Intro to tubes: Jolida or Bottlehead or Others?

i am looking to get my first tube components. i am interested in an integrated amp or seperates. which one of these options give me more bang for my buck. i can get a jolida here with some upgraded tubes for 500. or i can get a seperates setup at bottlehead new for about 800. i know asl are also pretty good but they are hard to find. dynaco st70 are difficult to find in good condition. any other options. i don't really have a big budget to work with probably about a 1000. thanks.
Anthem Pre and Amp 1 are nice for about that demo or used. Try or, dealers.

Rogue makes the Tempest integrated. Or buy a used 88 amp and use a passive preamp with your cd player.

Audio Electronic Supply (Cary Audio) makes the AE-3 preamp and Superamp tube amp.

All these items are frequently sold on Audiogon and represent good value.
Hi Loki:
The Bottlehead is, of course, a DIY kit. It is almost impossible to beat a kit re bang for buck. If you would like to DIY it is a good choice.

The best thing about DIY is that you learn so much quickly and you can change your equipment to suit your ears without having to buy all new all the time. It's like homecooking. If you would like to DIY I suggest you go the Audioasylum tube and DIY tube forums and just check it out for a few weeks. A lot of good kits and ideas will pop up. Don't be in a rush to buy.

I'll suggest two. 1) the Bottlehead is a great product and the support there is unmatched. Doc and Paul J. are diytube saints. 2) look at the kits at too. These are simple to build and great sonic bargains. Kevin and Brian are also good guys. You can get in under your budget there with the Ella(EL34) or Joplin(2A3) kits. These sell for about $600. Neither needs a pre. You can do some improvements/modifications later on.

After you've looked make sure you listen. And make sure you have a good match with your speakers.

If you want to learn a little about tubes here is a great on line source:

As the URL suggests this is book 6 on tubes. If you hit the home button it will bring you back to the general index and the entire section under "Electrical Engineering Training Series" is well done and understandable. It's a government publication!!! They do something right.

Cheers and have fun,

why doesn't the ella or the joplin need a pre? I don't see any on the website saying it is an integrated amp. thanks for your replies so far.
Hi Loki:

It's basically a matter of the amp's sensitivity and input impedance. Both are very sensitive and are a good match re impedance for a CDP. You could use a passive pre if you wanted. You could do that now or some time later.

Did you read any of the threads at the Diycable forum? If not, why don't you go there and read the threads about the Ella and Joplin. If you have a Q start a thread there or you can e-mail me if you want. Brian and Kevin know their product (and audio) better than I do though.

i just check the forum over there. it is very informative. thanks for the heads up clueless.
I would also suggest ASL (antique sound labs). Very good "bang for the buck". Readily available here on Agon either new or used. Information is available at