4 responses Add your response
My experience is with the Ayon Spirit-1 and the Rogue Tempest-III Super Magnum.
Ayon Orion is pure Class-A with zero loop negative feedback.
Rogue Tempest-III is Class AB with just a little loop negative feedback, but I don't know how much
Pentode or Ultra-linear:
Ayon Orion runs pentode or triode. I have listened to both. On my friend's Silverline SR17.5 monitor speakers both modes sounded fine, although we both preferred triode. On my Silverline Bolero speakers I preferred pentode, but it may have just been the bit of extra power that helped too. But the pentode mode does sound really nice and I could easily live with just that mode. It runs 50wpc pentode, 30wpc triode.
Rogue Tempest-III runs ultra-linear or triode. Both sound fine. My system is a Rogue 99Magnum preamp and M180 monoblocks. I have run both triode and ultra-linear, but for the past couple of months have been running ultra-linear and enjoying it a lot. The Tempest-III runs 90wpc ultra-linear, 45wpc triode.
Reliability: I have no reason to think that both would not be reliable. However, I do know that Rogue's customer service is as good as it gets. I do not have any experience with Ayon in this regard.
The Rogue is built in the USA. The parts quality are fine. My 99Magnum preamp uses Mundorf Supreme capacitors, so that's pretty good. I have not paid attention to what's under the hood of the T-III Super Magnum, but I would figure it to be of the same quality.
I do not know what parts are in the Spirit-1, I haven't looked under the hood, so-to-speak. The Spirit-1 is Austrian made. The Orion is made using parts sourced from their Chinese operations. I don't know if it is made in China (I think it might be but you will have to confirm this with someone more knowledgeable).
I like the sound of the Spirit-1 and I assume that it shares the Austrian family sound. I have no idea how the Orion sounds, but as someone who experiments with speaker crossover components, amplifier tubes and system cabling, I do know that different parts have different sounds. Based on my experience with the Spirit-1 I would be comfortable recommending their Austrian products, but I'd have to audition the Orion before making a similar recommendation.
Spirit-1: very musical, textured, smooth, fast, transparent, lots of current, stone cold silent background, built like a tank. I've heard the Spirit-1 sound light in the bass on some speakers, but it drove some difficult to drive Anthony Gallo Reference 3.1 speakers into submission, producing some prodigious bass. It depends on the damping factor match I guess. It was amazing for a 50wpc tube amp. But I wouldn't worry about the bass, the Spirit-1 sounds so good that I would remedy the bass with a sub if needed. Power tubes were Gold Lion KT-88. 12AU7 tubes varied. Stock ElectroHarmonix were surprisingly good. NOS RCA were more grainless, but not quite as warm. NOS Tung Sol were grainless too, but gave a very slightly fuller sound than the RCA's. I will be trying Telefunken ribbed plates in the next few weeks.
Also, the SR17.5 speakers have Duelund VSF caps and resistors that I installed. The system worked well with Kimber 12TC speaker wire. Silver speaker wire was too sibilant with the Spirit-1.
Rogue Tempest-III: With the stock KT-90 tubes it is warmer than the Spirit-1. If you get the Rogue, go with the upgrade to Gold Lion KT-88 tubes. I guess that the upgrade charge will be around $150. The KT-88 will sound more open. Also, your system might benefit from Sylvania 6SN7 tubes that's what's in the Tempest-III with which I am familiar. The Super Magnum upgrades also render a very musical and fast amplifier. It's a good amp.
My bottom line opinion is that I would recommend the Spirit-1, 2 or 3, but I would have to hear the Orion. I would also recommend the Tempest-III without reservation. And between the Tempest-III and the Orion, I would go with the Tempest-III. Between the Spirit or the Tempest-III, I'd go with the Spirit I just like the amp, but it's personal preference, it's really a toss up.