I would suggest you to build one! Welborne labs is offering a new KIT in pair of monoblocks DRD 8wpc (300B)! And also there is a "Billie".
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Wright 2A3 monos should be in your ballpark and are exremely good. The ASL Tulip is also very good and is less money. I personally prefer the 2A3 tube to the 300B, but you do have significantly less power. I suggest these because you asked for "low power set". If you are willing to try push-pull tubes I can heartily recommend Quicksilver mini-monos. They are definitely in your budget new and can be had very inexpensively used. 25 watts per channel, very reliable, and close to set sound.
Rogerroger- I'd agree the Mini-Mites are great little amps and sound wonderful, but since I have both a pair of those and Quicksilver 300B SET amps I can tell you with great assurance that the sound of the two (at least with that specific SET) are quite distinctly different. With my limited audio vocabulary I would say that SET gives much more of a sense of airiness and spacial qualities than the MM's do. The sounds linger in the air as they fade off with SET....more musical in that regard. The Mini-Mites have more of a punchy sound to them which is well suited for more dynamic music, but ultimately they do not have the same holographic sound as SET. Fabulous soundstage though, so don't get me wrong! Absolutely agree, great little amps, but not the same as SET. I'd also agree regarding George Wrights 2A3's but they'd really demand an efficient speaker to make them shine. Don't know how efficient those Soliloquy 3.5's are, but with those Wright 2A3's in a moderate size room I'd look for something at least in the mid to high 90's if you like listening to things at more realistic volume levels. Horns would be heavenly IMO.
.02 cents more for your consideration.
Roger and Jax: I don't think that the Soliloquy's (90 db)are quite efficient enough for the 2a3s. The factory claims power handling of 8-300 watts (quite a range), but I think that they'd be a little thin with only 2 or 3 watts pushing them, and as you might imagine, my budget precludes the Avantgarde Dous!
Building one sounds like a good idea, too. In fact, builing a SET amp is somewhat less complicated than a push-pull, right? Fewer circuits and whatnot. I think that the Billie is about $1,200, no?
Thanks, all, for the ideas! Cheers!
Indeed, 90db is going to give you some pretty sedate listening levels with 2A3's Crazy. Maybe no budget for Avantgarde's, but I'd bet you could find LaScala's or Khorns at a reasonable price. Anyway, don't know the scoop with the Billies. I do love the SET sound when done well. I'm sure, like any other design, if poorly executed, or matched up with the wrong gear, it could ruin your image forever of that design. That kind of misconception makes for some great deals on A'gon though!!
These exceed your budget, but would probably be a great pairing with your speakers . I would check to see if any other users of your speakers use OTL's and how they match up. If they don't match perfectly, consider using autoformers between them instead of speaker cable ZERO Autoformers.
Music Reference RM10 in triode mode
This is a great amp for the price.
I own a SET amp modified by Roger Modjeski
is it's the greatest investment ever.
Ran in on JBL horn system and it blew the
Sun Audio 2A3 away especially in high frequency
and bass extension.
I tested with Sylvania Black plate 2A3
vs GE EL84.
Roger makes one of the best amps