Possible move to tubes… help direct me

A recent speaker change has left me with too much amp. I’m very happy with my Pass x250 amp. The speaker change provides me with a good reason to see if I can downsize my amp and maintain or improve the quality of sound. I would like to consider tubes. I have tried to do my homework by reading through the pertinent discussion boards here (I just e-mailed Roy at GMA for advice) as well as talking to a few members on Agon whom I have built a relationship with. I know this is a dangerous post because of the infinite possibilities, but I'm hoping to find consensus on a few models.

My situation:
1. I don’t want to go backwards from my Pass in terms of sound quality
2. One of my options is to do nothing and keep the Pass
3. Budget $3k or less new or used
4. I need at least 70 watts in 8 ohms tube amplification
5. A good first step in tubes (no experience with biasing or tube rolling)
6. Power amp or integrated is fine
7. Nice accurate bottom end with smooth mids and highs
8. I’d like to stay semi-mainstream on manufacturers because north east Ohio is not a hotbed for 2 channel audio and I’ll have to travel to find dealers.
9. Room is a rectangular living room 14x22x8
10. Music is Keb ‘Mo to Alison Krauss

If you can do with a lttle less than 70w, I'd recommend a new Conrad Johnson MV-60 (55W EL34 Based) or MV-60SE (60W KT88 based). I use the MV-60 with Audio Physic Virgo III and still have plenty of headroom.
Hope this helps.
I think a used BAT VK-60 (or VK-60SE if you can find one) will meet most of your requirements:

1. It costs about $1700-$2000 on Audiogon, depending on age.
2. It has 60 watts per channel but it actually sounds much more powerful than 60 watts.
3. It requires no biasing and you can't really roll the output tubes - 6C33 is only from Russia.
4. BAT is a mainstream and well-respected company.

Soundwise, it is quite subjective and I have never heard the Pass so I can’t tell you if it is better, you got to listen for yourself. But at this price, if you don't like it, you can always sell it for minimum lost.
I would suggest looking for one or perhaps two McCormack DNA 0.5 Revision A Gold amplifiers. With this amp, you should get the very best of both tube and solid-state.

Even in their stock form, the 100 wpc DNA 0.5 was a legendary amp just a few years ago as the majority of Stereophile reviewers and others rated the stock DNA 0.5 amp a competive 2nd to the $30k Krell Ref. Standard amp.

But with a Revision A rebuild, these DNA amps become a whole 'nother animal.

You can *NEVER* have too much amp. Keep the Pass. It's an
awesome piece.
Stehno, that is an unusual suggestion?! Btw, I myself would be hesitant to dump Pass amp for anything less than any Lamm amp.
The bat VK60, SE or vk 75 are all super choices. The 75 goes from 60w to 75 per channel. I'd expect much better midrange warmth, depth, air, images. Your pass might be better on the tightness on the bottom end. Usual things for ss vs tubes.

The BAT tube amps are autobiasing. So it's plug a new tube in and play away.

While you can't roll the output tubes, you can roll the input 6sn7's. Makes a big difference. You can really change the sound of the amp depending on the front 2 6sn7's.
A concern & a suggestion...

I'm not sure if the EVS has XLR outputs. If not, then to use the BAT amps, you'll need to use their XLR-to-RCA adapters. This functions okay, but loses some of the benefit of the BAT all balanced design. Many(perhaps most?) comments about how good BAT gear sounds, is based on it being used in balanced mode. Granted, you could probably get a vk60 & vk3i for $3k; a vk60 & vk5i for $4k. OF course, you could try w/the EVS & adapters, and upgrade to a balanced config if necessary. I agree w/the others that this is great sounding stuff, and simple & elegant.

Although not too widely distributed, a long-standing company that would give you a nice option is Air Tight. Their ATM1 or ATM2, both have two inputs and volume controls, so you don't need a preamp. Technically, I believe it's a passive line stage though, so they don't refer to it as an integrated. Easy to bias, w/readily available tubes. Even though rated at only 35w, the ATM1 has driven many difficult loads(relatively speaking) with grace. It's very musical, and holds it's value well. The ATM2 has more power at a higher price...
Good luck,

I 2nd Meistercleef; Keep the Pass and if you really want to add some tube warmth, put it in your path like in the preamp stage. Try something like the Convergent SL1. BTW, what are your new speakers?

Good Listening,

Steve Bachman
I like the advice on all suggestions, especially the BAT amps. Unfortunately, my Jolida is only rca out, and my attenuators are naturally rca as well. I'd love to operate the x250 in balanced mode, but it's not in the cards right now. Ideally, I'd like to upgrade the source to one with volume control and balance outs so it would go into my existing amp or one of the BAT amps recommended. No doubt I could get by with some adapters, but that's not the way to operate. From what I've read about the vk60 and vk75, the vk75 is probabaly what I'd want to move to (if I did change). Decisions, decisions.
I changed to GMA Europas. I had just bought a pair of Totem Forests, I liked them a lot, but prefer monitors in my set up. After all of the reading here about the Europas, I thought I'd go and give them a listen. I called Roy at GMA to inquire about a dealer in my area and he had one that lives 2 miles from my house! (I'm thinking no one else in NE Ohio is into 2 channel). Turns out this dealer is working from his house and into a lot of custom work. He brought the Europas over to my house and we spent 2 hours playing blues to vocals. I was sold, they are impressive. Now I'm asking the question if I have too much amp. Crazy hobby.
Could it be, Kkursula, that my suggestion sounds unusual to you because you've never heard any McCormack DNA Revision A amplifier?

Or if you had, then could you please clarify why you think it unusual?

After reading all the responses here, and picking up on similar responses on a post that Bigkidz has going, I'm seeing the "vastness" of options in tube amps. Some other models that people seem to hold in high regard are Musical Ref. RM-200, Quick Silver V4 and Berning ZH-270. Although I know these exceed what my scope is, I want to take my time and make a decent choice. It's obvious that I need to research more, and go and listen to as many as I can. For right now, I'm staying put with my x250 until I feel qualified to take the next step. Thanks to all for your input.