Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8

Are these amps for real or just a "hey, it *is* possible to make a tube amp for under $100" type of a piece? I'm a no-money college student and was shocked to see a feasible foray into tubes. Right now, I'm running a set of Paradigm Mini Mk-IIIs with a Phase Linear 400II power amplifier. (Talk about going to the exact opposite end of the amplification spectrum) Anyhow, these speakers aren't that efficient, but my room isn't that big (11x11 tops). According to the Phase Linear power meter (calibrated to 8-ohms, same as my speakers) I rarely listen to music at above .2 watts. Will the ASL amps deliver enough power? I know in a solid state amp the power supply is the usually the power limiting factor for continuous power and the cap bank more-or-less sets the instantaneous power limits. With tubes, isn't the tube itself the limit on power output? Are tubes capable of instantaneous power above their nominal ratings without terrible distortion?

Anyhow, how long have these ASL amps been available? You'd think everyone on the planet would be dying to review such inexpensive tube gear but I only found one pseudo-review.

Stephen Meade
Claremont McKenna College
Economics and Physics Class of 2002
Currently looking for a job in finance...
I use a pair of AV-8's in my den system. They are fed by a McCormack MID which I use as my primary headphone amp and as preamp. They drive a pair of Wharfedale 7.2 anniversarys in a biwire configuration. The room is about 12'x18' and is carpeted. They drive the Wharfedales (89db sensitivity} both loud enough and with enough headroom for me. Most of my listening is Blues, Jazz and older rock. I have been very happy with their perfomance for their price.
It should not be a problem with your speakers at all at moderate volumes with most music. It sure will be a BIG change for the better harmonically and musically. That Phase Linear is an awful harsh sounding amp, and you will be making a big move in the right direction in my opinion. Be prepared for a pleasant surprise! Enjoy!
You'll like this amp. Be sure to replace the stock tubes with some Sovteks for a quick improvement and perhaps your first experience with tube rolling.
Antique Sound Labs is very much for real. They keep costs down by manufacturing in China. The cool thing is how upgradable the pieces are. You start off with decent but cheap Chinese tubes and generic powercord. A little bit of investment and you are entering the audiophile zone. Previous submission is correct, the Phase Linear is both harsh and non detailed. It also provides no soundstage. Do It!!!