Input Requested on Possible Amp Change

I would appreciate some input on whether it's a good idea to change amps. I have some Cerious Technologies React 2 speakers, which I really like. They are rated at 88db/1m/1m, 3.2ohms at 122Mhz...FWIW.

After I acquired the React 2's, I then acquired a Cary Audio SLP 98p tube preamp which to me was an audible upgrade from my McCormack RLD SS preamp, although it may be just the gain characteristics. Whatever I like it a lot.

After I acquired the 98, although I was thinking tubes...the 88db and a very good deal pushed me to acquire a pair of Cary Audio monster SS mono amps, CAD 500's. I've never turned them above 4, and that was LOUD! These replaced a McCormack DNA125 which also could get loud.

Because I like the tube preamp so much, I've been thinking tubes again for amplification and I'm trying to stay under $4K. I live in a place where most folks think Best Buy is the bomb so auditions with my speakers are out.

I guess my question is...will 75/80 watts each from some tube mono amps do the job with my React 2's or am I nuts not to stick with the Cary SS amps?

I sit about 3 meters from my speakers, turn it up sometimes for blues rock, and listen to mostly jazz and female vocalists at normal levels the rest of the time. This could move to 5 meters someday but probably not.

I am looking at some used Quad ii-80's (80w RMS each) and some used Atma-sphere MC-60's (75w with autoformers).

PS I tried the amp forum and although I know ohm's law, that stuff still makes my eyes glaze over. Thanks in advance for your time.
I have the SLP98P. Cerious Tech speaker wires. The CAD 120's is a perfect match with the pre and you will realize that the amp makes more difference than the pre. No need to go for the MKII due to the gain in the pre. I'm running Wilson Witt series II. 60 watts triode 120 watts ultra linear. Plenty of power. I am of the tube sound or no sound camp. Best of luck. If you're in Fl you can listen to it.
"I guess my question is...will 75/80 watts each from some tube mono amps do the job with my React 2's or am I nuts not to stick with the Cary SS amps?"

He doesn't make speakers that are too difficult to drive. Given your application, tubes are no problem at all. Unless you need to go loud with a lot of bass, there's plenty of tube amps that can easily drive your speakers. Power wise, I would say that a good entry point would be something like a CJ MV-55 or 60, or a similar amp from a different manufacturer. On the high side, you probably wouldn't meed anything more than amps like, VT-100, Quicksilver V4, Cary V12, or similar...
I hear you. I've read some reviews where some think the CAD 120 runs way hot. One guy said he felt the need to replace the enclosure with one that had more vents in it. What is your experience with this unit as far as heat?

PS I've recently seen one for sale at a good price.
Thanks for the reply. I do like to go loud sometimes, but I am not a bass nut. I like tight, authentic bass but not overbearing bass. I am leaning toward the Qaud ii-80 right now. There is a V-12 out there but I keep seeing "some" people complain about the heat Cary tube amps put out. What is your take on this? I've got a Cary tube preamp, two Cary SS amps, and a Cary DAC and they are all great as far as I'm concerned.
You have good amps. I had the Cary v12 R and it's a great amp but does run very hot. The CAD 120's runs cooler and has better bass. Plenty of power and is a really good match with your pre. The amp should be in a rack that is open all around or open on the floor.
I keep wondering why the heat that every tube amp makes to a greater or lesser extent is so problematic. I thank Polk432 for the answer which is space around the amp or amps. Other than that sitting 10 ft from the amp shouldn't be much of an issue, I never found it to be so.
To the OP I like the Cary tube amps and unless you are concerned with the space issue I would choose them over the Quad which tends to the "polite" side. I must concur that tube power amps confer more of the importance of tube technology (tube magic) than tubes anywhere else they may be applied.
Mechans, Polk432, ZD542... Thanks for your input. I think I'll be buying a tube unit(s) in the near future.

The heat issue concerns me for two reasons. One...heat is the enemy of all things electric so reliability comes into play. Two... I use a custom made cabinet to house my stuff and short of installing some fans, I doubt any tube amp should be in a cabinet. I did remove the back of it and do keep the doors open when my rig is on, but likely I would benefit from fans, dead quiet fans, if I put a tube amp(s) in the cabinet.

I am trying not to get an "entry" amp(s). I want to buy and be done. Of course I said that when I bought the CAD-500's. I've heard great things about the new Carver tube amps but they rarely hit the market, are nearly twice my budget, and apparently are no longer made or supported. I read where Jade (Emotiva) bought his design and might put out tube amps but I may need hearing aids by the time that happens. May be BS anyway and Emotiva has had quality issues, at least in the past.

As far as the Quad ii-80's being too "polite", I'm not sure that's a bad thing, but...have you listened to them? Quad has the polite, chamber music rep but more than one of the reviews for these 80 watt units states the bass is surprisingly good. One even said "ballsy" FWIW. I do like Quad products. I own two pair of their 12L2 bookshelf speakers for the den and bedroom and they are quite musical. Great Cary, etc.

