First and last Integrated tube amp. not much $$$.

I'm about to purchase my first tube amp and my budget is very tight. These are the amplifiers I'm considering:

Cayin TA-30 $849.00-(all BizzyBee mods, plus 1 Year of service) Paul of BizzyBeeis a Cayin U.S. dealer. Preamp out is included.

Conrad Johnson CAV-50: roughly $1,300.00 used. Preamp out is

Dec Ware SE 34-I $1,600 new, plus $195.00. Preamp out is included. subwoofer.

I have enough money to purchase the Cayin now. My question is
whether I should go for the Cayin, or save, till I can afford the other amps mentioned? BTW it would take me some time to save enough money to buy the other amps mentioned. Other amp suggestions are welcomed.

My system:
Klipsch Heresy's (1977) $500 new and unfinished Mom's Warehouse/ Colonie, NY

Conrad Johnson Dv-2b Tubed CD player. $995.00 used on Audiogon.

Rega Planar 3/ RB 300/ Rega Elys. $500.00 used on Audiogon.

Lehman Black Cube/ standard power supply. $325.00 used on

Hsu VTF-2. $500.00 new.

Should I go for the Cayin, and, enjoy the magic of tubes, now? Or, should I begin saving enough money to step up to the other amps mentioned? How much of a step up would it be? Auto-biasing is a requirement because, I have Carpal Tunnel in both hands. I also
need 4 inputs, and, one preamp output ,for the Hsu subwoofer.

As you know, the Klipsch Heresy's lower end needs to be augmented with a sub. I'm pretty happy with the Hsu, although, this
is my first subwoofer.

In terms of power requirements: Cayin TA-30- 35 watts per channel in EL- 34 push pull pentode. 4 watts in S.E. mode

Conrad Johnson Cav-50- EL-34- 40 or 45 watts (not sure) push pull pentode.

Dec Ware SE -34I - EL-34 - 7 watts Zen triode and many different
sound signatures available.

Will I be missing another audio plateau by settling on a push pull amp?. My listening room is roughly 13 1/2 x 16.

Speakers are 4 feet apart.

Back wall distance is 1 1/2 feet.

Speaker to listening seat distance is 6 1/2 feet.

Speaker to side wall distance is 4 feet.

Ceiling height is 9 feet. Tin Ceiling and wood floors.

Listening position is at extreme of back wall.

I listen to Classical, Opera, Jazz, Blues, Rock, Country, World Music, and everything in between.

I want faithful music reproduction , and, enough power to rock out
without distortion.



Showing 2 responses by winegasman

I've had the modified TA-30 for about 6 months now. It was my first venture into tubes. Right out of the box its sonic qualities were impressive. Then, after about 30 hours, bass really opened up and tightened up -- I can no longer understand why some people claim that smaller tube amps can't do bass. To make a long story short, I can't imagine going back to solid state. This amp is easy to work with, and for under $1,000 new, with a warranty, I do not think its value can be touched. I know it's not supposed to work this way but ask yourself this: Can the Dec Ware unit sound twice as good as the Cayin? It costs twice as much. There's no way. The Cayin is a great value today, and I would stand it up sonically to anything I've heard in the $2,000 range. Finally, Paul at Bizzy Bee is a great retailer -- patient, knowledgeable, willing to work with you. (I have no connection to Paul or Bizzy Bee.) Good luck.
Mmaudio, I'll give it a shot. I listen to a wide variety of music -- chamber music (especially clarinet & piano), jazz (Miles, Tatum, Peterson, Rollins, Ella, Shearing, etc.), world music (Klezmer) and "folk rock" (the stuff with more "roll" than "rock," including Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Beatles, Taj Mahal, etc.). I've just been listening to Bruce Cockburn and before that Weber's Grand Duo Concertante. I listen at all levels except extremely loud (although my wife routinely claims that the music's too loud!), but mostly modest levels. Did have Cockburn cranking for "Rocket Launcher" though. These days I listen mostly to vinyl, having gotten back into it about 8 months ago after a 12 year hiatus. I have an early 80's Thorens TD-320 with new Ortofon Super OM20 cartridge as my analog source. I also listen to CDs, but not when I'm actually listening as my primary activity -- then I'd rather hear vinyl. I'm using a "fully modded" Cayin TA-30 (with the focus control and the external bias features), and I'm using a pair of no name boutique speakers manufactured and distributed up here in NH -- Arant A-80s. They're a fairly efficient (90db), 2-way, with 8-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeters, with front porting. I've tested them against many other speakers lately and for $330/pair they sound better than anything I've heard for under $700. While auditioning the Cayin, I also listened to many other tube and solid state integrated amps. The ones I can remember were the Arcam A-65 (I think that's the model #), a few fully restored and modded Fisher and Scott vintage tube amps (Scott 299 and 222; Fisher I forget), Adcom separates, and 2 Jolida models. I've also listened to un-restored vintage Macs and a Conrad Johnson, but the model escapes me, since I knew it was out of my price range from the get-go. My listening room is 12.5W x 15L x 7.5H. Incidentally, I've been alternating between using the Cayin in push-pull and single-end modes and, not surprisingly, I find that the unit has a bit more "balls" in push-pull, but is somewhat more transparent in single-end. And even in single-end I haven't yet been able to crank the volume past "noon," because by "10am" it's loud and clear! Anything more would be over the top, although the amp and speakers can handle the volume cleanly. Hope that helps.