Cheap Class A or SET amps
Untill I purchase some speakers, I'm using my old 90's Technics 3ways with my setup, which has provided suprisingly satisfying results....
So that got me thinking that when I get my mains, I'll put the Technics into service in a second system with a cheap, low powered class A or SET amp... By cheap I mean ideally $500 or less (though I'd like to hear all options up to about $1K)....
So far the Glow One from Glow Audio is on my list (though I think it may just be a regular tube amp and not SET)....
Any suggestions under $1K will be appreciated...
You would need some patience, but I would go for the Aleph clone/DIY amps build and sold by Tim Rawson on Audiogon.
It can be had for about $500 and it is Pure Class A.
I have sold my EAR 834I Class A integrated amp, and I do not miss the EAR at all.
The Pass Labs Alephe clone sounds truly remarkable. I only paid about $1000 for a pair of monoblocks.
I don't know anything about his Aleph J amps, and I do not think they are Pure Class A.
I actually looked at a T Rawson clone on Agon not too long ago and wondered if they were any good... Thanx for the advice!!!
Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
If I ever upgrade my main amp, a 30 Watt Pass Labs Class A will be top of my list.... so I'd be interested to hear how a clone performs...
I've always thought that Onix make some nice stuff. The SP3 although class AB is a fine amp in your range with an interesting complement.
I would suggest having your cash "in hand" as great deals come onto AGon frequently. I see the Golden Tube SE-40 on there for around 600+shipping surprisingly often.
The more important matter, is to first secure a local technician who is qualified to work on tube equipment. Just having someone who can show you how to bias will make it worthwhile. Sure, you can get the info from the net, but with enough voltage to kill you, you'd be best to learn from a pro. Aside from this having someone who can get you back running when there's an issue is important.
The usual suspects of used vintage would be a good place to start. EICO, Dynaco, HH Scott, HK, Fisher...
Wonderful condition Fisher...
It is a push pull triode.
Originally Posted by Ajani
A closer match would be Nelson's "kitchen table" products marketed under the First Watt brand. The F3 is a remarkably simple, yet clever design. Six Moons reviewed the unit in this article.
Originally Posted by Ajani
As for budget alternatives, Nelson Pass is unique in the high end industry in supporting and participating in the DIY community for those to make his designs inexpensively. I would suggest spending some time here perusing what advice and parts are available.
Here's the new MiniWatt ( SET ). The original MW is one amazing amp. It's superior to the Glow and is still available on eBay.
The MiniWatt is exactly the kind of product I'm interested in... Thanks for the suggestion Poultrygeist....
Hey Poultry, have you rolled the tubes at all? My Eico pre amp uses 5 x Mullard 12AX7 and a single 6X7 rectifier. Of course it sound amazing. Your amp must sound good too. I like the idea of fixed bias with a matched set.
I have Tung-Sol 6NS7 in my Golden Tube and they rock, definitely like that brand.
Last edited by blackraven; 04-06-2010 at 02:27 PM.
Pass Labs X250 amp, Pass X-1 Preamp
Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
Music Hall 25.2 CDP
Adcom GFR 700 AVR
Cables- Silnote, BJC
Velodyne CHT 8 sub
Here's another inexpensive tube amp that has a huge following on the DIY forum
Life would be boring if you couldn't roll tubes. I replaced the stock Chinese input tubes in the MiniWatt with Western Electric 403B's and the output tubes with Russian 6P1p-EV's.
Got the cap mod and will soon get a diode mod and volume pot by-pass.
The MW with 2.5 wpc will drive 93 db horns to 103 db!!!!!!!!!!!
Trends Audio has an interesting tube-pre/T-amp combo in that price range. I'm on my phone or I'd post a link (I posted links in the D-amp thread last week).
Repost this on your wall if you love Jesus.
If you go with the MiniWatt and discover it sounds better than the Emotiva will it change your plans?
It would really just affect which amp goes in my main system... I'm deciding between the MiniWatt (excellent price) or the Monarchy Audio SM70 Pro (Not nearly as nice a price - but can be converted to a monoblock if I really love the sound but need more power)....
Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
I always imagined I'd go for around 30 watts of class A amplification (when I eventually upgrade the Emotiva), as I know I can find high quality Class A/SET in the $3K+ range.... But I'd love to know if I can find good Class A/Set at Emotiva prices....
Comparing the MW and the Monarchy is like apples and oranges. One is an SET and the other is a solid state from years ago.
If you you're looking for the ultimate SET the 300B is the only way to go. I know a guy who has one of these and he's beyond thrilled. You can't find 300B's at this price. Re-tubing one can cost hundreds.
It's nice that you're entertaining tubes, but I think your choice in speakers may play a role in your amp choice. I'm pretty sure Revel don't make super efficient speakers, certainly not enough for a SET flea amp. I think the idea of buying 30 - 40 watts from a used SET is the way to go.
30 Watts is more than enough for Revels in my room.... The Concerta has 90.5db efficiency and the Performa has 86db efficiency...
Originally Posted by poppachubby
A flea watt SET could probably drive the Concerta to acceptable volume levels, but would probably fall short on the Performa....
I don't listen at high volumes too often, however i would never want to be limited to such. In keeping with a first and second system, you would probably want to look at a second pair of bookshelf speakers for a flea amp.
I don't fully agree with EStats minimalist approach. Of course, he knows what he speaks of but I think there's much to be said for an active pre amp. I think you should put some tubes in front of your Emotiva and get the Revels you want.
I saw this Cary today and thought of you. *Remote*
The Emotiva is not being tossed at any point.... I always want to have a high powered SS around for when I really want to rock out... Whether it remains in the main system will depend on whether a low powered class A or flea watt SET sounds better to me...
Originally Posted by poppachubby
I totally understand your point about an active preamp: I think it depends on whether you are truly happy with just the sound of your source and amp... An active pre allows you to tailor the sound to your liking.... Plus incorrect use of a passive pre can kill dynamics.... My concern is whether I'll like the sound of a tube pre with the Emotiva...
Last edited by Ajani; 04-18-2010 at 10:03 AM.
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