Tube....tube.....Umh.... Please audition Jolida 502A. If you like it new one is $1100 but you can talk your local dealer down (I guess?) or use one around $750 (9/10 low hour) It'll lighten up your room (nice!!!! and fit your budget) Regards, Rute.
Jedisqueezer. I too heard that in that price range the Jolida is great. If you can go to separates, you may want to listen to the Rogue equipment and Quicksilver minimights (?). Also, pay close attention to the speakers with which you'll be using.
VTL has a nice integrated, the IT85, although I don't know the price, which may be more than your budget unless you can find one used.
The Jolida with proper modifications is sweet. If your up to kits which can save you money. The Foreplay from Electronic Tonalities is an outstanding pre especially with upgrades. I use this with a modified ASUSA A-4 for less than a grand. The problem with ET is waiting for them BUT you will NOT be disappointed.
I haven't surveyed the whole market, but some good, high quality, ones I've used are older conrad-johnson (mv-50), Sonic Frontiers (SFS-40 or SFS-50), and Assemblage (DIY from sonic frontiers). In the smaller wattage versions, you should be able to find something in your range.
If you are interested in a single source system a used Rogue 88 with EVS Ultimate Nude attenuators would cost roughly $1,100 and would probably be phenomenal. My brother has the Rogue but I have not heard the Nude attenuators. Check out the EVS site at www.tweakaudio.com. The Rogue 88 is very impressive.
How about an Audio Research VT-60-upgraded to MK II status just last summer by the factory. $1100.00. All new tubes, plus the upgraded curcuitry.
What will work best will be highly dependent on your loudspeakers. You may also need to change your speaker cables to something more revealing. My first all tube amps were a pair of used Quicksilvers. If these are in your price range, they are worth auditioning. Older ones are biased high and could require frequent output tube changes. They are a little sluggish in the bass and a little rolled on top, but when properly interfaced, their midrange has few peers.
Audio Note has a nice integrated amp...P2 soro, I think....pure class A/direct heated pentode/18 watts...dual rca outs for biamping....available as line or phono...I have the p2se amp..it is wonderful and powers my linn speakers plenty loud and controls the bass very well. The amp is used in my home theatre system for the front stereo speakers.
I recommend the David Berning MicroZotl. It is a 1 watt(rated at 4ohms) little jewel of an OTL(output transformerless) amp which has a volume control which allows it to be used like an integrated with only one input. You must use high efficiency speakers(95db+) to get high volume but my system plays as loud as I ever really need it to(It won't raise the roof.) The detail, purity, and musicality is fantastic and the bass response will really surprise you. With NOS tubes, it is unbelievable! Retail direct from mfr. only is $750. It is a steal, with sound quality as good as amps 10 times the price.But, you HAVE to have high efficiency speakers.
Jedisqueezer I would SERIOUSLY consider Twl's recommendation. I will say that I personally haven't heard the MicroZotl but DO own the Berning Zh270 OTL. I have listened to many of the above and many are nice but OTL tube amps are really another world so far as speed, refinement, performance at the frequency extremes and resolution of the signal. The other consideration is finding a compatable speaker to match with them. This is critical with this design.
On the other hand if you like to walk before you run, I would say all the other recommendations should be considered. One can't be recommended over the other because each offer different sonic presentations of the music. The Jolida is a nice entry level product but look used at the others first.
Tube integrated under 1000 is a tough chore. ASL, Jolida, Golden Tube, ??? If you can stretch you might find used Manley, Rogue, VTL?