Golden Tube Audio SE-40

I've been picking through the offerings of an estate sale and came across a Golden Tube Audio SE-40 power amp. I can't give it a listen as it's missing a rectifier tube and don't know if I even want to bother with the amp at all.
From what I've read so far, the amp has been known more for reliability issues than good sound. I presently use an Aragon 2004 and a Forte 44 and am wondering if this Golden Tube Amp is worthwhile.
Other pieces I have picked up from the estate are a Dynaco ST70 and a Sound Valves VTP-101 preamp, which I think are keepers.
Any opinions/experience/advice regarding Golden Tube Audio would be appreciated.
well yes it is worth while just to get it up and running without breaking the bank. There are many times a piece of gear can have a terrible trsck record for many and you might be the few that comes out smiling with a long time of the tubes and crank it up.
There aren't any Rectifier Tubes in this Amp .

It is a Paralleled Single Ended Amp with 3 6L6/5881 Output Tubes per Channel and a 6SN7 Driver Tube per Channel that has an Output of 40+ Watts per Channel .

If working properly is will sound much better than a stock ST 70.

There is a nice Yahoo Group that can answer questions better than myself .
The SE-40 is a good, very under-rated amp IMHO. It's got a very sweet sound, but can be a little lacking in the lower range if not paired to the right speakers.

I have two and there have been no reliability issues (so far). The guy who moderates the Yahoo group is Loc Vu, and he is the goto guru for all things GTA. He can help you with advise, parts and upgrade kits.

If it's too much like work just send the amp to me. I'll make sure that it gets disposed of properly. I'll donate it to the... Nuns. Yeah, that's right. I'll donate it to Sisters of Charitable Audio.
I owned two of these amps. One had a small problem. I had it repaired/upgrade at a very reasonable price. These are good amps and if you are picking it up on the cheap, I would definately consider it.
The group on Yahoo is very helpful. These can be good amps to use and yes the GTA name did have a bad rep for holding up. I had a SEP-1 which worked great and I picked it up on the cheap. Matches well with the tube amps, and a very simple design.

Unless they are asking a lot of the amp it could be a fun little project to work on it if you don't mind doing that, yet if its going to be too much trouble I'm sure you could find a buyer for it if it didn't fit your needs.
What do you think it's worth? How much should I offer?
Very good sounding amp for the money, big hearted...but with a well-deserved rep for unreliability.
One more thing to add. Sonic Craft performs excellent mods to the SE-40 that will improve the reliability and sound. You can check it out at

I have had my two amps for 10 yrs after the mods with no problems.
I had a pair. Never had any reliability problems (nor with my SEP-1). But I didn't think they were very user friendly with the hassle to bias them from the bottom and the cost of retubing relative to the value of the unit. But I do miss their sound.
I have had one for nearly 20 years modified by Jeff at Sonic Craft. I still have not found an amp as listenable as the SE-40 for less than $5K. I cannot recommend Jeff highly enough.
I had one in the late 90's. It was an OK amp but it had some hissing issues and was soft/warm and forward in the mids. Low-end was also somewhat anemic and soft. I was using it with Klipsch speakers. One thing that it did very well was 3D sound-stage with nice layered details.

You can get better amps for a bit more money and even for less money.
Faust3d said:
You can get better amps for a bit more money and even for less money.
I have not heard a tube amp that sounded better than the SE-40 for $350 or so. If you can do the upgrades yourself, spend another $100 (or less) and it becomes a giant-killer. Agreed not the best, but a hellava amp for under five bills.