Cornwall IV – tube (amp) choice

I recently bought the Cornwall IVs and even while running with my old and small Rotel amp they make me pretty happy. But having listened to them plugged to a tube amp in the shop this will be the next investment. And with no proper shop around where I can compare different models and different tube types I´m depending on other people´s experiences. I know that once I have any amp here tube rolling will be the next thing to try but for now I´d like to know if someone can tell me something about different tube types or amps that work well with the Cornwall IVs (or similar sounding speakers).

Of course I´m looking for the warmth that the current amp does not provide. Also it seems that the highs are a bit too pronounced, so I´m willing to trade some of those in if it means gaining more low-mids and lows. Having said that, I´m not looking for boom, just a little more cozyness.

Some tube amps I came across:

lab12 integr4 (KT150)
Primaluna evo 300 (EL34 – I´m a bit afraid of the evo 400, 8 power tubes are a bit intimidating when it comes to rolling or exchanging broken tubes)
Willsenton R800i (300B / 805)

My desired price range is up to $3.000 but well, the primaluna are already above that limit.
As you can see I´m not afraid of chinese brands. I´m living in Europe and dependend on what´s available here.


If I had to do this all over, I wouldn’t have gotten my Primaluna. I think I would get Quicksilver. That’s a dead honest opinion. I got the PL just so I could tube roll more than other hear as many tubes as possible before I get my final tube amp.

That said, the PL is so damn well made, reliable and easy to use. It’s dummy proof. You can do a lot of things wrong and it will save your skin.

Yes I have 8 tubes in my Evo 400 but they’ll last forever (hyperbole).

After some time, you will notice that the other stuff sounds marginally better. But you get that by running the tubes a bit hotter.

What PL achieves in sound quality while driving tubes softer is quite remarkable. PL gets a little more hate than the rest for being a European brand made in China. But I need to say, I have been so thoroughly impressed with quality in ALL areas of the ownership experience.

I was going to trade up until I got my Tannoys. It’s a match made in I feel like I’m stuck with PL. First world problems.

I have an Ayon Scorpio XS driving two Klipsch Hersesy III's and the sound is amazing!

EL84 based amps like the Black Ice F11 should not be dismissed unless you lean toward the leadfoot on volume.  104dB sensitivity means that 18W is like 300W with 91dB speakers.  

Have you seen Steve Guttenberg's YouTube video?  He's a Cornwall guy and talks about amps and other things.


I would look into Decware. They carry a lifetime warranty and are hand built not assembly line manufactured. point to point build no circuit boards and can be customized