Hello Audiogoners. I have had only Solid State equipment for my entire life. Recently, I have been considering a purchase of an integrated tube unit. My budget is around $4.000 USD. I have been looking at two units in particular: Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III and the Cary Audio SLI-100. I’m having trouble deciding on which one to purchase. I was hoping the Audiogon community could advise me as to which one to get.
My current system consist of a pair of Emotiva XPA-100 mono blocks, Parasound P6 and a Music Hall 9.3 TT with an Goldring Erotica LX cart. My speakers are Focal Aria 926. I have a smallish room, 11’7” (3.56m) x 15’7” (4.78m). I should also note that I’m planning on getting a DAC after my integrated amp purchase.
Both tube units I’m considering provide 100 watts/channel in Ultralinear but the Rogue Audio is switchable to triode mode at 60watts/channel. The Rogue unit is of a KT120 configuration whereas the Cary unit is a KT150 design. The Rogue has an onboard MM/MC phono stage albeit solid state. The Cary has no phone stage therefore I’ll need to get some sort of step-up phono stage from my MC cart. The Cary unit, normally a $6,000 plus system is on sale for $3700. The Rogue unit is $3400. I listen to manly rock from the 60s to current and some classical. However, I have been enjoying my friends jazz collection he gave me, inspiring my to seek out more contemporary jazz recordings.
My question are:
Should I even consider this purchase?
Will I experience the upgraded tube-quality sound I’m hoping for?
Should I consider instead a tube-based preamp to go with my 250watts into 8 ohms mono blocks?
If you recommend the pre-amp path, what sorts of things should I be paying attention to?
How important is it to have the ability to switch to triode mode? I understand that acoustic jazz sounds much better in triode mode?
Is there anything else that I should be considering with this possible purchase?
I should also say that I don’t mind used if I can achieve a bigger bang for my buck. Buying either the Rogue or the Cary new provides me with a generous 3-year warranty.
There you have it. I look forward to your input. Thank you all in advance for your help.