What are your speakers and room size? If you like tubes but want no maintenance, try the McIntosh MC352 - it will power any room or speakers. Arthur
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The AI 3A will work very well with either tube or solid state amps. No guess work here--I've used it with both. I personally prefer tubes, so that's what I'm using now. Before I went all tube, I used the 3A with a very good solid state amp. I had no problems--the single ended triode tubes I'm using now are just better (IMO). If you want to stay with tubes--but improve reliability I would recommend Quicksilver amps. There are almost always some for sale here on A'gon. In my experience they are quite easy on tubes.
John Rutan of Audio Connection in NJ sold hundreds of the AI M3A preamps for Art Ferris - and one to me. His contention was that a match made in heaven was the Audible Illusions with solid state Belles amps. These dealers get a chance to try out all the combinations. I had the Belles/AI combination for longer than most any other combination I can remember. The good news is that there are some great buys for both on Agon.
I can also say that I've had the pleasure of speaking with both Art Ferris and David Belles and know that they both stand behind their products.
I agree with Truman. The AI and Belles combo is very good. The first high end rig I ever listened to was a Belles "One" amp and an original AI Modulus preamp. That combo showed me just what a good audio system can do and I've been interested in high end audio ever since. More recently I paired up an AI Mod 3A with a Belles 400 amp. As expected, this was also a great combo but I ultimately ended up replacing the Belles amp with a pair of Rogue M120 Magnum monoblocks. One more thing about my Belles amp: I owned it for over 12 years and used it often. During that time period, it needed repairs only once and Dave Belles was very helpful in getting it up and running again. Great product and great service.