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#339188 - 02/19/11 01:37 PM Tube Amp advice requested
B58FURY Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 4
Hi folks,

I'm considering a new amp and was intrigued by some of the Chinese tube models on the market.

My current setup (used for near field listening at my computer mostly) :


Axiom M22 v3 bookshelf speakers (93 DB, 10-200 watt)


Paradigm DSP-3100 10" powered subwoofer


Marantz SR3001 60w amp (low-end Home theater amp I bought cheap)


iMac 27" via Toslink optical


In a 22x11x7.5 ' room, I sit in one corner with speakers at ear height next to the iMac - 3ft away, 30" apart toed in towards me, low to moderate volume.


Most of my music is rock & electronica with a smattering of acoustic guitar & bluegrass in Apple Lossless format. I especially love twangy surf & rockabilly guitar sound also, so the idea of a tube amp is appealing if you think it would be a good match.

If so, what tube family ?

Brands/models to consider ?

What is acceptable Signal/Noise ratio and THD % for this music & environment ?

Which DAC & other assorted accessories ?

I'd like to keep this below $2500, but would go higher for exceptional performance.

Also, getting a headphone output off the amp would be a huge plus if SQ is very good, otherwise off the DAC or a separate HF amp.



Thank you in advance for your sage advice.


Mike in CT


Edited by B58FURY (02/19/11 01:59 PM)

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#339189 - 02/19/11 01:50 PM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: B58FURY]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

Have you looked at Pacific Valve
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#339191 - 02/19/11 02:07 PM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: B58FURY]
B58FURY Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 4
Hi Rick,

Yes, I have - the Ming Da MC 34 models in 34-EL & KT-88 flavors were interesting. What about the 845 & 300B amps though ?

I've also looked at Jolida, Yaqin & the Grant Fidelity lineup - just wanted to get some end-user feedback.

Mike

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#339192 - 02/19/11 02:17 PM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: B58FURY]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6789
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.

Never used one, solid state (Rotel) here.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#339193 - 02/19/11 02:19 PM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: B58FURY]
Lampshade Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/08/05
Posts: 1235
Loc: Millis, MA
I own two tube amps. Both are American made. The Chinese amps are a good value but what kind of parts did they use and how well were they manufactured.

I can wholeheartedly reccomend a Manley Stingray (used). It would be perfect. Downside is it exspensive when you buy new tubes (10 of them).

I would also reccomend a Decware Mini Torii.

The Glow Amp One is a neat little Chinese amp.

Tubes are a lot of fun.
_________________________
M3 and
M80

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#339209 - 02/19/11 05:00 PM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: Lampshade]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10415
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I have heard nothing but glowing reviews for Grant Fidelity tube amps. wink
_________________________
Jason
-----------------
TTTHHHPPPPPTTTT!

My HT

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#339244 - 02/19/11 10:20 PM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: B58FURY]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10623
Mike, welcome. My(I hope)"sage advice", even if it isn't what you want to hear, is that considering spending that much money on a technologically obsolescent device such as a tube amplifier isn't a productive use of your resources. This wouldn't differ in any audibly meaningful way for "twangy surf & rockabilly guitar".

My thoughts are that you'd be better served with placing surrounds(even with your near-field setup)to more fully enjoy that music. A pair of QS4s would work very well. A more up-to-date HT receiver would also appear to be more appropriate.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#339321 - 02/21/11 07:55 AM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: JohnK]
davidsch Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 678
Loc: Houston, Texas
I have heard the Jolida 302B with M60s and they sound great together. I would also second the opinion on the Stingray as a fine choice as well. The Jolida can be found for $500-600 used on Audiogon or around $1,100 new (approx.). The Stingray varies from $1,100 - 1,500 used. I have not heard the Ming Da but I like the EL34 based amps in general. Rogue also makes some very nice amps.

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#339642 - 02/23/11 10:32 AM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: jakewash]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Originally Posted By: jakewash
I have heard nothing but glowing reviews for Grant Fidelity tube amps. wink


glowing reviews... ouch. wink

I don't know a thing about larger tube amps, but I do love my Little Dot MKII headphone amp. I've had it for several years and I have nothing but praise for it. If you go the route of needing a dedicated headphone amp, it gets my vote.

And on a personal note to the OP, I see you're new here. Welcome! Be advised that there are definitely a few camps here regarding amplification and sound quality. Some say it absolutely makes a difference, some say not at all, some say 'maybe'. wink We tend to keep it civil, but I'm sure you'll get a few more posts encouraging you to abandon your desire to buy a tube amp. I'm not saying you should or should not take anyone's advice, just that be prepared for a difference of opinion.

But again, welcome! smile
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#339746 - 02/23/11 09:18 PM Re: Tube Amp advice requested [Re: PeterChenoweth]
B58FURY Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 4
Hi folks,

After reading stellar reviews and talking to Decware's Steve Deckert (reading his body of work and listening to his engineering philosophy have me convinced he's a genius) I ordered a Mini Torii (thanks Lampshade!). Like our beloved Axiom, he offers a 30 day trial - not to mention a lifetime warranty - all for considerably less than I was expecting to pay. So the journey continues.....onto the next post.

Mike in CT

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