Well you could just use some Rothwell attenuators on your M6's output, then you could choose any amp you want.
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I have used in-line attenuators, as Jncgrogan2 suggested above, and they do work well. For some reason, that I cannot recall, the recommended location of attenuators is on the input side of the linestage rather than the outputs. I used the attenuators on the output because I did not buy the three sets I would have needed for inputs.
An Audionote M-6 is sort of overkill for $3,000 amps, unless they are interim items in a planned upgrade. I have heard various versions of Sophia amps (cannot recall the model) and they have all sounded decent for the money. The issue with that company is quality control and the owners penchant for constantly substituting parts and being a somewhat flaky person to deal with (I live close by, and when buying a set of tubes he insisted that I meet his wife in the parking lot of a nearby McDonalds; I would be recognized by the model of car I drove, and his wife would flash her headlights three times. I was afraid the cops would think a drug deal was going down).
I heard a Decware amp recently and thought it was extremely bad sounding--muddled, utterly lacking in bass and bass control and lifeless. It was hastily installed in a system merely to check out if it was operational, so I cannot say how it would sound under ideal conditions. But, I was not encouraged by what I heard and suspect that they may be something that is excessively hyped on the internet.
For lower cost tube gear, I like the pushpull amps from Synthesis Audio. Most of their amps are integrated amps, but, I believe they have an EL34 amp and a 300b amp near your price range.
I always appreciate Larryi's comments and observations. I do wonder if that
amp may have been mated to an inappropriate speaker load. The Decware
amps are often highly praised( have not heard one personally )I don't doubt
what he heard in this particular circumstance. You can make any amplifier
sound poor with the wrong speaker.
Thanks Charles. I should make it clear that I did not hear the Decware under ideal conditions. It could very well be the case that the speakers and/or the upstream components were not suited to the amp, even though the system was specifically set up for low-powered gear and worked well with a lot of other low-powered tube amps. I did not intend to single out the Decware, but rather, to provide a general caveat on buying without auditioning gear based primarily upon hype.
In your specified price range, it is hard to find tube power amps. There are actually much more integrated tube amps in that range than pure power amps. Unless one can bypass the input section of an integrated, it would not make sense to use such amps with something like the M-6.
I don't know about used prices, but brands that I have heard and liked that are above your specified price when new that may be available used at something approaching your range include Ayon, de Haviland, Art Audio and Audio Space. OTL amps, like those made by Joule and Atmasphere are particularly worth looking into where more than 20 watts are needed. For non-tube amps, I like the First Watt amps and Ayre amps.
Sophia Electric has an office and store showroom in Northern Virginia since 2007. Why should Sophia Electric send someone to meet you at parking lot instead of meeting in their showroom or office? Why not to call your cell phone instead of using headlights in your posted story?
Larryi, you are manufacturing an untrue story that may damage your credit, or even worse, to put you into a legal case.
Washington Highend Audio,
At the time I purchased the Sophia tubes, I don't know if they had a store or not or whether Richard was working out of his home. This is the way I got the tubes from Richard. No big deal, it was convenient for me. This is also the way a friend received his set. I am not suggesting that there was anything inappropriate going on, it is just a bit quirky.
I am amazed at your detective work that "proves" my story false.