You might want to consider a Bakoon amp.I compared my AMP5521 to the Leben CS600 a while back and preferred the Bakoon.The Leben was very good but the Bakoon was clearer and even more musically communicative.The Bakoons are not tube amps but they are like SET amplifiers in that they are current driive/high output impedance/no negative feedback and to me sound more like a good SET.A really good SET.And a half decent SET should sound better than a really good push pull tube amp.I owned an Almarro 318B which was modified and sounded better than the stock version and which did sound good but honestly even the base 15 watt Bakoon SCA 7511Kk 3 sounds better.A bit similar but better.
I can't speak to which sounds better, but if you're looking at Atma-Sphere as a possibility, its the M-60 that would be the candidate. The Devores are easy to drive and an extremely good match with our amps. The M-60s will make about 60 watts on the Devore.
In your price range you'll be looking at a used set of M-60s. BTW, older units can be fully updated to the latest version with full warranty reactivation.
The Raven Audio amplifiers will absolutely outperform all of the amps mentioned on this list. Amazingly enough they actually guarantee that in writing. Call Dave Thompson and talk to him. It looks like all of their Avian integrated amps are below your $5,000 budget point. Read the Florida show report here on Audiogon by BlindJim. Its almost all about how good their room was.
"From your list I would go Leben great match for Devore and great sounding integrated. Plus it's drop dead gorgeous."
Yes, even switched off it looks fabulous.
If this isn't a dream amp, what is?
I sometimes wish that NAD / Sony / Technics / Marantz etc would bring out special gold edition amps for those who can't yet afford the Leben CS600.
@ quanghuy147 - the amps you listed all sound very different because of different power tubes, different designs and different power output. Do you know what you are specifically looking to hear, or will you be happy with any tube amp that "sounds good" according to a the opinion here?
I can't (nor can anyone else) tell you what will sound good in your room, with your music, with your other gear and, most significantly, with your ears. All the amps listed by you and by the other posters sound good. OK, now what? While it's hard to listen to gear right now that's the only way to get exactly what you want. Test before buying if you can, or be fated to follow the example of me and lots of other guys here and start the buy/test/sell shuffle. It's can actually be pretty fun but it can also be frustrating and expensive.
"‘not just the gold but the green too!’
There is just something very sexy about Leben appearance not to mention the seductive sound."
Yes it's an almost timeless archetypal look suggesting some form of an extraordinary oriental exoticism.
When I think back to my first serious amplifier, the classic NAD 3020a, I was always glad that it came in a warm chocolate colour and not plain black as was common then.
I later ended up with the matching 4020 tuner (not so good) and the excellent 6050c tape deck.
Happy times, when my audio life was simple. Get a turntable, get some speakers and just buy the rest from NAD.
I own the Nines and am using a Woo Audio WA5, 10wpc of 300b SET power, and it is plenty for a 20x20 room. It’s a wonderful Integrated amp that was built to power efficient speakers and inefficient headphones. I will soon add a Leben CS600x, so will wait until then to comment, but research supported the Leben as a great match. Prior owner owned Shindo gear which sounded great if a tad drier.
Did you pick an amp yet? I adore the Nines, traded up from Super 8s and the Nines are much much better - more full sounding and easy to place.
I'm a Leben and DeVore dealer. The 600/600x are very nice matches with the Nines.
I also sell Line Magnetic.....the 805ia is another option that works quite well with the Nines.
I imagine Atmosphere would also be a great match, but I think their units are all amps? (not sure if they make an integrated)
Cary SLI80 has always been another good unit with the DeVores, and would certainly fall under your price point (even new).
Ah but the OP (and perhaps also other users of the DeVore Nines) will want more than ' very nice matches' and 'works well'.
It's appreciated that you've stated that you're a dealer (and might have a vested interest in promoting one brand over others) but how about putting on your enthusiast's hat and declaring which amp you would pick if you you were using the Nines?
It's might be helpful to hear what a voice of experience might bring to the discussion. Sometimes another's opinion can chime in with our personal preferences and sometimes it doesn't.
Reviews can never be perfect, but they can be helpful if written with a little honesty and thought.
A good review is often one which the reviewer will tell you their preference but also point out what someone with a different preference might prefer.
Here's one good example of such an approach from Zero Fidelity looking at several different LS3/5 options currently available form the likes of Harbeth, Falcon and Sound Artist.
As he states, in his opinion the Harbeth is his preferred option for his particular usage. He also explains why it might not be for everyone who is interested in this particular design.
This detail is quite important.
This is natural sound. Harbeth. Falcon Acoustics. Sound Artist. LS3/5a Compared!
@davehg Max 2 are calmer, less tiring, faster, more dynamic, more detailed, more tangible. Max 2 sound richer and fuller. They also have more accurate image.
However, Nines sound smoother, more romantic. Some people don't like this because the sound is not accurate but I like it.
It took me about a week to do some A/B comparisons to finally decide to sell Nines.
Luckily, later on I found a digital cable that can make the sound smoother and more romantic. Now Max 2 sound 90% as 'beautiful' as Nines and still keep all their strengths.
all that you are considering are good choices, well known, good quality tube amps
the devore 9’s are known to be smooth/warm sounding and moderately high efficiency ... suggest you go with an amp that does not accentuate those sonic qualities even more, and has the power to provide dynamic headroom as needed
https://www.usaudiomart.com/details/649693502-audio-research-vt80se/ <--- is what i would choose
I've owned the Leben and the A318B. Very different amps. The Leben is much more illuminated in the mids and highs. Can be bright with the wrong speakers- to me, but most likely not to others. Also the Nines for me did best more power from the Leben until pushed hard when things tended to get a little glossy. I think it's fair to say that the Leben will outperform the Nines and be more of the component to grow with. Beware jumping from Nines into O/93. Very different design and sound much more different than similar.
@quanghuy147 glad to hear you are still enjoying the Max. Happy spring!