Dennis Had IFA-1 EL84 SET amp coming my way...

I have posted previously the sonic joy of Dennis' Inspire SE "Fire Bottle" SE amp which mates wonderfully with my Spatial Audio OB speakers.  Dennis was the founder and genius behind Cary Audio, which he sold some years ago.  Now he is now personally making wonderful flea-watt SE amps at real-world prices.  The Inspire amp accepts all manner of power tubes, including EL34, KT88, KT120 and KT150  tubes.  It puts out 12wpc  which make my speakers sing .  

I am so delighted with the Inspire amp that I want another of his amps for my bedroom system.  I wanted an EL84-based amp and Dennis is going to accommodate my desires.   It will have 6 wpc and will no doubt work well with my OB speakers or my bedroom system.  I don't know how to post photos so hit me up if you are interested in a photo or two the new amp.   

Well, gents, I got the new amp yesterday, designated as the Inspire IFA-1.  It came with new JJ tubes which I have found in other gear to be pretty decent.  So, with 24 hours on his little 6-wpc SET amp, I am of the opinion that this amp is a mighty titan exercising a great deal of authority over the sound with my Spatial Audio speakers.  A comparison with Dennis' Inspire SE Bottle Head amp running with KT120 tubes would be hard to do as they share a similar sonic signature, but I do think there is something particularly open and expansive about the employment of EL-84 tubes that leads to an enormous presentation of the musical soundstage.  In comparison, I sense an increased degree of "weightiness" to the low end of the sound, kinda "ballsy" really, but no question far better controlled than many tube amps I have had.  Really, the LF response with this amp is pretty amazing as it has more control in this frequency range than most tube amps I have had, many of which have a rather "flaccid" LF response which is why I turned to ss amps for a spell.  The LF response with this amp is hefty and well controlled.  The high end is extended and crystal clear.  

Here is the deal:  the soundstage with this amp with modest JJ tubes is just outstanding, yielding a huge wall of sound.  This sort of expansiveness of sound would be difficult to find in a ss amp at 10X the price of this amp.  The music grabs and engages me in way that is amazing.  With my SA speakers, with my tube preamp volume pot turned to 12:00, I have all the SPL that I could want and nary a hit of distortion.  No worries, 6 wpc is sufficient for my needs.  

I have no doubt with 100 hours of time on the amp, it will be even more revealing.  So, this is my initial take on the sonic pleasure of this modestly-priced amp, hand-built and burned in by a master of tube amplification.  If I seem over the top with the performance of this amp, you are exactly right.    Whitestix.
A note to interest audiophiles. The amp sounded splendid with the JJ EL84 tubes, but I upgraded to Genalex Gold Lion EL84 power tubes from my tube guru, Jim McShane, and the amp yields even more sonic pleasure. Overall, the sound is a less congested, cleaner sounding, and the soundstage even more expansive. The cost of the new tubes was $120, totally worth the modest cost. My audio pals are amazed at how great this 6wpc SET amp drives my OB speakers. I also swapped the stock JJ 6JD8 for a the same NOS Mullard Blackburn tube and it yields an improvement. If I weren’t an chronic tube roller, I would have been happy as hell with the stock JJ tubes, but the replacement tubes are sonically 20% better than the stock tubes. There is lots to love with Dennis’ amp if you have compatible speakers. Cheers, Whitestix
Hi , I'm new to this conversation . I purchased a KT-88 Inspire from Mr. Had last January . I have rolled a Mullard E88cc, a Herleen Phillips SQ E88CC, and a Tekefenken E88CC, all have gold pins . This is in addition to the 2 tubes supplied by Dennis . For the rectifier , I was provided a Gold Lion  reissue GZ. I purchased a Phillips 5R4GYS (cryo) , a Mullard 5AR4/GZ34, and a RCA black plate 5U4GB. All the tubes I purchased are NOS. . I'm running a Rogue RP-1 pre with Tecktronix Telefunken 12AU7 NOS . Anticables interconnects and speaker cables . Silnote power cords and a monster power filter . My current speakers are Zu Omens and a powered sub . I have Klipsch Heresy II's , Klipsch KG 1.5's and JBL 4312a's in the closet .  I have a pair of JJ KT-77's and a pair of Tung Sol KT-120's coming in the mail . So far the Phillips 5R4 and the Tele ECC88 is my favorite combination . I will post again in a couple of weeks after I get some time on the new power tubes . Happy Listening , Mike B.