Prima Luna-I believe the EL34 model was up for sale at $925.Though I don't think you could go wrong dropping $1345 on the 40W/KT-88 model.No tube biasing.
15 responses Add your response
I really liked my Jolida 302b with a pair of Spendor S3/5. The Jolida had more detail, better soundstage, and smoother less fatiguing highs than a either a Linn Classik and a Linn Wakonda/LK85. The Jolida also had less problems driving the S3/5 compared to the Linn Classik.
On the solid state side a Nait 5 should be interesting...
Good luck with your search!
2 Integrated Amplifiers that continue to impress me at that pricepoint are the Unison Unico and the Creek 5350SE. Both can be had used here on Audiogon in 9/10 condition for under $1,000.00.
Everytime I listen to them at my friend's house, I am just blown away for the performance/dollar ratio.
I can't speak to the pairing of your speakers. I have an ASL 1001 DT with NOS tubes. This amp is often sold used here on Agon. It's an amazing piece and at it's price a great value. You can buy one used with money left over for NOS tubes. In my system this integrated sings. Stay away from the older models.
Just a comment on the Unison Unico: I had the Unico for a couple of months,
and I was not very impressed to say the least. I tried a couple of different
tubes in the Unico but compared to the EL34 based Jolida it sounded veiled,
lifeless and boring. I really preferred the built and remote capability of the
Unico but sold it after 4 months and kept the Jolida. Maybe it was just a bad
match to the speakers (the person who sold it to me also used S3/5 but did
not like the Unico), but my wife thought it was the worst sound we ever had
at home. Anyway, it got me to the point to really question professional
reviews like for example Sam Tellig's ...
The Jolida is an amazing amp for the money and worked exceptionally well
with the Spendors. I did not hear the Primaluna or Onix, but heard many good
things about them. The Prima has selfbiasing and a better built which might
make it a better option than the Jolida. Sonically the Jolida is hard to fault at
All the brands you mentioned should be great to built a sub $2500 system,
now its up to you to find out what you really like...
Without a doubt, the Exposure 2010 is among the best choices you'll have. Arguably better than the Nait in PRaT, the S3/5 will enjoy the additional power and you'll see more bass extension and (heaven forbid!) a soundstage. I've had both Naim/Spendor and Exposure/Spendor combinations and wildly prefer the latter.
The last demo I had of the Spendors 3/5 and 5e where with a VTL IT-85 ($3k new so it's not in this price ranage). However I liked it much better than the mostly low to moderately expensive solid state amps which I've demoed with Spends. The dealer knew I was not a tube person yet suggested the comparision as he seemed to perfer the spendors with a tube amps also. The tube/solid state comparision did not strike me as much when powering the B&W (which I own).
Either way I think they do sound better with 100+w/ch. I suggest demoing as much as possible. Good luck, Al
I recently purchased a Qinpu A-1.0x new for under $800 and am very impressed with it. I've had some nice integrated amps in the past, the Classes CAP-100, Rowland Concentra to name a few, and this inexpensive Qinpu is quite good. It has a wonderful tube-like ambience in the midrange yet is more focused than some of the tube integrated amps that I have heard. It also has good control on the bottom end and a nice detailed and extended top end. Anymore I don't even consider an integrated amp unless it has a remote volume and the A-1.0x has this feature.