Looking for a SET amp to pair with MM DeCapo's

that won't break the bank. They are rated at 92dB 1w @ 1M. Considering Decware Zen but wonder if 2-3 watts is enough or a 300B based amp of some sort.

Any suggestions or experience particularly in the used market?
I have DeCapos and I've tried a Decware Zen with them. I would not recommend this combination. The Decware Zen can be a great amp with the right speaker, but this combination didn't work for me. The amp actually puked at only moderate volume. I think there is a new revision of the Zen that is designed to work with 8 ohm speakers, but I haven't tried it.

I currently use BottleHead Paramours and like the combination. Some folks would recommend more power, especially if you listen to classical, but I've never needed full output with the DeCapos and I don't even use a pre-amp. I use a CD player connected directly to the amps.

The beauty of the DeCapos is they will work with almost any amp (except the Zen that really likes a 2 ohm load). You could easily jump on a decent deal on any lowish powered amp and try it. Re-sell it here if it doesn't float your boat.

BTW, the best sound I've ever heard from my DeCapos was using a Moth Audio 45 amp. The Moth is a killer amp, but only 1.5-2 watts/ch. It sounded wonderful, but I was often approaching full volume when using it.


I had the Ref 3A Royal Masters, a precursor to the DeCapos, for many years and had great luck with a 300B amp (Cary 300SE). I don't think I'd go with much less than 8WPC...especially if you like to RAWK.
You should look for at least a 300B amp to be sure the speakers have enough power. They will handle an extraordinay amount of power with out going postal so maybe single ended should not be the big issue. Tash at Divertech distributes the Antique sound labs electronics and the KT88 integrated is good sounding with balls. Also goes into triod mode for a little sweeter sound.
you'll probably get more responses to your question over
on the Reference 3A Owners Circle;
. Owner Circles -> Reference 3A
I'd see if you can find a David Berning Siegfried SET-ZOTL in either 300B(8wpc) or 811(11wpc).

This amp is the biggest "sleeper" amp of all time.
Nobody really seems to know about it, nor does hardly anybody understand what David is actually doing with that circuit.
But it will blow your mind, and I'm not joking.
If you can find a used one around $5k, you should jump on it. It works perfectly with 8 ohm speakers, and is not plagued with any of the typical "SET disorders" resulting from output transformers. It's wide open and crystal clear throuhgout the audio range, and has a bandwidth of DC-250kHz, and is super fast and dynamic.
As far as I am concerned, it is king of SET amps.

Oh, and by the way, it is auto-biasing, so you don't have to fiddle with any meters, the tubes last from 10-20 years, it doesn't get hot, and Berning has a legendary record for probably the best reliability in the industry.

You absolutely cannot go wrong with this amp.
Thanks to all for the input so far.

I guess Decware is out and 300B is in. Sad because I sold an ASL 300B about a year ago along with Omega T-2's.
No not to bad. The ASL is pretty sterile for a tube amp. Rough around the edges, (and the center) if you will. How about the Welborne stuff??
I also had good success w/ the Cary 300B monos.