to spend. I doubt it though, you will find the TAD-60 and posts on it.

Also Mapleshade has rebuilt Scott receivers, they use EL84 which are only 22 watts. They may have some other brand that run on 6550's for more power.

These are not big, but bigger than the class T amps. I heard a class T amp from Parts express, I hear the potential but not the fidelity.
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-17-2009, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishpatrick33 View Post

I ask others because there are so many options out there I may not be aware of.

I am looking for a 2 channel amp preferably under $500. It will be driving 88dB 4Ohm speakers. There will only be one source (which has no volume control).

Now my big issue is that I have owned tube amps for years and love the fat sound. I can't imagine going back now.

Simplicity is the key for me. I would rather avoid multiple components (tube buffer, preamp). Not to mention I don't want a huge amp.

So here's what I have looked at but doesn't seem to fit the bill exactly:


Winsome Labs Mouse (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Trends TA-10.1 (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Kingrex T-20 (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Nuforce Icon (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Roth Audio MC4 Music Cocoon (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not use it for it's purpose)
Fatman itube (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not using it for it's purpose)
Lars and Ivan Hybrid (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not using it for it's purpose)


Am I missing THE ONE? I am really interested in checking out these new T amps. But I fear I will be desperately missing the tube.... especially considering the source needs some tubelike refining.


To me, you are literally missing the ONE. The Virtue Audio ONE (or the TWO). I had the KingRex T20U with PSU and with upgrades. I liked it very much. I like the Virtue ONE more. The KR is known for having a "tubey sound". To me the Virtue has the musicality of the KR + better detail. I compared it to the Glow Audio Amp One tube amp, which I liked very much. I preferred the Virtue head-to-head. Again, equal in musicality but more detail and resolution.

For $500 you can get the Virtue TWO and 130W power supply. You can save $ with the ONE and smaller PS. The Glow amp is $649 new, iirc.
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post #4 of 20 Old 04-17-2009, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion KY. Looking at their website though... I do not see the amp you speak of.


DROHT,
It appears as though I did miss that one. This is the exact reason I asked. No matter how much research you do (a lot)... it seems there is still a good portion that isn't as well publicized. That amp looks very interesting. I can match it very well with my other components too. The Virtue 1 is sold out, but the 2 remains well in the budget. Any clue where this is made?
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-17-2009, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishpatrick33 View Post

Thanks for the suggestion KY. Looking at their website though... I do not see the amp you speak of.


DROHT,
It appears as though I did miss that one. This is the exact reason I asked. No matter how much research you do (a lot)... it seems there is still a good portion that isn't as well publicized. That amp looks very interesting. I can match it very well with my other components too. The Virtue 1 is sold out, but the 2 remains well in the budget. Any clue where this is made?

Mfg'd in China, but your dealing with folks in the US for any transactions. Michael Mardis is apparently still very involved as well. He has an excellent reputation from what I've read.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-17-2009, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Droht and KY.

I will debate the Virtue amp. Meanwhile... if anybody knows one that I am mistakenly not considering, I would appreciate the help. Thanks
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-17-2009, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irishpatrick33 View Post

I ask others because there are so many options out there I may not be aware of.

I am looking for a 2 channel amp preferably under $500. It will be driving 88dB 4Ohm speakers. There will only be one source (which has no volume control).

Now my big issue is that I have owned tube amps for years and love the fat sound. I can't imagine going back now.

Simplicity is the key for me. I would rather avoid multiple components (tube buffer, preamp). Not to mention I don't want a huge amp.

So here's what I have looked at but doesn't seem to fit the bill exactly:


Winsome Labs Mouse (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Trends TA-10.1 (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Kingrex T-20 (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Nuforce Icon (scared it will lack the tubelike sound)
Roth Audio MC4 Music Cocoon (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not use it for it's purpose)
Fatman itube (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not using it for it's purpose)
Lars and Ivan Hybrid (seems stupid owning an ipod amp and not using it for it's purpose)


Am I missing THE ONE? I am really interested in checking out these new T amps. But I fear I will be desperately missing the tube.... especially considering the source needs some tubelike refining.

Are you sure you want tubes? 88db 4 ohm? Your speakers are begging for serious wattage. Ascend Bryston B&K McCormack Mcintosh etc don't appeal?

I know I always post recommending high current and wattage ;>
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-17-2009, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I am not obsessed with wattage. I had some Manley Mahi monoblocks powering some Maggies. There was never anything close to an issue despite the modest wattage.

I figured a hybrid amp would serve me best. But I haven't found the right one yet.
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post #9 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 07:24 AM
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irishpatrick33

Here http://www.pacificvalve.us/BDC222.html is a hybrid integrated that is a little over your budget.

This remote controlled one box solution has been in my system for over a year now. This guy is has no problem driving my power hungry 4-ohm 86dB Dynaudio 3.4s. I did kick it up a notch by swapping out the (4) stock 12AU7's for the GE 6189s. This tube swap cost just under $100 and made a hell of a difference in the critical midrange.

