integrated tube reccommendations

thinking of trying out tubes. prefer integrated but am open to suggestions. budget under $2k used or not! thanks 'goners!
Audiomat Arpege. No remote, though.
Space-tech. Great equipment see the site at I just purchased three components (not integrated though) and for the price they're tops sonically!! Albert (the owner and builder of the equipment) gives solid customer support.
I have no experience with tubes but have been contemplating like you. Seems like the following are well regarded in your range based on what I have read:

Audiomat Arpege (new/used)
VTL IT-85 (used)
Unison Unico (hybrid)(new)
Manley Stingray (new/used)
Conrad Johnson CAV-50 (new/used)

Cary and Jolida too!
Rogue Tempest, Rogue Tempest, Rogue Tempest.
Auto bias. Remote. Can use 6550, kt88, and el34 (these run hot)

Triode-Ultralinnear switchable
Factory Upgradeable to "Magnum" model.
I've enjoyed mine for almost 2 years, and I'm always upgrading, so 2 years is a long time in my house.
I love it.

you can definately get a Used Magnum under $2k, and have some $ left over for tubes.

Give Mark a call at Rogue, ask him why you should buy.
THose guys take care of their customers.
just curious Jcbach, but your link sent me to 'Applied Thermodynamics' site. I hated Carnot in college!
To all others, thanks for the suggestions. I was considering models from Rogue,Cary,Manley and now Unison, Audiomat and VTL! Anyone direct have experience with the Cary SEI and STL? The Manley? The Rogue?
Can anyone educate me on the differences between SET, triode and ultralinear? I know I should be doing the research myself, but for now I'm trying to sneek in some of this stuff before my boss catches me!
I'm real happy with Cary SLI80. Probably $1800 used. High quality build and sound and look too, switchable between triode and ultralinear.
sorry Jlamb about the site mixup.

go to
i bought an Unison Research SR1 hybrid integrated amp about 2 months ago..i can not be happier with the performance...i suggest you add it to your is much better than the comparison, Unico seems lifeless and boring...just my opinion in my setup...

good luck!
Aronov Audio 60 watts per channel integrated amp under $2000 used. Natural, extended range performance with special
ability to allow best possible bass of any tube amp in this price category. Dual volume controls optimize sound
quality, and soundstaging, but an inconvenience in the service of great sound. Be warned that tubes done right become addicting, and you'll become a believer in the adage that tube watts are mightier than transistor watts.
FWIW, I got a good deal on the Cary SLI-80 signature, about a year ago.

I decided to give it a try, and man, it is the best looking, most quality-exuding piece I'fe ever owned. IT is beautifully made, that is for sure. I put the Rogue in the corner, and just listened to the cary for a while.
I documented the whole affair in a thread here. If you don't feel like reading it, the Cary, even with $500 worth of NOS tubes, some, the best or certainly within the top 5 tubes of their type, ever made, still wouldn't out "real" the Rogue.

I WANTED to love the Cary, its so damn pretty, but in the end, the rogue won out.

Next, I had Unison SR-1, very pretty. GREAT sound, for a hybrid. THe sound is almost tubelike, the bass is a bit flabby, and there is a bit of Solidstate haze on the top end, but for the money, a damn fine amp. The Cary's major flaw, lack of depth of soundstage, and lack of a believable illusion that the sound wasn't coming from the speakers, was a strength of the Unison. It had a great stage, but, with that slight SS haze, the ROgue wins again.

Anyway, I realize people are biased toward what they own.
But, since I've owned all 3 of these, I think that I'm not quite as biased as someone who hasn't. The Rogue, at least in my system, was the best, and surprisingly, not the most expensive.

IF you can live with a 2-D soundstage, the Cary will never fail to elicit a "wow" from a friend upon seeing it. Plus, tehy are another small company that has good customer service.

Try to listen to the Rogue if you can, it just might save you some cash.
You should try to listen to one.
Manley would be my pick. Audio jewelry too.
I've heard the rogue stuff, and think the Cary stuff smokes it. How's that for different strokes for different folks! The two problems you have with Cary have been strengths in my past systems.

Agreed, audition in your system is mandatory...

Hit my thread link in the above post.
I agree that the Cary SE stuff probably does.
But, from the sound of your post, it isn't clear that:
A) you were comparing Tempest to SLI-80 SIG, and not just some Rogue you heard somewhere, some time ago, to some Cary you heard somewhere else, some other time.
b) you tried several combinations of tubes with each to maximize their potential
C) THis was done while you had both pieces in your home, or side by side in a demo system, at once.
D) You had a long time to make up your mind.

Like I mentioned, I had the Cary for several months, and for the first few weeks, the only question was, how much was I going to start the bidding at for the Rogue.

I'm glad it wasn't a "home audition" for the weekend, as I would have definitely bought the Cary.

Anyway, just supporting my opinion. Cheers to all, and happy Thursday.

As a dealer I like the Consonance MI00Plus that recently received an excellent review from Soundstage. An overall musical,natural and emotionally involving amp that like all the Consonance products connects the listener to the music.The difference between hearing and feeling the performance.

You can also check out the VAC Avatar. I was on the same boat a few months ago and ended up getting the Avatar after much research. It's rated at 60wpc Ultralinear and 27wpc triode - you can switch between the two. It's sonically and physically beautiful. Highly recommended.

Other tube integrated amps that I also considered:
- Conrad Johnson CAV-50
- Manley Stingray
- VTL IT-85
- Jolida 502B

Happy Shopping
Hi Jlamb, I own a Decware Integrated SET amp. Only 7 Watts, but it blows away anything I have yet owned or heard. You will need speaker efficiency of at least 92 db to consider it. Good luck, Paul