Music Reference RM-10
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Well I have not heard the Primaluna One with Quad 57's, but it is based on the old Dyna and it certainly has the capability of producing vintage tube sound. It sounds nothing like the other Primaluna amps or combos. It has a warm and full sound, but you will not hear a drum skin vibrate to infinity. It is not a fast amp. For that you get the Two. I use SED EL34's and EI's in mine. FWIW.
Jolida 102B is a sweet little integrated based on two pair of EL 84 (6BQ5) output tubes which were used in the vintage HH Scott amps. It is ~19 watts per side but has very good output transformers for its size and modest price and can drive my Quad ESL 63 beautifully. New they are only ~ $600 and can be had on Audigon occasionally for about $300-400. The Sophia Baby Amp also puts out great sound but at 10 watts per side may be a little under powered for your needs.
Cayin or VAS (citation monos) units are the way to go. Most of their units are 'voiced' to classic tube gear. I have both Cayin and VAS units, great sound and value. I also have a Dynaco clone, Sound Valves M60 mono blocks. They also sound great and often come on the used market for less then $800. They are a steal.
i spoke to steve leung about the vas cs 2. he said they are neutral and not tube-like in the classic sense.
i spoke to roger majeski about the rm 10. he also suggested that he designs amps with very little harmonic distortion. i owned an rm 9 and was not happy with it.
i am looking into a stock stereo 70. the modified ones lose the bloom and other euphonic colorations that a stock stereo 70 has.
the jolida and sophia products are integrated amps. i am looking for an amplifier.
thanks for your help and advice.
VAS also reps Cayin 860 tubed mono blocks which I have and use for my Merlin VSMs. Reportedly modeled after the classic Marantz 9 power amp. I don't see them mentioned very often but imho they offer incredible bang for the $$$..(point to point wiring, solid chassis, massive transformers, etc). +/-35 watts in Triode mode, 70 watts ultraliner. EL34, KT 88 or 6550 driver tubes can be used.
I have a pair bought new last year that I had Sonic Craft provide a bunch of upgrade mods for (SC caps, Cardas caps, Black gates, discrete rectifiers, etc) and NOS Mullard tubes, etc. They are really sweet.
You can find out more details at Acoustic Sounds website as they sell them and had them in one of their demo rooms with Harbeth speakers. If you may be interested ping me a pm as I am considering selling these.
The Music Reference RM10 is the best 25-35 watt tube amp I have heard. Is it the best? Who knows. A very fine amp that also has the benefit of being extremely reliable and VERY easy on tubes (8-10,000 hours). This amp is in the neutral camp, so if you are looking for lush; this would do it for you. It also works very well with passive preamps, so it could make for a fairly low priced system with first rate sound.
I agree with everything Mrtennis said in his last post.
Steve Leung is a great guy, and his opinion on the Cayin amplifiers is dead on. In almost all cases, modern amplifiers do not offer the type of coloration he is seeking out here, though Pehare's suggestion of the Cary Rocket 88 comes pretty close.
Again, I'd stick with a brand new, bone stock Dynaco ST70. Forego any of the driver board updates, as they will definitely take things in a direction you don't want to go, as will removing the negative feedback loop or going with anything other than 15.6 Ohm resitors on each output tube as the amplifier was originally designed. It sounds like you will be most happy with this amplifier.