Experience on B&W N800 with Tube Amplifier

Can anyone who uses a tube amplification to drive his N800 (or 800D) give some feedback which amplifier he uses and whether he is pleased etc? I guess it is an urban legend not to consider tubes to drive 800s (with some exceptions of some SE and/or amps with very low damping), to me it is just a question of taste and type of music to listen.
Personally I am not comfortable with biamping with a SS for bass units so please consider that fact, also mostly jazz and classical music should be listened
Feedbacks welcome, thks.
If you like the ARC amp, then may be you could consider just going up their line to Ref-300 or Ref-600 monos.
or get the VTM200 monoblocks to add to your VT200. That's going to be a crazy set up. I'll feel for you when you'll need to re-tube though.....
I currently utilize a pair of Cary V12R monoblocks(100 watts triode/ 200 UL)to drive a pair of B&W 801 Matrix ser. II's(87bd eff.)I get fairly tight tunefull bass and great mids/treb, utilizing triode(always). Very dynamic, even on large scale music. I think it's due to the large, high quality transformers Dennis Had uses on these amps. My room is only 14' x 18' w/ 13' cathedral ceiling, so it dosnt take too much to get into the high 90's/low 100 spl levels. Hope this helps. Jim
One amp you might consider is the Moscode 401HR. Its
a hybrid amp that has many of the qualities of good tube
amp. I'm using it on my Signature 805's with great results.
It replaced the well respected DNA 500. You can audition
it for 30days and if you don't like it you can return it.


I own the N800's and used to drive them with a pair of Bryston 4B-SST's, yes a pair, and they rocked, then I was on the upgrade path, the ML33H's or the ML436' were my target. My wife and I went to a hi-fi show and heard these tube amps driving a pair of N800s, and they sounded way better than any of the solid state gear that was driving them. http://www.octave.de/english/products/PowerAmplifiers/INFO-MRE130.htm

I demoed the Octave MRE 130's with Super Black Box (outboard capacitive storage) and they made my N800's sound like I was in the room with the performance, the music felt more alive, and intimate despite losing some lower end bass compared to the solid state amps, I decided to get a pair. I addressed flushing the bass issue with a B&W ASW850 subwoofer and Velodyne SMS1 subwoofer controller. This has been an excellant combination and the soundstage is awesome. With the sub tapped into the second line out from my pre, I can use the Velodyne SMS1 to fine tune and integrate my sub with the rest of the system.

I am contemplating doing a demo with another pair, I would like to try bi-amping just to experiment and try to see if I get some more additional headroom.

Now these are available in Europe and Japan, and have recieved high marks and reference ratings, in fact the Octave combo HP500SE preamp and the MRE130's went head to head against the ML432 and ML preamp and they were both rated reference class in the German magazine Audio.

I am not sure what your price range is because the pair is 13500euro, about $16875 US dollars at $1.25 dollars per euro. I recieved a great dealer discount and a great trade in on my Brystons; so I did not have to pay that much. They are available in 120 and 240 volts and use 4 KT88's in each mono amp providing 140 watts into 4 ohms. They advertise these amps as being able to drive difficult load speakers, inlcuding the N800's.

For N800, its always nice to put tubes somewhere in the chain.
I heard a number of times, tube pre-amp with a powerful s/s amp.

Tube pre: Jadis, Modwright, Blue Circle, CAT, Hovland, Cary

solid state amps: Krells, Classe, Big musical fidelities, Mark Levinsons, and bigger Bats s/s.