Any integrated using 6550 tubes...

...besides ARC CA-50 (cannot afford) and Aronov 960i, rare. Any recommendation ? Thanks
Jolida 502b
Hi Dragon: Why the 6550? My personal preference has always been EL34's for "lush" and EL84's for "refined" sound. Of course the amp's design and the rest of the system has a lot to do with it. I think that an Audio Research amp that I recently listened to used 6550's and it sounded more like a SS amp (very good SS) and was not romantic sounding at all. I also liked Jolida's 302 amp (EL34's) much more than the 502, so I guess that I am pretty consistent in my preference. Just curious as to what the 6550's do well. Maybe I will have listened to some of the other (6550) amps that will pop up on this thread and be able to answer my own question. PS: There is a new Chinese manufacturer by the name of Opera that has received good reviews. Search the SET asylum at AA and you will find info on their website. They are supposed to be low cost, but the $ amounts are not specified. They make push/pull amps as well. An ASUSA 30 watt push pull power amp just went for $275.00 on Ebay, but you will need more power than that for your taste in music (classical) and for your new (really big) listening room. Sorry if this ends up bending the thread, but maybe it will bring out additional info. DK.
Thanks David! I read that amps with 6550 valves, are more detailed than any other? I don't feel like giving up on detail. Not just yet! I will go next week to New Orleans to check some tube amps.
The audio research ca-50.
durnit! Uh, as I was trying to write: I've seen CA-50's go for 1500 on this site, and 1600 at a local shop. That's an incredible bargain for the cash. Especially since it will hold that value. I don't think you can find a really good tube integrated for less. Maybe some old fisher stuff.
Hey Dragon: Another thing is that if you get your West Coast vacation, I am an hour away from Kevin Deal's Upscale Audio ( He seems to be "the tube guy" with a good rep and always seems to have a lot of used and demo gear. You guys may be able to work something out via the internet (maybe even a trade in, just carry on your amp).
John, i couldn't find ca-50 for $1500! If you see something i don't, please link me to it! David i sold my Linn, and i did good on it, also i sold some of my paintings so funds are going up!I'll let you know. Thanks! John_1 my e-mail is
I will. In a whole year I've seen two go for that. One was a guy who was just dumping it for fast cash. Great units from what I understand.
Passion Audio I-12 uses 6550's and comes assembled or as a kit. They are "said" to be slightly upgraded Antique Sound Labs amps, though the upgrades may be mostly cosmetic.
The big hottie here is the cary SLI-80 Signature. Hnads down nothing has come closes here. I have a customer who lurks here that bought an SLI-50, which he loved so much he then got the 80. The SLI-80 Signature is a very flexible amp that is switchable on the fly from 40 watts triode to 80 watts ultralinear. Two ways to run the tubes. Tube headphone amp. Remote. Tube rectifiers. And runs thre tubes it's a no-brainer to live with. And it is so musical. A couple folks have reviewed it at You can see better pics on our website
If you don't like the sound of the Svetlana 6550s that ARC ships, you can get some KT88s, KT90s or if you can afford it tung-sol 6550s from Upscale Audio