Polk 432...I agree. The Cary CAD 500 MB amps are great SS amps with head room for days. I will be disappointed if I buy a tube unit(s) and I don't like the sound better but nothing ventured...nothing gained. As I mentioned I live in a place where the Bose radio is considered the pinnacle of high fidelity so short of loading up the speakers/amps and driving mega miles to a dealer's shop; I pretty much have to just do my homework, pull the trigger, and hope it's all it's cracked up to be. So far, so good. Really at this level just about all the gear is good, it's just a matter of preference.
Have you spoken to Cerious? He's a pretty nice guy, and would give you an honest recommendation. He's really knows what he's talking about. Wouldn't hurt to ask.

If you want to get 1 amp and be done, you may want to consider VAC as well. They do cost a bit more, but you'll have a hard time finding something better. For your speakers, I would consider a Renaissance 30/30 or 70/70. I have a 30/30 myself, and that should be more than enough to drive your speakers. Its very close in power to an ARC VT-100.
Zd542...Thanks again for your input. I will check out the VAC amps. What do you think of Carver's recent tube amps? They look great, certainly have watts to spare, and the review's are pretty positive. People tend to love him or hate him but uh, who cares? Is his latest iron worthy or not? I'm leaning toward moving my budget north anyway because I really do want to buy and be done, but of course that brings more choices into the mix. It's a fun hobby and all but I've got bigger fish to fry and I'm not getting any younger. My rig is already uh, adequate, as Aston Martin likes to say about their cars' horsepower.

And yeah, I know Bob G. A mutual friend who had some CT React 1 speakers that sound spectacular put me in touch with him several years ago when my 30 year old Sansui finally bought the farm. I bought an SS amp and some prototype speakers from him that he built somewhere in the transition form UA to CT which look a bit like UA Cerious 7's. A few years later I'm surfing Agon and I see he's selling some CT React 2's at a price I could actually afford so I call him and boom, there mine. He actually delivered and set them up in my house since he was taking a class of some kind about 60 miles away. I haven't talked to him about my current tube amp obsession but I will before I pull the trigger. From talking to him in the past, I get the impression he's not the world's biggest tube fan, but I may be wrong. And yeah, I have speakers out the wazoo!
Never heard your speakers but the Atma M-60s and the VAC 30/30 and 70/70 are all special amps. Talk to Ralph at Atmasphere- he's probably heard his amps w your speakers or knows someone who has and he is a very straight shooter. Both are excellent products w great support and should come in right in your price range. If your speakers were designed to be used w tubes, my prediction is that once you hear them w a good tube amp, you'll never go back.
Swampwalker...thanks for the reply. As I've mentioned my only issue is that the amps in my system produce enough volume with my somewhat less efficient than average, but great sounding speakers; so I can hear all the detail. My ears may be a little worn out but for me, it takes a certain amount of volume to make the music really sing. I am looking at all the amps you mentioned and a few more. The worse thing that can happen is I will end up with a great sounding amp.
Even though a watt is a watt is a watt, you will definitely find that you will need less power with tubes IF (big if) your speakers were "voiced"/designed to be tube-friendly. For example, on paper Wilson and Soundlab speakers don't have the efficiency/sensitivity that you would think would work well w tubes, but many people are very happy using tubes,including the Atmasphere OTLs.
There have been good tube amplifier recommendations offered here. I have to say that if a good condition VAC REN 30/30 or 70/70 become available give these amplifiers considerable thought. 300b tubes in a push pull circuit,stout power supply and excellent output transformers. These amplifiers make music and are special.
Good Luck,
I may have a VAC 70/70 Signature coming up for sale in the next several weeks. It's currently at the VAC factory to replace a binding post and get a tune up. I have not made up my mind yet about selling it, but may go to the dark side (solid state) for a while.
It seems that you have had a good experience with the Quad ii-80 amp. I always tell people that you should go for what they like no excuses necessary. That said many in this thread have endorsed VAC so you may want to try that one even if you are not pleased with the notion of "rolling" amps. I can't recall when I last heard a VAC amp so I am neutral on that score.
"As I've mentioned my only issue is that the amps in my system produce enough volume with my somewhat less efficient than average, but great sounding speakers; so I can hear all the detail. My ears may be a little worn out but for me, it takes a certain amount of volume to make the music really sing."

You may want to do a little experimenting before you buy anything. The situation that you describe could very well be the case, however, it could be a different component. For example, it could be the amps that need to be pushed harder than average to find the sweet spot for where they sound best. I say, just be sure that quality definitely lies with the speakers, and not some other component.

Another reason that I bring this up, is that Unity Audio speakers never had that problem. You didn't have to push them hard to get them to sound right.