Digital integrated alternatives to SET tube system


Recently I have been contemplating moving over to an all in one digital set up for my front end such as the Lyngdorf 2170 or Devialet 200 etc.  I have read the entire 2170 thread.

I currently run a tube pre to a Line Magnetic 508 (upgraded tubes on both) to Audionote AN-E Lx/He speakers (ANK kit 003). My source is mainly digital consisting of an Aries Mini running USB to my DAC. All interconnects are solid core silver.

I absolutely love the sound of my current set up but I don’t have any local dealer support or anywhere to test tubes etc. Any time I hear something "off" in my system, I’m reminded of this fact. Also the convenience factor of an all in one would be great and I’m sure my wife would agree!

I’m really looking for something that will sound amazing with my Audionotes. Most reviews I’ve found on these types of amps don’t really speak much on using them with high sensitivity speakers which makes sense in most cases. I do of course realize I will be giving up certain SET/tube characteristics.

I really like the Room Correction feature on the Lyndorf as well as having a few different EQ settings to play with, although they are "pre set".


1) Price $4600 US or $6000 Can used.

2) Must play nice with high sensitivity speakers and maintain dynamics/soundstage at lower volumes.

2) USB input would be a plus.

3) May or may not have an internal DAC.

4) I don’t like a lean/thin sound or truncated highs.

Please give me your recommendations and thoughts. Thanks.

Honestly, you should look at an Accuphase Receiver running in Class A with or without a Dac card. That would be a perfect match where you can keep the warmth of your tubes but with even more bass control. I have borrowed my friends Devialet 140 expert pro and it is really a simple solution your wife will love. The current and control are amazing. I thought bass was bloated with the stock powercord (never a fan of audioquest) and swapped the cord to Purist Audio and then the amp was smooth as can be. The phono stage is really cool as you can adjust the loadings on the fly to see what sounds best and record noise is way reduced. I have run modified Tact equipment in the past and what i found is that it tended to lean it out to give you more pinpoint detail. When i say lean it out a double bass will pluck fast and accurate but the body of the double bass won’t resonate as much. so if that’s your thing worth a consideration. The amp was very nice, not like all the current ice/class D that are just boring. Right now I’m considering Devialet 440 Expert Pro or Line Magnetic 30watt Class A triode integrated to power my Rockport Aviors. Right now i have Theta Citadel 1.5 amps and Line Magnetic 518ia that I swap between. I do love SET/Triode but the heat here in Arizona makes my AC run non-stop
The Aleph or First Watt Suggestions would not disappoint you and keep your tube preamp.
if you go solid state you need to change those solid silver interconnects or at least try a pure copper version from the dealers when borrowing.  

@atmasphere All great tips for any tube users! I am excited to try out the Devialet once I get it home. Although I’m just getting home from work, then leaving the country for two weeks. Oh well, something to play with once I’m home. And I’ve already got my pre and power amp sold!

@cytocycle Very much appreciate the suggestion. I have picked up a Devialet 200 for now. I am curious to see how the silver cables work in the system as the Audionotes tend to lean on the warmer/saturated sound without treble glare. May be a match made in heaven. If not, I've got 3 pairs of Audioquest Mackenzies to swap in for now.

On another note, I couldn’t pass up a deal on a set of new LS50W’s and matching stands for a second system/bedroom. Lots of fun to be had when I get home.

Whatever Alan Shaw says, most Harbeth benefit from plenty of power. Devialet 120 and Lyngdorf 2170 are inadequate for M40.1. The Lyngdorf 3400 is more appropriate. I one paired a $10,000 Art Audio SET (300B-XLS) with Harbeth SHL5+ and it was dreadful. I run SHL5+ 40th Anniversary and a REL sub with a Devialet 250 and get the maximum performance the speakers are capable of giving, which is pretty sublime.
I have no love for valves/SETs. You can get good midrange from a good speaker driver, such as the Harbeth Radial2, with a wide variety of solid state, hybrid or Class D amplifiers.
The 2170 (170 watts into 4 ohms) is more power than I ever needed with a butt load, yes that is a real measurement, of headroom and extra power. I mean a full butt load. That’s over 100 watts into the 6 ohm 40.1. No way one would ever need more unless they want to damage their ears and speakers. Them there are the facts. Period. I have owned more amps than most people even read about so I am not blowing smoke. Have you even tried the 2170 with the 40.1s ? If not, you really have no idea.  Right? 

Quote from Stereophile

“However, the M40.1’s plot of impedance magnitude and phase angle (fig.1) suggests that the Harbeth is easy to drive in terms of its demand for current. The impedance drops below 6 ohms only in the middle of the midrange, and then only for a short while; and while the electrical phase angle occasionally reaches extreme values, this is only when the impedance magnitude is high, ameliorating the drive difficulty.

I point this out as the Lyngdorf 2170 has more than enough current to drive this speaker with ease in an average room. 30 amps of output current. The 3400 would also be a good match, but the 2170 at several thousand less is also up to the job. What’s more the 2170 plays this speaker in a way that makes it come alive at low to moderate volume levels. That is a wonderful reality also making it a great match with the 40.1.