Polk L100s - tube integrated recommendation


I have the L100s and very much enjoy them with SS. After 30years of SS I want to try tubes and of my 4 speakers sets I want to try the L100s with tubes.

Ken (Stereophile reviewer) wrote about how well the Cary SLI80HS works with the L100s, however, since this will be my entry into tubes I want to try something a little more affordable (<$3000 new). Can anyone suggest FROM EXPERIENCE a tube integrated that work well? Thanks.


Thanks sryeager. Right now the CM does look like the leading contender. I'm also wondering weather the Line Magnetic 88ia would work but not much on this one on the intranet.

Your speakers are rated at 85.5 dB and dip at least down to 3 Ohms so you’ll need more power than the 88ia can provide, and it’s also the reason I asked if you’d be open to a hybrid amp.  I’d recommend at least 70Wpc, and at your price new that’s gonna be a tough ask for a tube integrated, and the CM is one of the few that could work.  There is an open-box Unison Unico Due that uses a tube input stage and solid state output that provides 100Wpc and is being offered at $2900 that is $1100 off retail and strikes me as a good deal and a good fit for what you’re looking for.  Best of luck. 


Audio Advisor sells Vincent Audio which also makes a hybrid integrated. 

Another thought is to purchase a tube preamp to drive your SS amplifier since it seems to please you driving your Polk speakers.

Soix - good point about the L100s specs and performance. I was thinking the 88ia because when stereophile reviewed the L100s they concluded the Cary SLI80 HS in triode mode (40watts) bested two other amps. However, this is not expertise so I can't elaborate on the tube impact.

I have my eyes on a couple of used Cronus Magnums and will check out the Unison.

Thanks everyone.

The CM and Unico Due are both great amps so I’d suggest reading the reviews and see which meets more with your tastes.  Also, if the ‘pile found the Cary worked well in Triode mode maybe I’m just wrong and maybe the Line Magnetic should still be in play — certainly great amps for the $.  Please let us know whatever you end up doing as I’m sure the results will be enlightening.