I enjoyed the Almarro A318B quite a lot. High current SET with great bass drive. 6Moons done a great review on it.
I tend to agree, the $2000 budget limits choice a bit. I use the Ayon Spark, which uses the same 623C valve as the Almarro and it's wonderful, better than the much more expensive Viva Solista, I had before.
Almarro seems to be a bit of a giant killer at it's quite reasonable price.
Manley Stingray should be in the discussion
Rogue Audio Cronus is a real nice one.
good used Primaluna PL2 a wide range of tube choices easy to use auto bias good sound
inexpensive try a vista audio I84 they also have a EL34 amp
very good for the price
Check out the Rogue Tempest 3. 90wpc and you can also tube roll to tailor the sound to your liking.
If you can stretch it a bit the VAC Avatar SE is worth pursuing. I saw a listing for one on here recently for $2500. Not sure it is still available but having owned one I can say it is a fine sounding integrated amp.beven tempted me for a bit.
Line Magnetic has both KT88 and EL34 based integrated amps in the under $2000 category. No formal reviews, but I've heard excellent reports about them both.
Look at some used Cayin units, great sound, great value. I own a couple of their units and I am very pleased.
Look into Line Magnetic, I had cayin in the past nice sound
but no musical or 3D sounding what was ashame cause i like the amp. Ayon is in a different league awesome amps.
Love my Cayin A-88T Integrated. Got it used for $1200.00. Made to mimic the sound of a McIntosh MC275.
for high efficiency speakers try Audio Note Oto or Soro integrateds
I'll do you one better. Skip the PrimaLuna and focus on Mystere products. Same company - high end line.
The Bada 222(?) from Pacific valve is very good. It's a hybrid 95 wpc. Smooth, powerful, detailed. Really nice and a 30 day trial. It's what I would own if I had to buy an inexpensive amp.
I can't say whether it's the best as I haven't directly compared with others you have lsited, but I'm listening to the Triode TRV-35SE as I write this and am really enjoying it. This unit has EH 6CA7s and NOS front end tubes which are a welcome improvement over the stock compliment.
As always, it will also depend on the interaction and synergy between your speakers and the amplifier you choose.
Thanks for the responses...does anyone know which would be the most quiet..i.e. the lowest noise floor? Also, do tube amps suffer what sometimes is called white noise in High-powered SS amps?
Rogue Audio Cronus..... It's a fantastic integrated amplifier. Is it the best ? Of course not. Is anything the best ? Of course not. There is no such thing as "the best." But if you want a beautiful sounding amp that can drive a wide variety of speakers to wonderful musical heights, consider the Cronus.
Funny, I friend of mine said to audition the tempest III integrated...maybe you are onto something!
The Rogue Audio Tempest 3 is and outstanding tube integrated with excellent tone, dynamics, texture and detail. This version Tempest has a preamp section with gain. The Ayon Spirit 3 is also an excellent integrated with its class A zero feedback design, but it cost quite a bit more than the Tempest 3.
Unfortunately price at some point is an issue. I found dealers for Tri of Japan, Mystère and Rogue. I think I will pass On Jolida. Thanks again to all!!
I've had a bunch of bunch of tube integrateds in the under $3000 price range in my system over the last 2 years. Ekco EV55SE, Eastern Electric M88, Cayin A-70T, Ming Da MD75, Rogue Tempest III, and Arte Forma Elsa MkII. Of those, my personal favorite is the Arte Forma. It has the blackest background noise, biggest most 3-dimensional soundstage, and best low level detail.
All those I mention are excellent amps, you'd be happy with any of them I expect. The Ming Da also is an excellent choice because it has a quad of power tubes per channel, but is much better as an amp bypassing the pre section.
Just auditioned the Tri TRV-35se in Montreal and was very impressed. Bass was excellent and the little amp filled up quite a large room with sound and energy. Its on my short-list. Build quality was top-notch. vocals were stunning.