Impressed with Tubes

For the first time, I auditioned a pair of Paradigm Reference Studio 100s run through a Rogue Perseus tube preamp & a Rotel RB1080 S/S power amp. Prior to that, I have never auditioned a tube preamp. Wow! What a difference! A richer, more integrated sound with the Rogue Perseus compared to S/S alternatives. Now that I am hooked on tubes, a few quick questions:

(1) Would there be a significant difference if I went with a tube power amp as well?

(2) Compared to the Rogue Perseus, has anyone had any experience with the Rogue Metis preamp?

(3) Other recommendations for tube preamps?

I am having a ball doing research for a new 2-channel system. And listening to a tubed component for the first time was a real treat!

Thank you for any help!

I've got a tube integrated (preamp plus amp), tube cd player and tube phone stage. Can't get enough tube :) Seriously, at least to my ear, solid state is just for office and bedroom systems.

In my experience, if I had to put tubes in one component, it would be the preamp hands down.


I owned a Rotel 980BX amp and RC960(?) preamp about 6 or 7 years ago. While a great value for their price, Rotel definitely errs on the lean side of accurate. Most of the problem was in the preamp stage, I thought.

But, in my audio journey since those early days, I've found there are lot more lifelike and rich components out there, both ss and tube.

Rogue definitely makes great, dependable, equipment which holds it's value well. But, selecting tube components is a highly subjective and personal experience.

How about letting us know what type of music you listen to and at what volumes. Also, what are the musical traits you value the most - dynamics, bass, midrange, scale, etc.

Rogue, Antique Sound Labs, Quicksilver - all worth checking out.
Hi Kitjv:
I've recently listened to a Rogue Perseus through a Rogue Stereo 90. At that time I had a Rogue Cronus integrated, which was great. Rather than buy a new Perseus and 90, I found a used Rogue 99 preamp and a 90. The 99 is remarkable. Better detail and soundstage than the Perseus. For $2500 I got both units vs. $4k for new Perseus and 90. Rogue is a great company to work with too. I've been to their factory twice. If you want to upgrade tubes, get them from Rogue directly, they can guide your choices.
*In general* If you go with a tube amplifier you will find it smoother and more detailed than the best of transistors, if the speaker is compatible with the tube amplifier. This is because tubes obey the rules of human hearing to a much greater degree than transistors do (although this is not to say that that couldn't change in the future).

You've already heard how this works with preamps- its the same with power amplifiers.

Keep in mind that if you are investing in tube power, your investment dollar will be better served by a speaker that is 8 ohms or more (particularly in the woofer region) than a speaker that is 4 ohms.
Darkmoebius: In response to your questions.... I generally listen to jazz at moderate levels. My ears value a balance integrated sound which reproduces a live performance. An overly bright tremble or heavy bass is not desirable to me. I am leaning toward the Paradigm Reference Studio 100 main speakers with the Rogue Perseus tube preamp & Rotel RC 1080 S/S power amp.

Thanks, everyone, for guiding me through the myriad of available choices.

Also, if I can dovetail my own thread here....what are the main maintenance issues with tubes? How often to replace?