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Tube Amps

post #1 of 144
Thread Starter 
i have a Jolida 502A Tube amp that i have used for 10 years. Very happy with it. Use it for 2ch LPs and CDs. Have Jolida CDplayer. Also use the Jolida for Left "right Channel for HT and let my receiver power Center and Surrounds. Any other tube amps lovers. Uses 6550C Powwer tubes 60watts/ch.
post #2 of 144
Me! Not many tubies here on AVSforum it seems. I rarely get responses on tube amp issues. Maybe its due to the seemingly overwhelming home theater user base here, maybe not.

I have a Jolida SJ302A powering my main 2 channel rig - Denon 3910 and a pair of Strata Minis. It is EL34 based and I didn't realize how good it was till I replaced the power tubes recently, as I bought it used.

Also have a Melody SP3 powering my bedroom 2 channel rig - a Denon 2910 and a pair of Onix Ref 1s. The SP3 runs on 6551s

The tube sound definitely is for me. I ditched my solid state stuff and never looked back.
post #3 of 144
Using a Jolida 302-B to power a secondary system in the living room, fed by a Rotel 1072 CD player, driving Totem Arro's. I love it, basically all stock with the exception of 'rolling in' different 12ax7's and 12at7's in the pre-amp stage.
post #4 of 144
Hmmmm....

My mains are powered by an old Carver 1.0t (tube transfer function, at least in theory). However, the real tube stuff is in my guitar amps. Main is a Bogner XTC 101b - 4 x EL34; backup is a Marshall 3203 - 2 x EL34. Both have 12 AX7 driver sections.

There is a reason that almost all pro rock guitarists use tubes......
post #5 of 144
I use Manley Snapper monoblocks in my audio system. 4 EL34's each. Great amps.

larry
post #6 of 144
In my stereo music system, I use a Counterpoint 5.1 (this is the model No., not channels) preamp (2 x 6DJ8s in phono and line sections) and two VTL 225 monoblocks (8 EL34s per side) for the mid and upper frequencies. I use a 200 W transistor power amp for the bass.
post #7 of 144
I'm using the Shindo Laboratory Aurieges L preamp and Montille power amp. Very nice stuff.
post #8 of 144
I want to get into tubes friends. Help. My HT is definitely set with a 1080p projector/pre processor/amp, rocket speakers, SVS sub.

In the living room (of a house I have not bought yet, HAHA!) - I plan to have a pioneer plasma, along with a 2 channel setup for audio/music.

Is Tube the way to go, and what's the best price/performance ratio tube amp/speaker set out there right now?

Thanks,
ELmO
post #9 of 144
I have a "kit made" Welborne Ultrapath pre-amp and Terraplane 300B monoblocks with home-made speakers using Supravox 215EXC field coil drivers & Fountek ribbon supertweeters in open baffle and 12" NHT 1259's in a sealed enclosure for the bass. Mainly I plan vinyl and the sound is really nice.
post #10 of 144
I got a Manley Stingray Integrated Tube Amp, Rotel 1072 CD Player and Totem Hawks. I love it! I also use my tube amp to power my left and right channel in my 5.1 (no center, phantom center) home theater setup.
post #11 of 144
Thread Starter 
Glad I started this post. Jolida ,Rouge.PrimaLuna have tube amps under$2k. check out the web sites. if good with soldering iron, check out used tube amps onEBay. wish we had 5 ch tube intregated amps, but power tubes and output transformers take too much real estate on chassis.
post #12 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

I want to get into tubes friends. Help. My HT is definitely set with a 1080p projector/pre processor/amp, rocket speakers, SVS sub.

In the living room (of a house I have not bought yet, HAHA!) - I plan to have a pioneer plasma, along with a 2 channel setup for audio/music.

Is Tube the way to go, and what's the best price/performance ratio tube amp/speaker set out there right now?

Thanks,
ELmO

Hi,

My 2 cents. The rockets model I looked at on av123 website is 87dB sensitive so without knowing your room size and listening levels my recommendation would be to go for at least 200 wpc. Now this is a lot of wattage for tube amps as most of them are 100 watts or less and the bigger ones are quiet expensive as well.

Your options as I am able to see would be to go either with a Hybrid design like moscode 401, a fine amp as I have heard from other folks, or an ARC HD220. Another way could be to go with a tube pre with an HT bypass like the new pre (don't remember the model) from Cary Audio and pair it with an SS amp. The best and special thing about Cary Audio pre is that the bypass is a "real" bypass where you don't even need to turn on the pre during movies. That gives you extra tube life and does not colour the sound so matching your mains with the center channel is easier.