Not sure where you tend bar at. I am in the midwest-St. Louis. You are welcome to come over and listen to it.

Here are some pics of the amp;




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post #10 of 20 Old 04-18-2009, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys. Not sure I am sold on an answer yet though. I guess if I went the to the T amps, the Virtue 1 would tempt me. But the 1 is sold out and reviews of the 2 suggest no improvement. No point in paying more money for nothing.

I did find a couple of hybrids:
AMC CVT2030
Bada PH-31


Still looking.
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post #11 of 20 Old 04-21-2009, 10:14 AM
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Another option is this hybrid:

http://cgi.ebay.com/YAQIN-VK-2100-Hy...742.m153.l1262

I like the sound of T-amps - even the cheap ones. Just don't drive them to the maximum volume where THD hits 10 percent. Parts Express has revived the original T-amp at a price that makes it easier to sample the sound of the Tripath TA-2024 amplifier chip:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...number=300-380
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post #12 of 20 Old 04-21-2009, 11:22 AM
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Underwood Hifi has DK Design Hybrid int amp(used). Has 6922 on the front end and MOSFET output of 150 Watts. I have heard the John Tucker version and not only will it drive your speakers but it has tube warmth in the mid range. Best when the 6922 are rolled to the Siemens CCA tubes. Tungsram aren't bad either.
Check out what Wally Underwood has in used and special deals.
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post #13 of 20 Old 05-12-2009, 11:09 AM
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If you like the tube sound, have you considered any vintage solid state equipment?

I have a little collection of vintage receivers (of various wattages), that all sound fantastic in their own way. Anything from Marantz, Sansui, Pioneer or Kenwood from the early to late 70's will be affordable, good looking and more likely have that similar "tube-like" sound.

The downside is, depending on where you get yours, it will most likely need a little bit of TLC to get back to it's former glory. But it's usually worth it.

I'm currently using a Sansui 9090 (110W/Channel) in my home 2-channel setup, and a Marantz 2226B at the office.


Really? "Subwoofer" isn't in the AVSForum spell checker?

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post #14 of 20 Old 01-14-2010, 11:43 PM
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Onkyo's A-9555 is an affordable amp that can be found for under $500 that is also capable of driving 3ohm speakers and does not require a pre-amplifier.
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post #15 of 20 Old 01-16-2010, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Chemist View Post

If you like the tube sound, have you considered any vintage solid state equipment?

I have a little collection of vintage receivers (of various wattages), that all sound fantastic in their own way. Anything from Marantz, Sansui, Pioneer or Kenwood from the early to late 70's will be affordable, good looking and more likely have that similar "tube-like" sound.

The downside is, depending on where you get yours, it will most likely need a little bit of TLC to get back to it's former glory. But it's usually worth it.

I'm currently using a Sansui 9090 (110W/Channel) in my home 2-channel setup, and a Marantz 2226B at the office.


Thats sweet.
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post #16 of 20 Old 01-17-2010, 09:26 AM
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Check VanAlstine http://www.avahifi.com/
check out Sophia Audio http://www.sophiaelectric.com/
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post #17 of 20 Old 01-18-2010, 07:26 AM
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I love my Bryston 2B. Wonderful accurate sound with superb soundstage...if you like tubes it is not the right amp for you

60wpc or mono 200wpc. I run mono and bought one for $350 and one for $425 used (one eBay one Audiogon).

If you get the pro model they have gain (volume) control on the front panel. Make sure you get the pro model as the home model has no gain control.

Pro model has XLR inputs only but adaptors are widely avalible if you don't run XLR.

my .02

Also nothing wrong with a 20 year transferable warrenty. I sent one back to Bryston and they basically rebuilt the whole thing for the cost of shipping...one way, they also paid for return shipping. They are a SUPERB company to deal with.
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post #18 of 20 Old 01-18-2010, 07:53 PM
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They said the Onkyo A-9555 has tube sound. Dunno if that's true but it's below your budget.
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post #19 of 20 Old 01-18-2010, 08:48 PM
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The Bada suggestion is a good one ... Pacific Valve has a lot of nice budget gear. Also check out some of the Jolida offerings, they can be had in your budget if you shop audiogon.

Speaker Designer/Builder
Vapor Audio
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-03-2011, 01:16 PM
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Old thread I know but the Roth MC4 gets rave reviews and now is priced to sell at $250 or so on Amazon and $300 at Crutchfield. Cannot imagine a better buy for the money right now for anyone interested in getting great sound from their Iphone/Ipod. Thinking of buying one myself since I just ordered an IPhone 4S for my wife. We have avoided the entire MP3 movement for years now much preferring our Redbook CDs. But time moves on and so must we. As long as I hear quality I am happy.




My life is an open book...wish I could read it and have it make sense.

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