I use an Audio Space AS-3i with EL34s to drive my Titus Es pair. You can also get a KT66 version.
Various tweaks can make this combo sound very nice indeed. NOS driver tubes, Herbie's tube dampers and Iso-cup footers, a premium AC cord, an isolation transformer. These all contributed to clarity and timbre right down into the bass, but the two factors that seem to have touched bass the most are the stands and the choice of speaker cable. I am using Audioquest Type 4 partly because it does bass.
So yes, you can squeeze more bass out of speakers with limited bass response. It's a question of optimizing setup and tweaking. Perhaps for that reason you might choose to go the KT88 route, but don't reject EL34s out of hand.
I wish I was more familar with your speakers, but I'm not. I am familar with these amps and I think the PL3/5 offers you the best chance for success. If for no other reason that you have a lot more flexibility in not only selecting the different types of power tubes but you can fine tune it by changing the small tubes and the rectifiers in the pre-amp and amp. I use the PL3/5 combo for the bulk of my listening and have ultimately chosen 6L6GC's in preference to the EL34's, 6550's, or KT88's I have on hand. I've had them now for over 3 years and have had zero problems.
I would suggest the PL2.It eliminates an IC.The 88s are my preference and rolling the 12ax/au will bring its' performance to another level.
I am not as enamored of the 3/ pre.Those who have had both (friends),have kept the PL2.
I have owned the PL2 for many years.Many who have heard it,thought it was a unit that sold for $3K or up.With 90db+ speakers and a tube friendly impedance,you won't ever look back (nor sideways).
I use the Triangle Cometes with my PL2 w/ EL34's. Great sounding unit decent at low volume, room is 12 x 20 open walls. More than enough power and with the PL2 you can try the KT88 or the EL34 as well as some other power tubes.
Newbee, did you go with 6L6GC's primarily for reliability, or for some other reason?
Linearity and clarity for the most part. These are the SED6L6GC which have a good rep and are very rugged. (Caveat, there are lots of 6L6 types so if you are investigating them, be mindful of the differences, especially in the Baron. FWIW my Baron is biased for the old Sovtek 5881's so I have not heard them in it, but I have heard the 5881's and the 6L6's in my Primaluna and there is no comparison. The 6L6's are much, much, better.) They are neutral and very natural in this amp.
Hope that helps you a bit.
Tpsonic good point with an IC, I would like to keep it simple, thanks. I use to have Dialogue Two with my Focal 918, what a match!!! I just loved the air and space. I had to give it up, hoping that my HT receiver will do the trick. Unfortunately, no sir, i didn't like it at all. My tube amp was gone. So, here we go again, I loved the sound of Dialogue Two, on the other hand I didn't care for the RC. Volume control at low levels wasn't precise enough. Stock KT88 are good enough for my taste, but I’d love to try EL34 as well (or have that option). I will pass on the RC, just regular good pot or step attenuator will do. PL 3/5 might be closer to Dialogue Two, right? Is there such a thing like too much power for your speakers? Or you just are gaining better control on the bass driver? Thanks.
If I could toss a seemingly odd suggestion, but it might be worth checking out the 18wpc Almarro A318B
Single-Ended/Class A integrated that uses 6c33c output tubes. It is a phenomenal amp with power, tonal purity, and silken highs. It seriously equalled my much more expensive high-end amps in musical satisfaction.
It was able to drive 90dB/4ohm Jean Marie Reynaud Twins mkII monitors beautifully. There are a few, simple, aftermarket upgrades(coupling caps) by response Audio that take the amp to a whole 'nother league - 2 V-cap coupling caps; 2 Black Gate cathode bypass caps; 2 Elna Cerafine cathode bypass caps; a Sonicap power supply bypass and a Noble volume control pot.
Also check out the JAS Audio Bravo 2.3 Integrated Amplifier
, like the reviewer in the link, I also owned the reference level $8k Art Audio PX-25 and found the Almarro to be nearly equal in many ways.
Thanks for your suggestion. It proofs that there is a life beyond the Primaluna world. Almarro looks very approachable. Is there a danger of damaging speakers with single-ended amp, say when the burned filament shorts out the output? Thanks.
I too have looked at the Almarro.Be sure to find a reliable source for your 6c33c tubes.I know that Quicksilver gave up on them.Lamm keeps some,hand selected for the output on the ML2.
Concerning Almarro318B. Make sure you have enough space for it, cos he produce lots of heat, so, no kids around.
If you are talking about about a runaway output tube, I had that happen with an Audion Sterling ETSE integrated EL34 tube and there was never any danger of damage to my speakers. Most well-built amps have a resistor or thermister, etc. to protect speakers from damage in this situation.
As for 6C33C-B sources, you can always get them from Alamarro reps or the company directly.
Also, the Tubestore.com sells 6C33c's.
I have traded emails directly with the owner of Almarro, Mr Muramatsu, and he goes out of his way to make customers are well taken care of. Both he and his son (along with Brian @ Venus HiFi) helped me replace a defective A318A that an unscrupulous (potential)dealer sold which was never meant for commercial distribution.
And, Maxmad makes a very good point, the A318B is not the type of amp you want to put in tight equipment rack or anything closely above it. Those 6C33C's put out a lot of heat.