Rogue Audio Cronus.........a beautiful EL-34 integrated amp, with wonderful musical properties. Obviously, it depends on your speakers, front end, and room......but it is indeed a terrific amp.
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Another really nice tube integrated is the Jadis Orchestra Reference, I say this not because you should get one, but for things you should also consider. I own a JOR and love it, BUT. . .power tube biasing should be done by a qualified technician or someone well esperienced with this procedure. In short, changing power tubes can be a real pain in the A__, on a JOR! My friend owns a Sound Valves (Dynaco clone) power amp which simply uses the intensities of a pair of green lights to bias the output tubes (really easy). So, when you consider the equipment, also consider the ease of use (how easy or hard is it to change tubes). Signal tubes and rectifier tubes are every 6-12 months, sometimes longer or shorter as luck can sometimes have it (usually no biasing necessary for these). Power tubes can last 1-4 years or so depending on how hard you drive them, how you treat them, and how many hours you put on them. Cost of retubing, and availability of tubes should also be strongly considered. Just a few thoughts you might want to be aware of. Happy listening.
I have had a manley stingray and an audio note soro. if you can handle the lower power of the audio note it is a nice amp -- engaging and detailed for the $$. Should be able to find one used for about 2 k. amp benefits a good deal from upgrading the tubes. for less money, the manley asserts itself nicely. good luck.
did you compare the Stingray and the Soro?
I am just curious what you thought about the differences.
I owned both too and always presumed the Soro was better but I owned them about 2 years apart - not at the same time.
also fwiw the Stingray is very nice and robust as well..
sorry to hi jack the thread...
I had the stingray and the soro back to back and was able to compare both at the dealer. IMO the soro has a more detailed and bigger presentation, just more music there, and with some new tubes had a sound that i preferred. I did not tube roll with the manley so i might have missed something. the soro was a little flat sounding with standard tubes though.
hope this helps.
Cheap, get your toes wet option: used Onix SP-3 (about $400)
Midrange option: Prima Luna Prologue One or Two (about $1k )
Highend option: Cayin A88-T (designed to sound like McIntosh 275) ($2k ).
All three have received glowing reviews in the magazines. I own all three and can vouch for them. The Primaluna has autobiasing which makes it easy to use and easy to try different tubes with.
garyjames thank you for taking the time to respond, they are both very good but I bet you are right.
The Soro has an elusive quality, I could never tell if it was warm or neutral - just musical, the Stingray had a more indentifiable coloration and a bit constrained. This is the impression I got but always wondered what others thought.
Both are more powerful than their ratings would suggest.