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Thanks. I thought of that, but from what I've deduced, power tubes add more "tubiness" than just a tube-pre. I really want to swing the pendulum to the other side of the spectrum. I've intentionally set up a high powered, revealing system. Now I want to try the other side of the conversation. I'm hoping a tube amp would introduce enough of the tube sound to give me a different experience. audioconnection's comment above is a good one...perhaps I'll need to try out a different speaker to get away from leanness...though I do love my PMCs.
No, I’m saying that the Rogue house sound is not a warm and classic tube sound when compared to brands like McIntosh or PrimaLuna. Your post sounded like you are looking for a "tubey" sounding amp, something warm and not lean.
Rogue is accurate and neutral, but you can always roll in some warmer tubes.
I’m stressing the point that their amps provide pleasant sonics, but they are more neutral than warm. But you will get a full range tube sound from the 100 amp.
You might want to check out Raven Audio. I'm loving their Blackhawk integrated amp and switched the power tubes to RCA black plates to get an even warmer sound. It's only rated at 20 WPC but seems much more powerful and drove some Magnapan 1.7i's with ease. Like you I was looking to add a warmer tube sound and while I enjoyed the Odyssey Candela with Kismet Monoblocks, the Raven integrated amp is giving me the tube sound I enjoy with all the dynamics and revealing sound I could ask for. Raven is great to deal with and their made in the USA products. Good luck in your search.
Thanks, mac48025. The Raven stuff looks great. I thought about an integrated...but I've got real money invested in the Ayre, and I'd like to keep it in the chain. It's great to learn about American companies making solid audio gear at "reasonable" prices. Unfortunately the power amps at Raven are a bit above my budget right now. Trying to stay around the $2500 mark.
I have a pair of Rogue M-180s, I really like these and I suspect the 100 is of a similar character. IME the Rogue neutrality made these a good candidate for a foundation, a blank canvas, extended and resolved enough to allow for significant shifts via upstream components, tube rolling and cabling. Also, although neutral they are anything but plain or lean; they still have an organic midrange and throw a stage that is layered, tactile, and unmistakably tubey, IMO.
But in terms of potential alternatives, I’ll add a vote for PrimaLuna.
I’ve listened to a Dialogue 2 and an HP and found them to be very musical. I remember the Dialogue 2 in particular as having a particularly natural midrange (which I’m guessing its integrated preamp contributed to).
I think the Stereo 100 is a superb amplifier and it sounds marvelous with their matching preamp. I elected to get the Rogue integrated Medusa which sounds wonderful and is convenient. They make a less powerful Hydra version you may look into. Rogue is a good outfit and hard to beat so I would stick with them.
Got the Primaluna Prologue 5 this week used from Gig Harbor Audio in Washington. The KT88s have been replaced with KT120s. It seems a quality piece of kit. It's quiet and clean, and I'm initially impressed with the quality. Clearly the base extension does not match my Primare or Aragon solid state gear, but the highs are good. Although the mids are slightly accentuated, they are definitely pleasant and realistic. But the most obvious difference is the sound stage, which appears wider than my SS gear and with more separation between the instruments. I've heard people use the term holographic with tube gear. Although I'm not sure that's exactly the right word, it does seem to capture the essence of the sound. More engaging...less flat spatially. I'm happy with the sound overall, but it is not a night and day difference from the quality SS amps I have. Also, the power of the amp seems quite adequate with my PMC TB2i speakers. I don't detect any problems getting adequate volume or any strain in the sound. It's lovely overall.