SS amp: Older Pass SS amps, Parasound JC, CJ 350SA
Tube amp: not all tubes are too sweet, but you should be able to find a purity of tonality that is beautiful. CJ MV60SE (6550 tube not EL34...both are good, but 6550 more linear). Monoblock them for more power, greater linearity and damping control of bass
Also, your preamp is not golden like older CJ (whose preamps i have used for over 12 years running now). It is still a touch of midrange magic, but far less than before with far greater transparency...thus i am not convinced the right tube amp is a bad thing...YMMV.
good luck and pls keep us posted...enjoy your great preamp!
I have the same combo ET3SE/Adagio with a cj Premier 11A.
I went the SS route and eventually came back to "old iron."
I'd suggest having your speakers being the deciding factor in your choice of amplification.
Lloydelee21, thanks for for the response!
I'm replacing an old CJ PV-5 so I guess I'm letting that bias my opinion of tube preamps. I had it paired with a ss amp and I loved the sound. When listening to the ET3 before purchasing, I thought it had a similar sound only with better detail (clarity) in the midrange.
I'm a bit of a newbie to all of this so I might need a little more help/clarification. You said "Parasound JC" which amp is that specifically?
Also, the CJ MV60SE looks like it's an older CJ tube amp? Are you recommending finding a used one?
Again, thanks for the suggestions.
Any thoughts on what amp to pair with the Adagio speakers?
I live in San Diego and was demoing the Adagio speakers with Robert Lee who had them hooked up to a pair of Red Dragon Leviathan Signature monoblocks (I have no clue what they cost).
The sound was amazing but I have no idea how nicely class D amps and tube preamps play together.
In talking to Robert, he didn't seem too concerned about the amp/speaker pairing. He seemed to think they'd work well with just about anything--really cool guy by the way.
Anyway, I guess that's why I was focused on choosing the right amp for the preamp.
Parasound halo JC-1 i think it is called? Yes, MV60SE would be second hand...probably JC1 as well?
Both great. Very different in terms of power, but both should work well with your speakers. Good luck!
I don't know your speakers well enough to make a recommendation. As far as I can tell, your speakers can probably work well with either ss or moderate to fairly high powered tube amps, but I honestly can't make a recommendation.
As far as Class D amps and tube pres go, I'd suggest you pay attention to the input impedance of the Class D amps you might consider. Many, but not all, have a fairly low input impedance, something that doesn't usually bode well for many high impedance output tube pres.
Another thing to consider is the sensitivity of the amp, some sensitive amps can have the volume control usability compromised by the high output of some tube pres.
With all that said, I still stand by my previous post, your speakers should influence your amp choice the most.
I concur with alot of the above posts.Ive had the mv 60se and the premier 11a.Both are a great match. theres a mv 60 for sale here now that looks fairly new.Its a great combo,good luck,Bob
Thanks for the responses everyone.
Usblues, I just looked at the mv60se. It looks like it's 55wpc. Do you think that is enough to drive the Adagios?
Thats 55 CJ wpc.Its stronger than you would guess.Unless your in a big room or a headbanger.I personally would go for it,good luck,Bob
The 6550 tube in the SE version of the MV60 was reviewed in STereophile by Sam Tellig...in which he said it sounded and felt much more like a 100 watt/channel amp...whereas the EL34 (regular mv60) felt more like 60 watts/channel.
And if you get 2 and mono them...then you get 120-240 watts depending, i believe, because you double power and then halve impedance by driving one speaker only.
I'd been using my Adagios with CJ pv15 and solid state amps. Just a couple of weeks ago got a BAT vk-55se amp, which was a revelation to me.
The sound has become so beautiful it's hard to me even to describe, and it's not "tubey" at all. It's just the right sound. Try some tube amps with those Adagios - they deserve it.