|Ok all you tube-O-philes, I have a question!|
I am thinking of getting back to a tube amp(s), maybe.
(I used to have a C.J. MV50 many years ago.)
What is the best tube amp, or monoblock tube amps, for me?
Please note that I know that I am NOT a tweaker, so the qualifications for the tube amp I want are:
Easy to no tube biasing. (Either so easy a monkey can do it, without special tools or meters, or automatic biasing.)
At least 100W/ch, and preferrably up to 200W/ch. (I need the power to drive my Revel Studio Speakers.)
While I want that nice tube sound, I don't want too much.
(I.e I don't really want that classic C.J. "tubey" sound.)
Price: Well, give me a ballpark figure for what you suggest (Used Price). I figure I can go up to $4-5,000.
Reliability: I like my ARC LS-2 preamp as it is rock solid, as is my current SS amp, a Mark Levinson No. 23.
Therefore, I want something with good build quality.
Tube Availability: I want a tube amp that can go with cheaper tubes and still sound good. (I don't want something that I have to spend thousands of dollars on everytime I retube it.)
Preferably with cages, as I have a 3 year old daughter, who while being very good about not touching my system (so far at least), she does have friends over, who would probably love to touch the "pretty glowing lights", (and whose father would then sue me (and thus take my amps!) for allowing his daughter to get third degree burns on my equipment!)
Please list all that you are familiar with, and would recommend. If you disagree with someone else's recommendation, please state that as well, (especially if you have personel experience with the offending amp!)
Some that I have considered, but tossed out include:
Any ARC tube amp, as they are all bloody espensive to retube!
The Kora Cosmos. Nice sounding, but way to much trouble to bias.
Any older C.J. amps, as they sound too tubey. (I will admit that I have not heard the latest C.J. amps, so maybe they sound different.)
Antique Sound labs "Hurricanes": (This is a maybe, because of the reliablity issues I have heard about.)
Thanks in advance for your input!