Try Yakov Aronov integrated or Jadis Orchestra Reference.
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The Aronov integrated at about $1600 used on Audiogon is not only a taste of tube quality, but at 60 wpc easily drives most speakers in moderate size rooms beautifully without feeling need to upgrade further. The bass control is more like that of good solid state amp together with a natural, musical quality to the midrange and treble. What type of music and speakers do you intend to audition with your tube amp? Since tube amps do not all sound alike it is not so easy to extrapolate from the fine trial stage Anthem to your eventual tube "upgrade."
Tube amps seem to get a bad rap from many. This warm, rich, euphonic, dark sound is not typical of most of today's tube amps. Listening to one or two tube amps will not give you a clue to what certain tube amps can offer. There are tube amps that you would sware are SS. One tube amp can sound totally different from another. Please do not base your opinions on listening to just one or two tube amps. I believe tube amps have a sound just as SS amps. They all have their own sound. Listen to a Wytech compared to a Cary. A night and day difference. Wytech being day and Cary being night. Describe what kind of sound you are looking for and you will see what i mean from the posters. Neither amp may be in your price range, just giving you an idea that you can't label all tube amps as having a tube sound. Inna gave you two excellent choices. i couldn't believe what i heard from a modified Aronov integrated.
I guess I should of known it wouldn't be that easy. I'm new to this,and just thought I could try an inexpensive amp to see if that's the direction to go.( then resell it and get a better one). What I have now I got at a retail store last Feb.BEFORE I found this site,(exept for the speakers which I've had since '85.) The rest of the system is a rotel 991 cdp, and A/D/S L1590 speakers( from the Mike Kelly era, with 2 10" woofers, silk dome mids & highs, ). For cables, H-T truthlink from cdp, van den hul "the second " to the amp, and MIT T-2 speaker cables.I'm pretty happy with the sound, but it needs more body, the cables helped, as did speaker position and I added spikes, but I was going to try an inexpensive amp to try, just to see if that is what I should change first.I want to move up to that next level of sound, and realize it will have to be a little at a time, budget wise so I really appreciate your input,if you think that it would be a waste to try an amp just to see the difference, I'll trust your experienced opinions. If you all think that a real good tube amp is what I need I'll try one of the above, but I would hate to spend $2-3000 on an amp,and find I should have done speakers first. Maybe I just need a sub, the room is big (22 x 28 x 10). thanks for your help, sorry for the long post.
Put your money toward the Unico from Unison Research. 80 wpc integrated amp with a tube front end and MOSFET outputs. The sound is phenomenal for the money and the retail price is under 1300.00 (though soon to go up after all the great reviews). I have Mullard tube upgrades in it and I'm driving a pair of Merlin VSM-Ms - the sound is superb.
Good Buddy, Do Your Research,and verify your particular Needs, because I have a Copland CTA 504,just Resting in storage, It Basically a CTA 505 with less Power, if this is Your Cup of Tea, Contact me and it can find a New Home. It was my Second Tube Amp, and I've since Moved On! But must always have my Opinions!!!
there is a set of Yakov Aronov mono,s for sale,and some c-j 11a's, If I were try one of these, would it be fair to them to mix with my s.s. krell pre?
I might as well join the fun and start buying and selling things to try. But if it is the speakers I should switch first I'm doomed, because it seems like that would be a big hassle, and something best done via local sales.
Either way, I've got the bug to do something now, before golf season arrives.
The Aronov mono amps should maximize the bass extension and full range articulate quality of your speakers. These amps are free of any listener fatigue, sounding very strong and dynamic coupled with natural midrange and treble. I don't know of any reason not to start with your present pre-amp, but the Aronov pre-amp will later on demonstrate the full Aronov potential. Unlikely that you would be restless to replace the Aronov line up. The quality of your speaker experience will be upgraded using such fine amplification. You now have have picked very high end amps, a far cry from your humble aspirations when you initiated this thread.
Listener57 your right, it seem whatever you would like to spend always goes up, but starting from the first few responses, it seemed like a waste what I wanted to do. I believe it was your response " Since tube amps do not all sound alike it is not so easy to extrapolate from the fine trial stage Anthem to your eventual tube "upgrade." " made a lot of sense to me. Now if I can control my urge to get something quick, there are soo many to choose from, but it makes more sense to stop looking for quick fixes and move forward with a little bit of a goal.I've made too many quick decisions in the past. Would it be wise to start an other thread looking for the sonic characters of different amps?
I, like many others here have owned many amps, both SS and tubes. Way to many to mention but most of the top brands. For me tube amps are the only way to go. There are a number of good tube amps and a few great ones. In my opinion the Aronov's are one of the great ones and will serve you well for many years. After so many amps I found the Aronov LS 960 to be the one for me. As others have stated, like a Jadis with bass! Those that own them seldom let them go and will sing their praises if asked. Great for tube rolling as well as the LS 960's can take 6550, KT88's or KT90's and are self biasing.
If you want to continue your quest by reading other people's opinions you now have accumulated three "votes" for the Aronov amps. You might want to talk to two dealers who have sold, and used themselves, Aronov. Jim Kean of Audio Essence in Georgia sold me my Aronov integrated years ago, and the owner of A Sanctuary of Sound ( or something close to this name) sang the praises of Aronov sometime last year. Both can ease your mind that you are not being too hasty to decide on Aronov. Aronov sells by word of mouth as current owners usually find that this small company has calmed their audiophile restlessness.