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  1. #1
    Mid-Fi
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    More tubes! Recommendations for tube amp around $1k.

    I think of adding "more tubes" to my music system and need recommendations for good valued tube amp.

    I hope my tube amp can give me:

    Sweet, silky, smooth, airy... sound that tubes can offer over SS amps that I have been sticking with. (Although I haven't heard of that kind of sound, I have been longing for it.)

    Maybe also detailed, transparent...

    Bang for the buck. ( I prefer used market for my limited $1k budget.)

    My preamp is ARC LS2B and speaker is Paradigm Studio 40s v3. Please give me your recommendation List A according to my system and List B in disregard of my system.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Can a crooner get a gig? dean_martin's Avatar
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    A good place to start would probably be with a used ARC amp like the DT-125 (hybrid tube/FET design) or models that were current when your preamp was manufactured.

    Next, something from Quicksilver's numerous models of monoblocks. I think some of the 50-60wpc models can be found for around a grand used. They have a 25wpc pair of monoblocks for just under a grand new.

    VTL-ST85 can be found used at your price. In fact there was one on audiogon last time I checked but it was local pickup only.

    Conrad Johnson MV-50 or MV-55 used. I think the MV-60 series is still going for over a grand used.

    An older Cary or AES (made by Cary), but I don't have any suggested model nos.
    Last edited by dean_martin; 04-12-2007 at 11:09 AM.

  3. #3
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    No tubes, but tube sound

    Quote Originally Posted by minye
    I think of adding "more tubes" to my music system and need recommendations for good valued tube amp.

    I hope my tube amp can give me:

    Sweet, silky, smooth, airy... sound that tubes can offer over SS amps that I have been sticking with. (Although I haven't heard of that kind of sound, I have been longing for it.)

    Maybe also detailed, transparent...

    Bang for the buck. ( I prefer used market for my limited $1k budget.)

    My preamp is ARC LS2B and speaker is Paradigm Studio 40s v3. Please give me your recommendation List A according to my system and List B in disregard of my system.

    Thanks in advance.
    I heartily recommend a pair of Monarchy SM-70 Pro's. Not tubes, but biased high for Class A operation most of the time, plus zero global feed back. These amps will deliver tons of dynamic punch plus a smooth but very detailed and transparent sound. Pairs are available used for under $1000.

    Another option from Monarchy is the SE-100 Delux: a pure Class A design. Slightly more powerful and slightly more expensive than the SM-70's above, but still sometimes available used for around $1000, e.g. ...
    http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ran&1180322151
    or
    http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ran&1178981786

    See Monarchy's site ...
    http://www.monarchyaudio.com/

  4. #4
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    primaluna maybe?
    Also check out jolida

    I do second the monarchy amps though...

    Good luck,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

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    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  5. #5
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    $1k may even be a tough hunt, the older Conrad Johnson's would be great. I'm not sure what kind of synergy there would be with ARC, they have different presentations. There are some Sonic Frontier Power 1's around for that price, I've heard rumors of reliability issues but nothing founded. I don't know if Cary would be an option, aren't their amps triode? VTL would be killer. The problem is good tube power amps are expensive. You are looking at $3k new for 50 to 60 watts. After hearing the MV60 I'm surprised they can be found as cheap as they are. Rogue Audio may also be an option. Once you start going lower quality the amp will not compare to your ARC and you will have bought your weakest link or just a stop gap amp until you get more money.

  6. #6
    Mid-Fi
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    Thanks for all your input.

    I also did some research. It seems I better put more budget to get a better tube amp. I am thinking of an ARC VT100 which is available at audiogon for $1500, or something cheaper than that. My preamp is ARC and VT100 has XLR input. Maybe it can replace my current Bryston and I will have my HT and 2-channel share this amp for a while.

  7. #7
    Crackhead Extraordinaire Dusty Chalk's Avatar
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    You should be able to get a used Manley Stingray for US$1.5K.
    Eschew fascism.
    Truth Will Out.
    Quote Originally Posted by stevef22
    you guys are crackheads.
    I remain,
    Peter aka Dusty Chalk

  8. #8
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    $1.5k seems pretty cheap for a VT100. I know they've gone through some changes over the years, MKI, MKII, MKIII, even if it's an original be cautious but if it's legit you should jump on it.

  9. #9
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    $1K is ALOT of money, but that's not the case unfortunately..
    Used market would be the way to go.
    http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....ube&1181709326

    Used Rogue might allow you to keep'em under $1K.

    Are you handy with tools?
    http://www.audionotekits.com/kit4.htm

    JRA

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