HTH.

Sincerely,
-dollarman
post #13 of 144
I'm not sure I agree with the wattage requirements given above. I have a pair of Strata Minis, also from AV123 that are about the same in efficiency as the rockets mentioned. They are powered by a 50wpc tube amp in a large room and I could not stand the volume above 3/4 full. Previously they were powered in the same room by a 38wpc amp that also put out more sound than I could handle.

Its all about that first watt, it gets you to 87db at 1 meter. Its not hard to see how far 50 watts would get you.
post #14 of 144
^^^^ At 8ft from your speakers 50watts would be about 99 db SPL. Pretty loud.

larry
post #15 of 144
Lets assume that the listener is only 3 metres away from the speakers. That means you already need 4 watts to produce 87db. Doing the math it should take 64 watts to produce 99 db. Add to that music transients and movie sound effects I can't how a 50 wpc would be able to pull it off without distorting. If you love tube distortion that this is ok but if you don't its better to have a bit of headroom.

IMHO smaller tube amps (<= 50 wpc) have problems with the bass control as well but this probably debateable as most people using tubes are midrange freaks anyway.
post #16 of 144
I use an Anthem Amp 1, it's a 40 EL 34 PP amp that sounds great. I'm using Mullard N.O.S. tubes for the driver and inverter and Groove Tube 6CA7 for the output tubes. I purchased it shorty after it was discontinued brand new for $599 ! It's been a killer little amp.
post #17 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by dollarman View Post

IMHO smaller tube amps (<= 50 wpc) have problems with the bass control as well but this probably debateable as most people using tubes are midrange freaks anyway.

I sort of agree with this. I often forget that my Strata Minis have powered woofers, so the tubes' ability to produce copious bass is negated.

I power a pair of Onix Ref 1s with a 38wpc tube amp, but they are augmented with a powered sub, so once again - the ability of the amp to produce bass is hidden. The Ref 1s aren't a really good indicator anyway though as they are monitors and not full range speakers.
post #18 of 144
I'm looking a Jolida amp, not sure at this time, but something about $600-$800. How would it match with a Totem Hawk, Triangle Antal ESw, or Dali Ikon 6?
post #19 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

I want to get into tubes friends. Help. My HT is definitely set with a 1080p projector/pre processor/amp, rocket speakers, SVS sub.

In the living room (of a house I have not bought yet, HAHA!) - I plan to have a pioneer plasma, along with a 2 channel setup for audio/music.

Is Tube the way to go, and what's the best price/performance ratio tube amp/speaker set out there right now?

Thanks,
ELmO

I visited my out-of-town relative who has a tube preamp and class D amp. For less than US$1000 (conversion from foreign currency):

http://www.consumer.philips.com/cons...CSHQNHKFSESI5P

I had an opportunity to listen for 1 hour only. Based on that I would say it sounds very good.
post #20 of 144
Well, while I am not running tube amps, I am running (actually ordered and waiting for all to be built) a pair of SS mono's and a tube pre. I'm really anxious to see how this combo will sound, I suspect (hope) excellent.

I have even ordered a few sets of tubes already! The new equipment is a few weeks out, but at least the tubes will be here.

I can see where tube rolling can tend to be expensive, as a good matched pair of NOS vintage tubes tend to run between $110.00-$200.00.

Mark
post #21 of 144
I've been running a Pathos Classic One 1 and Paganini CD set for about 7 years, I like it quite a lot. Recently, I went to Jolida to audition the 1501RC just for giggles, when I made a big mistake. I asked the fella to hook up the JD3000A/B system (less expensive version of the Envoy). Coupled with the JD100A CD player and Dali Helicon 400s, this enveloping 3 dimensional sound stage literally leapt out of the Dalis (something real special about Danish audio) to a degree that I had never previously experienced. Fluid, accurate, and completely musical. My son was there with me, another AV junkie, we turned and looked at each other and both our faces simultaneously sprouted the OH YEAH grin. While not inexpensive, for what I heard, I suspect folk would gladly pay double. I plan on owning a set very soon.

PS I listened to a McIntosh 3 component rig through B&W 800Ds a few weeks ago, it wasn't even close
post #22 of 144
Absolutely. Sight, hearing and the brain are inseparable elements of sound perception. If one accepts that, then one will more readily accept that the showroom would be a place where one could accurately judge sound quality. But then there is the acoustic of the showroom that may be better or worse than your own room. So how is it possible to rule out the acoustic of the showroom?

