Bat VK60, 60SE, 75SE...gets my vote...
I just purchased a Cary Rocket 88 tube amp.50 watts ultralinear and 30 watts triode thats switchable on the fly.Sounds great.Also,it looks really cool with exposed tubes and dual green cats' eye tuning lights.All for $2500.See caryaudio.com for photo and facts.
Listen to the EAR line.... you will be pleased
Atma-sphere M60-MkII.2 (60+ watts depending on speaker impedance). You'll have to use one of the Atma-sphere preamps for best results, though! The money goes into product circuitry and quality components, NOT advertising and marketing budget. Happy Tunes!
too many few of them are;
The EAR 534 witout a doubt!
If changed slightly to 'best 50 watt tube amplifier for the money?', my vote goes to the Sonic Frontiers Power 1. I'm getting great sound, and it's darn close to eye candy with the tube cage off.
Minor negatives: Runs pretty hot. Transformer hum (not via speakers) can be heard from listening position (but not while music playing).
Audio Research VT-50. 45 Watt version of the VT-100. Definitely worth a listen as long as you are not looking for the soft warm tubey sound.
Well I have tried quite a few and I finally settled in the Audio Aero Capitole.As a dealer I have had the opportunity to try a good deal of amps,and without a doubt this has to rate as one of the best.A true gem.
grant lumley gl 50 sweet sweet sweet
LOL....The question was "best 50 watt tube amp" not "what 50 watt amp do you own and like", or "what is a good value 50 watt tube amp." Cary Rocket 88? BAT? ARC? EAR? Atma-Sphere? LOL....
Best ~50 watt tube amps are the Tenor OTLs already mentioned, Cary 805C, Jadis JA-100, Komura 845, CAT JL-2.
Mejames, if you identify the speakers you intend to use and size of your room the answers to this question might be more specific.
OTOH if this is one of those "what is the BEST....." then my 2 cents would be the Tenor 75Wi is "the BEST 50 watt tube amplifier" i have heard (and nothing else was in their league).
It really depends on your speakers and what type of music you listen to. But without any caveats, CJ MV 60, Lumly GL 50 and EAR 534. Preamp with make a difference also.
Don't forget about the WAVAC HE-833 SET monos. Not inexpensive, but certainly a contender for the best at any price. Just my .02
after using a sound level meter I am only using about 32 watts into my 91 decibel efficient Dunlavy 4 speakers to achieve 106 dbc levels, plenty loud. thanks for pointing out the question is the "best" 50 watt tube amplifier available?
Solid state- Accuphase A-50v can't believe the haven't been mentioned yet
Tube-if we are allowing 75watters in this group I third or fourth the Tenor 75Wp and 75Wi. BAT's are worth mentioning as are Atma-sphere's.
This of course depends on what speakers you are using.
Tube-Nagra VPA,Cary 805C,VAC 30/30 MkIII,VAC 70/70MKIII
Solid state- I agree with Tireguy Accuphase A-50V is the best 50W if not the best period.
Good luck on your search
Mejames, as the Dunlavy's are not very OTL friendly, you will either need a "big" OTL, such as the Atmasphere MA2s or maybe the MA1s.....or....the Lamm ML1s. a friend tried the Tenors with the Dunlavys and was not satisfied with the dynamics (she switched to Coincident speakers since she loves the Tenors).
my first choice for your speakers and listening priorities would be the 90 watt Lamm ML1s. the Atmaspheres will work but i think the Lamm would be better.
I would like to buy another Grant-Lumley
Perhaps not the best but great sound.
I very much regret selling mine.