integrated tube amp recommendations, with remote

Hi Audiogoners,

I'm getting very excited planning my first true hi-fi system, and am looking for recommendations.

I'd like an integrated tube amp for <$1500, new or used. I'd like it to have a remote control, which curiously seems to be somewhat rare on tube amps of this price range. Unless someone can convince me that not having a remote improves the sound quality, I feel this is a requirement for the convenience factor.

I normally listen to music at "average listening volume," but occasionally host the cramped apartment party and need to crank it, so do want an amp that can deliver enough power, recognizing that it's about quality of the power versus wattage, etc.

I've so far seen only a couple that meet these criteria:

Antique Sound Lab AQ1001DT
Rogue Tempest II (a little pricier than I wanted)

Also looked at the Primaluna Prologues, Jolida JD202A or JD302B, but no remotes!

Any other ideas?

I don't know what speakers you use..I have an integrated Consonance Cyber Sig 10...


Look at the Cayin A-88T/KT-88 integraded. Sells new for $1895. Ive seen a few used in the $1500 range. I love mine, and the remote is great! Kt-88 tubes with 45 very powerful watts in Ultralinear mode. Killer sound IMO.
If you can stretch your budget, you can routinely find used Cary's SLI-80's for about $1800. In fact, one just sold here for about $1500. The remote on the Cary only controls volume, although I imagine this is true for most tube integrateds in this price range.
Not sure what your speakers need but here's another suggestion Eastern Electric M520 Integrated Amplifier. I think these units sell new for $1500 on Agon.
The remote on the Cayin controls sources as well. Just one of many pluses for it.
Music Hall Mambo. 50 watts Pure Class A. Excellent sound!
Second Gmood1's recommendation on the Eastern Electric M520. I got one for my secondary system in January and love it. Built like a tank and nice to look at. (Sounds great, too! Got it hooked up to a pair of Omega Hemptones.) The remote itself is a thing of beauty: looks like it has been fashioned from a block of aluminum - quite hefty and nice to handle.
You could consider the Prima Luna Prologue 4 power amp ($1145) and pair it with a Creek passive preamplifier for $500. The Creek would fit alongside the Prima Luna pretty easily on a shelf. All in, it would cost new $1645. I think that you would be very pleased.

Regards, Rich
you can only have 'two' of the following 'three' unless you seek out a great used deal......for 1.5k(new) you can have any two..... 1.well made 2.accurate 3.convenient....never all 3 at once......this applies for new ss as well below the 1k mark. as an example a creek at 1500 does it all over any tube offering for the same money, and its got a remote
Cayin A 88-T - Nothing comes close. I use mine with the direct pre-in input, bypassing the built-in preamp, and controlling the volume with my Shanling remote control (Shanling T-100 has remote controlled variable output).

The Cayin remotes gets used for switching sources, and for the volume control on the tuner...

Unheard of build quality and sound, easily competes with units up to 4K....It's a no-brainer, really.
The Rogue Cronus and possibly a VTL IT-85. Both have remote volume and can be found used in your price range.
Hey Kehut, I have a topic going on about the A88.
I only know the A88's sister amp, the B300. Heard it a friends my first hearing of a 300 tube. Unreal smooth clean mids, not much in the bass./nor highs, but the mids/vocals, to die for.
But the B300 tube is not for me. Its the KT88/Kt90 that I have in the Jadis ORCH Refer.
So I suspect your A88 to be almost as rich sounding as the B300 in the mids, plus the added bass and highs.
Am I correct?
btw look how fast a used A88 sells on the Gon.
The remote on the Cayin cdp is top notch, but I never use a remote.
Yes Bartokfan...Id say that is correct. The A88T is rich and textural sounding in the mids with excellent extension of the bass/highs without harshness. Im not fond of the 300B tube due to its limited extension. True it has glorious mids, but must be matched well to the speaker driven. Usually the single driver/hi sens types, but will still only really get the mids.

The A88T/KT-88 is a balanced sound with superb resolution and transparency. Definately competes with higher priced seperates IMO. I think Harry Weisfeld of VPI loves his A-88T and plugs the amp as well in the AS catalogue.
Yes my friend had a high sensitivity speaker hooked up to the cayin B33.
On some vocals there was a ever so slight "bark" at some fq's.
It was comming from the speaker, no fault of the amp.
I could not live with that.
However I only listen to classical, so it might not have been a problem.
But as I'm not giving up my speakers with are low sensitive, the Seas' drivers, so I work the amp around the speaker. The speaker rules, not the amp.
I may get the Cayin A88 one day on a bargain price. And then sell the Jadis OR.
I would not want to give up what the Jadis offers unless the swap is in my favor.
My hunch is that the A88 will offer a tad more vs the Jadis.

I see at least one Jadis fan is finding my hunch difficult to accept.
Read "my friend had the B300 Cayin"
As with you, its great with certain sensitive speakers, but I need the extensions offered from the A88.
Hopefully my next amp
I am using an Onix Sp-3. No remote but it has a build quality that should cost 10 times as much as it does. Puts out 38 watts, has surprising bass and very good overall sound quality. I have heard it on Zu and Merlin and it excelled with both. Output tubes are very inexpensive and maintenance is near zero. Oh yeah! You can buy a new one for $700 and used for between $500/$600. That leaves more moolah for other components.
Check out the SQ-88 from Quest for Sound. A dealer on AO and located in the PA/NJ area. Unit has remote for volume control, built like a tank using KT 88 tubes. Has real guts in driving my VS jr4's. Stephen is a great quy to deal with. Good luck in your quest.
Thanks everyone for the thoughtful recommendations. I'm going to see what I can demo and then make my final decision...
I once was so stubborn about remoite controls that you wouldn't have been able to convince me that I didn't need one. When I was in the market for an integrated amplifier I passed on a lot of good deals because they didn't have remotes. I now own a Blue Circle CS integrated. No processor loop, No remote, just stock. I realized I took a risk but I am glad I did. They really arent that important on an amp and I never find myself getting up and down to adjust the volume.

The only place I would ever want a remote is the CD Player, I can mute (pause) and change tracks.
Cd remote is essential. As for the volume, well, I go back and forth on that. I think that once you get to know your room, your system and your music collection, you will tend to pick the right volume and not need to make frequent adjustments via remote. But remote is so very handy for new recordings or recordings that vary in volume (e.g. Checky demonstration disks) or recording that has one or two very high sections that you need to reduce for the neightbors....

A couple days ago I was no way without a remote volume but today I'm liking an amp that lacks a remote and feeling what the hey....