Okay, never mind. The truth is not important. It's all about enjoyment, and the upgrade bug! Now apparently, recording studios don't care about sound quality and that's why they use solid state gears in most cases. But you and I can buy tube gears to bring back the tube sound even if the recording was done using solid state gears. Just a thought.

How convoluted is the audio world! We are all humans and believe in what we hear from our fellow human beings and we all agree that tube is best, and that it has nothing to do with marketing, or technology. Perception is everything so they tell us it's the number one rule in Customer Service.
post #23 of 144
..have enjoyed valve amps all my life. Also, a valve pre-amp, of course. Quicksilver is a great little company that makes great sounding amps. And they are bargains as well. Mono is way to go with amp right behind the speakers. My pre-amp is a VAC and is the heart of my system. Speakers are Duntech (from AU). My first love is music and not tv by the way. Give me Frank and Ella any day! And Miller swingin in the Big Band way.
post #24 of 144
Last night I was fiddling with the hi-fi in my bedroom and substituted a tube preamp (hot-rodded PAS 3) for the SS one (Citation 17) I'd been using.

The sound became smoother and more open and a transistorized glare went away. Funny though, all the rest of the gear is SS---an active crossover and then a Teac Tri-path above 1600hz and a big-hog QSC below 1600.

This is what I think anyway. It's hard to fight the BS even when you're aware it exists, sometimes you hear what you expect to hear, know what I mean?
post #25 of 144
http://www.consumer.philips.com/cons...ater+MCD908_37

consists of tube preamps, class D ss amp, DVD/CD player and 2 speakers. Looks like a great deal. If you don't play very loud, 50w/ch should be quite adequate. The price is not so high so that the set is attractive for anyone who wants to try tube gears.

Anyone knows of a US retailer?
post #26 of 144
Another tube lover signing in.

I use Conrad Johnson Premier 12 monoblocks. They are a superb combination of the things I love about tubes, but little of the failings (great bass, can drive any speaker I put to them, realistic transient detail etc).

I'm using two different tube preamps at the moment. One custom-built by a local guy - very good. Another is an old Audible Illusions pre-amp that was tweaked to the max. Practically every part that could be upgraded was upgraded in quality...by a bunch of guys who wanted to see just what that amp could do with the best parts. It produces a stunningly "quiet," liquid, grainless, jaw-droppingly dimensional presentation. Paired (at the moment) with some old Hales T-1 monitors (and some meadowlarks sometimes)....it's sonic nirvana. Sound I'd choose over many ultra expensive systems I've heard.

(I've had a lot of expensive floor-standing speakers of all types come through my listening room, from Quads/Gradient Subwoofers, Thiel, Shun Mook, Waveform, Meadowlark, Audio Physic, Hales floor-standers and more...but at the moment I'm using smaller monitors because some of my space and budget have been eaten by my foray into Home Theater).
post #27 of 144
Just starting with tubes here I couldn't be happier with my Dodd ELP pre, Sophia baby power amp, with a whopping 10wpc. I'm running Tectron 4.5 speakers, which I must say are the best value on any audio gear I've purchased to date. Very Very happy with this system.
post #28 of 144
About 18 months ago I bought a used Conrad-Johnson PV-11 preamp for my 2-channel sources and the front mains of my combo HT/2-channel rig. Made quite a difference in an otherwise all SS system, with a smoother presentation and wider soundstage and especially increased low-level detail vs. my Sherwood/Newcastle P-965. I am seriously considering a tube CD player next. Still a little reluctant on tube amps - higher maintenance and risk. Also, my Odyssey Audio HT3 is pretty smooth for SS.
post #29 of 144
Thread Starter 
Bond map, it is not that hard. if you need to bias, get a voltmeter from radio Shack, Power tubes should last 2-3 years depending on use. Little more work than SS , but worth the effort and not that bad.
post #30 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by MauneyM View Post

Hmmmm....

My mains are powered by an old Carver 1.0t (tube transfer function, at least in theory). However, the real tube stuff is in my guitar amps. Main is a Bogner XTC 101b - 4 x EL34; backup is a Marshall 3203 - 2 x EL34. Both have 12 AX7 driver sections.

There is a reason that almost all pro rock guitarists use tubes......

nice to see theres some fellow guitar nuts around here

Fender Twin 2x 6L6s 2x EL84s (THD Yellowjackets mod) in the power section.

GASing over a Road King for the last 2 years... that thing is a 14 tube monster!!
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