I need tube sound without the tubes

I've been running tubes for awhile and am just about fed up with all the problems that tubes entail. I've spent the past five years putting out fires...sometimes literally. Problem is I love the tube sound. Now, I'm a poor social worker with a taste for caviar and a pocket for tunafish...anyone out there have any recommendations for a great cheap amplifier that sounds sorta tubey. I need at least 75W per channel to run my speakers effectively. Cheap, my doctor and lawyer friends, means around $400. Maybe I'll be able to afford more in my next lifetime. Anybody want to make a donation to charity?

Showing 1 response by trelja

I second the opinions on the Jolida and Musical Fidelity. Just make sure you get the previous generation MF, as they are moving away from the tube sound. In my opinion, there is no substitute for tubes. A solid state amp is often marketed as the designer's most "tubelike" yet. That is, until the next model. Tube amps never face this. It seems that tube people often can sniff out a SS product pretending to sound like tubes. I find their best efforts show the mosfet "haze" common to products trying to sound warm, or the dry mids for the bipolar designs. That doesn't mean I think there aren't good SS products out there. A used Jolida can fit into your budget. I think they sound very good, especially when you replace the cheap Chinese tubes(many used ones have already had this done). The sound is not far from many of the more expensive brands(they sound like tubes!). You get a detachable power cord, an upgrade right there if you ever have the money down the road. I have never heard of reliability problems with Jolida, and I have steered MANY musician friends to them. And these people really beat the hell out of these amps. But, one thing they always say, they'll never buy another solid state amp.